comments on need to include Green Party in TV leadership debates

4 November 2014

It is not surprising that people are disillusioned with politics. However the way that the national media has responded is not going to improve matters. The obsession with UKIP and the exclusion of the Green Party from televised debates is unfair and amounts to censorship. The figures clearly suggest that the Green Party should be included in the planned debates.

The facts are: Ukip may have got its first MP's but the Greens have had an MP for more than four years. The Greens thumped the Lib Dems in the European elections, winning 150,000 more votes, and have been pushing them in the national polls  Party membership is up by 45 per cent this year and stands at roughly 22,000. And an online petition to have Ms Bennett, the Green Party leader, included in the TV debates has attracted 170,000 signatures and counting.

 

 “We have delivered an official letter to all the broadcasters saying we don’t think it is acceptable to leave us out” Ms Bennett said in an interview with the Financial Times. But, she adds, the maths is not the whole story. “There is also the fact that we represent a very broad spectrum of British views that wouldn’t be heard otherwise.”

For starters, the Green party would renationalise the railways – a policy she claims is supported by 70 per cent of the public – “yet we are the only party representing that view”. Similarly, she adds, “whether it is keeping the NHS in public hands or making the minimum wage the same as the living wage, a large chunk of the British public is going to feel profoundly unrepresented if we’re not there.” Add to all that a cap on bankers’ bonuses, building more affordable housing and introducing a wealth tax on the top 1 per cent and you have a political party seeking to give a real alternative to voters with hope rather than austerity.

Locally the party is growing rapidly contesting the recent by election as well as council seats last May. In Kingsway the Green Party was second and hopes to contest all council seats in the next local election.