Monday, March 22, 2010

Nats, Cleggs and Blank Screens

Having managed to catch a bit of the Politics Show Scotland on the iPlayer and get a good old chuckle at Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander contradicting eachother over the thorny issue of fuel duty, I freely admit that my appetite for hearing more of Mr Clegg last night was, well, sated to say the least of it.

However, I learn this morning from a flurry of outraged Lib Dems (okay then - four of them) tweeting to eachother that apparently, their man was given a setpiece interview last night which was carried on ITV. Except for viewers in most of Scotland, that is, where STV found something different to show instead.

Now, I should say that if you're looking for even the slightest shade of Schadenfreude here, you're going to be sorely disappointed because democrat that I am, I'm inclined to agree with them. You won't find here partisan accusations of egotism being thrown at Mr Clegg just because he's been given the rough end of the stick by a broadcaster. He's entitled to be heard, and I can't think of any good reason why his interview was pulled from Scotland, unlike others with David Cameron or Gordon Brown.

Of course, the tempting response would be to point out that since there's going to be a televised election debate between the leaders of the Scottish parties, Lib Dems should just quit whining and accept that Tavish will get his chance to put their case then. However, that would be unworthy and cheap on my part. As it happens, I've got a much better idea for redressing the balance. And if you can imagine a drumroll in the background, here it is...

In order to make up for this democracy-debilitating deficit of Nick Clegg on Scottish screens, why not have a televised debate in Scotland which involves Clegg, David Cameron, Gordon Brown and, let's think now... a representative of the SNP? That way, the Scottish dimension of the UK election can be adequately addressed, Scottish Lib Dems get another opportunity to see their man without having to rely on YouTube or Sky Plus, and the vexed issue of impartiality over the so-called 'Prime Ministerial' debates in Scotland can be laid to rest once and for all.

I think its a winner, and I'm sure it's an issue which can unite Lib Dems and nationalists against the arrogance of broadcasters who ignore the plurality of our great British political system. How's about it, guys? :-)


Iron said...

Not much enthusiasm for the two main parties.

Anonymous said...

Alex Salmond joked about fielding candidates in England.....couldn't the SNP/Plaid grp enter a coalition with the English Democrats Party?

and therefore get included in the tv debates

ayrshirehouse‎ said...


i'm absolutely mad-angry-#bnp talking to #paxo #newsnight- where is the #snp interview?