The BBC this morning reported:
“UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage has been invited to take part in a TV debate with David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg ahead of next year’s general election.
The BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 4 have announced plans to hold three debates.
One would involve a head-to-head debate between just the Conservative and Labour leaders, and another would include the Liberal Democrat leader.
The other debate would involve all three leaders plus Mr Farage.”
Almost instantly a variation of the pertinent question ‘On what basis is Nigel Farage included and not Natalie Bennett and the Green Party?’ was being replicated across social media.
Now UKIP have one elected MP, but of course The Green Party has also had one MP since 2010. Recent polling figures show UKIP flying high but have also shown the Greens polling in the same ball park as the Lib Dems.
Norman Smith, the Assistant Political Editor at the BBC, at least could foresee this inevitable anger and frustration:
But many still felt his language didn’t do the scale of this stitch up justice:
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said: “With these statements the broadcasters are demonstrating just how out of touch they are with the public mood, and how ridiculously they cling to the idea that the future of politics looks like the past.
“It is clear from votes and polls that the public are fed up with the three business-as-usual parties and are looking around for alternatives.”