Nationalist Response to the “Prime Ministerial” Debates…

Here’s the Western Mail report on the joint Plaid / SNP response to the broadcasters debates plans.

From Elfyn Llwyd:
“It is unacceptable for the people of Wales and Scotland to be short-changed in this way and for the leaders of London parties to be given an additional 90 minutes of prime-time exposure.
“Canada’s state broadcaster, CBC, manages to achieve balance across five parties and two languages. It is deeply disappointing the BBC currently lacks the ambition to even try.”….

Angus Robertson:
“The broadcasters, in cahoots with the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour are attempting to exclude entire countries from these leaders debates.

“This debacle underlines why Scotland and Wales need a strong voice at Westminster. A stitch-up between the London-based BBC management and the London parties has disenfranchised voters in three countries.”

And Adam Price:
“Unlike the commercial broadcasters, the BBC is publicly funded and has a responsibility to reflect the new politics in the UK. Their approach is grossly insulting to the Celtic nations and reflects the fact that the instinct of BBC executives in London is to think in a London-centric way.

“By refusing to recognise their responsibility to the one-in-five licence payers who do not live in England, the BBC no longer deserves our support. In saying that, I make no criticism of BBC Wales at all. I know that many people at BBC Wales are privately dismayed at the decision taken about the election debates…..The BBC might as well be called the EBC or the LBC (for England and London). If they are not prepared to take account of viewers in Wales and Scotland, then the licence fee should be scrapped and public service broadcasting funded by direct taxation on a devolved basis.”

The Scotsman reports on SNP and Plaid politicians….”incandescent with anger.”

Quotes the BBC:

“Together with Sky and ITV, we have this week announced that full agreement has been reached on televised prime ministerial debates during the general election campaign.”

Such arrogance – full agreement with the three London parties to establish the narrative of like it’s between these three. Total. Utter. Absolute. Scandal.

No television without representation. From Our Kingdom – very good.

  • Brian Walker

    Dewi,
    In practice the broadcasters have the same responsibilities, although the BBC governance is different.

    I plead ignorance of the Canadian solution and would like to know more. Do they have national party leaders debates with more than three taking part? Did the PQ have a separate seat in national TV debates when they led the Quebec government?
    Does the present Liberal premier of Quebec or the rival Bloc Quebecois have the right to take part in national TV debates? Does the Progessive Conservative premier of Alberta? Or the leaders of these parties in Ottawa?

    The point of the British debates is to test those eligible to become Prime Minister. Even the Lib Dems will put up enough candidates to be able to form a government. PC and the SNP can’t do that. This is surely the clincher. It is hard to imagine this being oveturned in judicial review.

    The one point the SNP and Plaid have is that separate UK national and devolved nations series of debates give the main UK parties a second bite at the cherry.

    If the party leaders agree not to discuss devolution or independence in the UK national debates, would that not be a fair compromise?

    Looking at it coolly, do you really think the SNP and Plaid have a winning point? Do they?

  • English Republic

    Don’t expect Brown, Cameron or Clegg to mention England once either. All three will no doubt witter on about what they are going to do for “Britain”, what they will do about the “British” NHS, improvements they intend to make to the transport infestructure of “Britain”, their stance on law and order in “Britain”, how they will make “British” schools better etc. etc. I would very much like to see Alex Salmond and Ieuan Wyn Jones there as cats amongst the British nationalist pidgeons.

  • Dewi

    “Do they have national party leaders debates with more than three taking part?” Yes, 5 in 2008, 4 in 2005/6.
    “Did the PQ have a separate seat in national TV debates when they led the Quebec government?”
    No they don’t stand in Canada wide elections – the BQ did have a seat.
    “Does the present Liberal premier of Quebec or the rival Bloc Quebecois have the right to take part in national TV debates?” the leader of the Federal Liberal Party and the leader of the BQ.
    “Does the Progessive Conservative premier of Alberta? Or the leaders of these parties in Ottawa?” The leaders of those parties in Ottawa.

