Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The "English" Election Debates

The debates which the media television channels are organising will all take place in England, in the north, the midlands and the south-west,  and only the major three unionist parties will be represented. It may be said that Wales and Scotland do not count for much in this very English general election. Wales and Scotland are increasingly isolated from the politics of Westminster and these circumstances will induce the public in Wales and Scotland to turn away from English political parties and vote for their own national parties, Plaid Cymru and the SNP.

Furthermore, the unionist parties of northern Ireland are not happy that the DUP is in alliance with David Cameron's conservative party. The links with Britain are loosening and it will not be long before the north of Ireland sees its future as being linked with the south, the Irish Republic. Many of the people of Ulster feel that their destiny is not with Britain but with Ireland, and it is only a matter of time before the island is once again united.

Three nations of Britain are being ignored and discounted in this general election and the voters in these countries will take note of the fact. The three leaders have little credence north and west of the border and the parties which they represent are competing vigorously with the nationalist parties which gain in strength from year to year.


From the SNP website:

Commenting on the statement from Sky, ITV, the BBC and the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour regarding televised election debates, SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson said the current proposals put forward by the broadcasters excluded three of the four nations comprising the UK.

All three debates are planned to take place in England, and  it would be outrageous if the people of Scotland were misled and not properly represented.

Questioning the attitude of the broadcasters – the BBC in particular – and UK parties towards the people of Scotland, Mr Robertson said:

“It is unacceptable for the people of Scotland to be short-changed in this way. The broadcasters – in cahoots with the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour - are attempting to exclude entire countries from these leaders’ debates.

“All three debates are proposed to take place in England, completely ignoring Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland despite being broadcast in these nations.

“By definition these debates as currently proposed are incapable of reflecting what’s happening in Scotland – this is exemplified by the planned domestic issues programme, which will almost entirely be based on what’s happening in England.

“Along with the broadcasters, the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour are trying to mislead the people of Scotland, shackle the governing party at Holyrood and ignore the reality of devolution.

“The SNP does not want to prevent these debates from happening, we want to participate in them, but if these debates go ahead as currently proposed, the views of Scotland’s voters and the interests of the people of Scotland will be ignored and excluded.

“The behaviour of the BBC, in particular, is shameful. They have abandoned any pretence of being the UK’s broadcaster and breached their own Code of Conduct by agreeing the principles of the proposed debates with the London-based parties before even contacting the SNP.

“The proposed format of the debates borders on the ridiculous, with the audience gagged and prevented from having any meaningful participation.

"With the latest poll from MORI putting the SNP neck and neck with Labour in the polls for the Westminster election, and polling nearly double the Tory support and three times the Lib Dem support, it would be outrageous if these debates are broadcast in Scotland without involving Scotland’s party of government, the SNP.

“In Scotland 60% of voters are opposed to the exclusion of the SNP from these election debates, yet the other parties have simply ignored their opinion.“

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