The Farce of the Televised Election Debate

February 12, 2015 12:27 pm

The BBC and ITV have joined forces to bring us a real treat later this Spring. Both broadcasters will televise two live pantomimes. The pantos will feature the actor affectionately known as ‘Walliband’ thanks to his faultless impersonations of  children’s animation character Wallace. Walliband will be supported by the ever-comical Cleggers, originally due to play the leading actor’s pet kitten but will now play the part of a pet spider after suggestions he would better fit the role of an invertebrate. Additionally, an array of newcomers will be partaking in their first ever televised pantomime, including; rising-star Farage, often likened to Oliver Reed and a relatively unknown eccentric Australian woman scheduled to play the part of a tree. Dave Cameron, the man who made a name for himself due to his ability to effortlessly morph into divergent personalities, is penned to play the lead but unfortunately has had a major falling out with the producers due to undisclosed reasons. Don’t worry though, as Walliband and Cleggers have been considered to seize the leading role, there has even been talk of pint-swilling Farage taking over the show.  The pantomime shall be televised regardless!
Walliband in all his glory

Silly analogies aside, the debates have become something of a farce. The public are inevitably becoming disinterested as the debates plummet into a ridiculous charade. Perhaps that is the PM’s plan? It certainly appears that Cameron is shit-scared of going ahead with these debates for as long as Farage is invited. Not surprising considering the fact immigration has become a key issue to a significant number of British voters, as polls throughout 2014 consistently displayed and attempting to debate with any representative of UKIP over immigration is fighting a losing battle. The Conservatives will never ‘out-UKIP’ UKIP and Cameron will never win a debate with Farage for as long as his hands are tied by the constraints of political correctness.

Cameron, upon hearing that UKIP should be included in the debates, had a paddy; demanding either the Green’s are also invited or he shall stomp off with his arms crossed, not joining in at all. Dave’s spoilt brat behaviour seemed to work, as Natalie Bennett has since been invited. Cameron demanded ‘if one minor party be invited, they all should!’, fair enough but considering a party such as UKIP to be in the same league as the Green Party is naive to say the least.  UKIP won outright the previous national election in 2014, have been polled consistently at around 15% and are predicted by most political analysts to pick up a modest handful of further seats in this May’s General Election. The Green’s simply cannot say the same.

Green supporters argue that their party only has one less MP than UKIP. Very true. However, such arguments fail to acknowledge the fact that we do not have General Election’s every other week and way back in 2010, UKIP were truly a minnow but times have drastically changed. Based on current polling, UKIP are the third most popular party that operates across Britain and recent local, European and by-election results certainly reinforce this argument. Lib Dems have often found themselves surpassed by the Greens in recent elections, but this is more the result of  a Lib Dem plummet as opposed to a Green surge, as the Greens have lost their deposit in the last three by-elections. With all this in mind, surely the 2015 debates should be based solely on the current political landscape?

However, Bennett’s inclusion will certainly be entertaining. The Green leader was recently involved in what many deem to be her ‘car crash interview’ with The Daily Politics’ Andrew Neil. Bennett revealed that the Green’s would decriminalise joining terrorist organisations such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda, whilst simultaneously dismantling the British Armed Forces until it is left with nothing more than a few Captain Mainwaring’s to defend the nation.  Other ill-conceived policies include the grand scheme of providing every single adult a ‘Citizens Income’ of £72 a week, irrespective of their needs, at an estimated cost of £280bn. Sounds lovely doesn’t it, we all get a nice weekly handout of £72 a week from our new cuddly Green government but how would they pay for such a policy? Your guess is as good as mine or as good as Natalie Bennett’s in fact as it appears she doesn’t know herself. Despite Neil’s constant attempts to discover how such a scheme would be paid for, Bennett simply could not give a definitive answer.

Natalie Bennett

Having Bennett included is one thing but broadcaster’s decided to go one better as they appease cowering Cameron in an attempt to lure him back into the debates. The Scottish National Party are also expected to join the debates. The SNP undeniably are a serious force in Scotland but having a party that is exclusive to one corner of the United Kingdom, involved in a national debate is ludicrous. Many viewers will watch a televised debate to gauge which party is the most worthy of their vote but it appears for many viewers, only a selection of the panel will be an option on the ballot paper.

Perhaps the most puzzling of all, is the decision to invite Plaid Cymru. A recent poll showed that the Welsh nationalist’s are only the fourth most popular party within Wales, let alone elsewhere in the UK where they’re a nonentity. As a result of the SNP and Plaid Cymru’s invitation, the DUP are understandably demanding they also be involved, as they currently have eight MPs; two more than SNP and five more than Plaid. Similarly, Sinn Féin are demanding inclusion (despite the fact the party abstains from even entering Westminster).

The debates really have turned into something of a pantomime, as a total of seven leaders are invited. Cameron is still unhappy; it is still unclear as to whether he will even take part, despite the penned inclusion of his new-found love, the Green Party and if all these smaller parties are going to be included, where does it end? What about George Galloway’s Respect Party or the Monster Raving Loony Party, perhaps?

The seven leaders penned to take part

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  • Chris Robinson

    Entertaining article, as the TV debates will be – just that, entertaining as each leader rattles off their party’s manifesto – if they can remember them, even if they’ve actually got one ! (Nigel?).

    I think part of the reason UKIP has been the receptacle of a lot of their support is that the three main parties appear to be three cheeks of the same arse. They are only different by degrees, fundamentally, they offer harsh, bad and slightly nicer cuts, cuts, cuts and only work within the failed framework of capitalism. As does UKIP, of course. But UKIP’s anti-immigrant, anti-EU stance only echoes the right wing press who have regularly featured thousands of racist, anti-immigrant stories, a constant drip-drip diet of fear all designed to divert people’s attention away from the real culprit of our present difficulties – aforementioned failed capitalist system, a very dangerous game. But such are the actions of a ruling class desperate to defend its system.

    It put me in mind of the scenario – a millionaire, a worker and an immigrant sat around a table. There’s a packet of ten biscuits. The millionaire takes nine, gives the worker just one and says to the worker: ‘That immigrant is after your biscuit.’

    Until we get a new party that offers us something worthy of our vote and our trust, one that will offer a real way out and begin to re-build our economy, invest in jobs, homes and services, then we’re going to continue to have these kind of sideshows to distract us.

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