    “The point of the British debates is to test those eligible to become Prime Minister.”
    Nope – that’s your point. Being pedantic any MP ot Peer is “eligible” to be PM – if you mean “likely” then Clegg hasn’t much chance (although the debates themself might change this – which is, in part, the point)
    “Even the Lib Dems will put up enough candidates to be able to form a government.” As I suspect will UKIP.
    “This is surely the clincher. It is hard to imagine this being oveturned in judicial review.”
    Depends on the narrative presented.
    “The one point the SNP and Plaid have is that separate UK national and devolved nations series of debates give the main UK parties a second bite at the cherry.”
    Kind Brian – yep 4 chances instead of 3 compared to 1 for us – it’s bullshit.
    “If the party leaders agree not to discuss devolution or independence in the UK national debates, would that not be a fair compromise?”
    Nope, believe it or not that’s not all we are interested in you know.
    “Looking at it coolly, do you really think the SNP and Plaid have a winning point? Do they?”
    Coolly but angrily I become more certain every minute.

  • Dewi

    Updated with a nice article from Our Kingdom

  • RepublicanStones

    Dewi with Scottish Tories being like hens teeth, or more precisely, the hens tooth, what is their standing like in Wales? I could google it but im posting with my phone.

  • Dewi

    Tories on a bit of a comeback RS – Got three MPs already – Monmouth, Clwyd West and Preseli Pembrokeshire. Come May would seem like Cardiff North and Vale of Glamorgan fairly certain gains along with another 4-6 proble/possible. I reckon between 7 and 10 (out of 40) probable outcome.

  • dodrade

    Any chance of legal action by the SNP/Plaid Cymru to stop the debates?

  • English Republic

    Great piece on Our Kingdom. Brit nats doing what they do best…. Pissing off the English, Irish, Scots and Welsh all at the same time and for differing reasons. Roll on independence from this shower of establishment rogues.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Brian

    >>The point of the British debates is to test those eligible to become Prime Minister.< < Ok then brian, we need to change the whole shebang from a Westminster type Parliamentry system to a presidential type US system. There is nothing in the British Constitution(any part of it) that specifies a PM and who can become one. In practice anyone is eligible to become PM if in Parliament though there is nothing written down about about a PM only coming from the Commins either despite the practice. Hadn't you or Mr Brown noticed that the PM that people think they are voting for is not someone they always end up with. >>..Even the Lib Dems will put up enough candidates to be able to form a government. PC and the SNP can’t do that. This is surely the clincher….< < In the name of God Brian! If that is the criteria then any and all Welsh and Scottish nationalist parties are on a hiding to nothing. How would people in Grantham take to SNP punters from Stranraer knocking on their doors. The height of stupidity! Or do you suggest that two very poor parties put up token candidates all over the place, losing deposits hand over fist just to be treated equally in their respective nations as the English based parties? You are some democrat Brian, but then I find most Unionists are. >>..It is hard to imagine this being oveturned in judicial review.<< I beg to differ!

  • Reader

    How much sense is there in a debate involving: Con, Lab, Lib, UKIP, BNP, SNP, PC, DUP, SDLP and SF?
    Instead, how about a series of debates where the parties involved depend on whether the topics include devolved or non-devolved issues? Plus regional debates as well.

  • Dewi

    “Any chance of legal action by the SNP/Plaid Cymru to stop the debates?”

    Yep – fancy contributing to the legal fund…or shall we ask Ashcroft?

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Reader

    >>How much sense is there in a debate involving….<< Democracy ma man democracy, though I am not sure the BNP and UKIP have a Westminster electoral case, and the stoops are in with labour and SF wouldn't be interested *maybe*. How much sense is there in giving the English based parties unfair advantage for example in Scotland, where the party who has had the largest share of the vote in the last two elections(Euro and Holyrood) is excluded? Let's turn it around and imagine there was an ENP, who wanted in independence for England, who despite having a large grouping of English Westminster MP's did not have the votes in Westminster to get a referendum despite polling the most English votes in the last two elections. Would they be excluded because they don't stand candidates UK wide? A ridiculous argument. England is Britain is England. And the Irish Unionists couldn't be happier.

  • English Republic

    “England is Britain is England. And the Irish Unionists couldn’t be happier.”

