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.< >..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.<

  • 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….<

  • 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.< >Do you really want to press this point?< >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!<

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    English Republic

    Your link didn’t work.

    >>Be prepared for manifesto’s from all three for Scotland, Wales and “Britain”.<

  • 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!)< >..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< >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.MalcolmI 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.< >I have found most in the CEP to be decent people however the same can’t be said for the English Democrats…<

  • 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…< >..but their electoral pacts with far right parties in Lancashire at last years local and European elections left a bad taste in my mouth…< >and agree that he is somewhat excitable to say the least -)!<

  • 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!