    As are all the Brit nats mate. Be prepared for manifesto’s from all three for Scotland, Wales and “Britain”.

    Here is another interesting article on this subject:

    http://britologywatch.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/party-leaders’-debates-any-chance-of-a-reference-to-england/

  • All of which is fair (or unfair) enough. I have little doubt that the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish media will adequately cover the local issues and campaigns.

    Meanwhile, I pick up this:

    SNP launches UK election campaign

    First reaction: wowza! An SNP candidate in Hornsey and Wood Green! That’s really going to put the cat among the pigeons! A real choice!

    Only to be instantly disappointed:

    The SNP has launched its UK election campaign with a promise to work as “champions” for people across Scotland.

    Speaking in Edinburgh, party leader and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond promised to put voters at the heart of the election.

    The SNP has set the goal of boosting its tally of MPs from seven to 20.

    The Nationalists’ campaign will also focus on a “strong Scottish voice” at Westminster, in the event of a hung parliament after the election.

    Which amply makes the point. Across the whole UK, there are going to more candidates for UKIP, Greens, and BNP (for one of which I feel a sympathy, and under certain circumstances could even vote) than for the SNP, Plaid, UCUNF or SF. On numbers alone that puts the nationalist parties to the rear of the queue for recognition.

    Do you really want to press this point?

  • Dewi

    “Do you really want to press the point?”

    Here’s the point – in Debates broadcast in Wales Labour, Tories and Lib Dems will get 4 times as much airtime as PLaid Cymru. That’s an absurd abuse.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Malcolm

    >>On numbers alone that puts the nationalist parties to the rear of the queue for recognition.< < No, on numbers alone that makes a great case for them to be recognised in whatever nation they have the numbers in. In England ofcom recognises the LIBs, labs and Tories. In Wales it is the above 3 plus Plaid. In Scotland it is the 3 English parties plus the SNP, who (using your argument) on numbers alone should be the first name on the team sheet. >>Do you really want to press this point?< < I know in many peoples hearts Scotland are subordinate to England, vis-a-vis population this is a fact, Constitutionaly however this is not the case. The Union in theory is supposed to be equal, though there are plenty of 'Brittania's pet Jocks' who are quite happy with us being treated as less equal. As for the point being pressed, the SNP are cash strapped and it is only this consideration that is interfering with a speedy decision to challenge British democracy(sic) >>First reaction: wowza! An SNP candidate in Hornsey and Wood Green! That’s really going to put the cat among the pigeons! A real choice!<< I can sympathise with you on this. I sometimes travel throughout the north-west of England and am now used to hearing remarks about how they wished the border was further south, and complimentry remarks concerning the vigour of the SNP. Yep they have shown the inadequacy of Labour in the short term they have been in power but it is up to the English to vote for alternative parties rather than the staleness of the usual 2/3. We in Scotland should not be denied equality though because our population is 10 times smaller. The SNP could not afford to run candidates all over England, and should we compete with Plaid in Wales........stop me Malc, you are a sensible guy but the hoops you want the SNP to jump through are a non-runner.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    English Republic

    Your link didn’t work.

    >>Be prepared for manifesto’s from all three for Scotland, Wales and “Britain”.<< Exactly my point, Britain is England. What party are you going to vote for? Having come across some of the guys in the campaign for an English Parliament and the English democrats too many seem to spend their time on Jock-bashing and peddling myths rather than concentrate on the real penalties faced by England.

  • English Republic

    Hi Prionsa, Try again:

    http://britologywatch.wordpress.com/

    I have found most in the CEP to be decent people however the same can’t be said for the English Democrats. Far too many unpleasent, reactionary characters amongst them which is a sheme because England is crying out for a progressive civic nationalist party. I come from an old Labour background but have never voted for the new version for several reasons. Tories are a no no too so in the absence of a viable alternative it’ll probably be the Lib Dems through gritted teeth!

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    ER

    Bit dissapointed by the pettiness in your link

    >>As Ms McAleer (yet another ‘Celtic’ name in the Complaints Department!)< < Petty, petty stuff. Truth is although you guys have taken on the culture of the Germanic elites who invaded you. All the recent studies have shown that even along the east coast of what is now England the population is overwhelmingly of native stock, around 85%. The further west you go and the south coast it rises in percentage terms where it becomes indistiguishable from your neighbours in Scotland Wales and Ireland. The original native Britons who still try to retain our native culture(s). However after 1400 odd years I'm sure that you all are estranged from it. ;¬) Although many studies still uncover farmers in the pennines and the cotswalds etc who count in what would have been a native British language. >>..that would mean that the leaders of the SNP and Plaid Cymru would also need to be invited to the show. But as those parties may well hold the balance of power in the next parliament – and as they are entitled to vote on English laws< < The SNP have been consistant in not voting on English only matters. >>my email to the ITV spokesperson referred to in the press release – James MacLeod (!!) – tried to pique the Celtic positive-discrimination consciences of the ITV news editors, in the following terms:<< *groans* In my experience there are many English people up here who care about Scotland. I would have them any day over the self-serving born again British Unionist labourites who would make Soviet apparatchiks blush. You guys would do well to win people over with sound reasoned argument rather than look for emotive bigots to join your cause, as that is all that this line will appeal to. Malcolm I was speaking to a senior law lecturer today who specialises in Constitutional and Administrative studies. He is following the debates furore keenly and cannot for the life of him work out how the BBC intends to carry out her intended plans. He agreed with me that it is probably only a lack of money stopping the SNP persueing an injunction..............time will tell.

  • English Republic

    PE,

    Completely agree re: the “Celtic” comments. As someone with a “Celtic” maiden name I found it equally petty and unneccesary. The point about the SNP voting on English legislation is a valid one because although they along with Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives abstain from voting on matters which do not affect their constituents, the fact remains that there is nothing to stop them from voting on English matters should they choose to.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    ER

    >>..the fact remains that there is nothing to stop them from voting on English matters should they choose to.< < Of course you are right. The present Constitutional settlement is undoubtedly unfair on the English. Hence why me preaching about winning the argument over British nationalists with reasoned debate. From earlier; >>I have found most in the CEP to be decent people however the same can’t be said for the English Democrats…<< In my experience it has been the opposite, there have been a few supporters of the English Dem's on here and have found them to be very reasonable. Whereas anytime I have encountered David Wildgoose et al of the CEP it is xenophobia city, beginning with the Jocks ;¬)

  • English Republic

    PE,

    “English Dem’s on here and have found them to be very reasonable”

    There are a number of very good people in the English Democrats, my late husband had some involvement with them in their early days (about 2002) but their electoral pacts with far right parties in Lancashire at last years local and European elections left a bad taste in my mouth. As mentioned previously I find much of their manifesto to be far too reactionary and grievence based and in my opinion they should focus on the positives of English self-government rather than whinge about what Scotland, Wales and NI have but we don’t. While I understand too their reluctance to go the whole hogg and advocate immediate English seccession fron the UK, I believe it should be a long term aim and for an English parliament to be a stepping stone towards that goal.

    As for the CEP, I speak as I find people and have found those that I have met to be very reasonable, hard working people who have the best interests of the English people and bringing about a fair and democratic nation for all those living in this country at heart. I have never met Mr Wildgoose however but I have read many of his posts on their website and agree that he is somewhat excitable to say the least -)!

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    ER

    >>..my late husband…< < My sympathies we have only lost my partners father in December, she has not been having a good time of it. I hope you are coping well! >>..but their electoral pacts with far right parties in Lancashire at last years local and European elections left a bad taste in my mouth…< < I was unaware of this, thanks for the heads up. I'm sure the people I was talking about would not support this either. >>and agree that he is somewhat excitable to say the least -)!<< Aye you can say that again ;¬) He usually runs away from me if truth be told when I encounter him on Oneils 'Unionist lite' site, and anytime I have tried to post on the CEP the buggers freeze my computer. Aw the best!

  • English Republic

    “My sympathies we have only lost my partners father in December, she has not been having a good time of it. I hope you are coping well!”

    Thanks mate, hope you and yours have been coping too. Been a pleasure chatting to you. Here’s to a future of good neighbourlyness and mutual respect!