Monday, 4 January 2016

BBC consultation: tell them to include Scottish Greens

Once again the BBC has relegated the Scottish Greens to receive inferior coverage in the elections. You can sign a petition, or respond to the BBC's consultation. My response to the consultation is below.
1. Are the proposed Guidelines and Appendices relevant and appropriate for these elections? Please explain why.
I am dismayed to see that the appendix classifies the Scottish Green Party as a 'smaller' party, meaning that it will not be given parity with the SNP, Labour, Conservatives, and Liberal Democrats in the debates. Arguably, the Scottish Green Party is today far more popular than the Liberal Democrats. Scottish Greens saw a surge in membership after the September 2014 independence referendum, quadrupling the number of party members. Opinion polls consistently show Patrick Harvie, leader of the Scottish Greens, as the most popular leader of an opposition party in Scotland. Many in Scotland believe that the BBC is not in touch with local political conditions, and that it is is biased toward a unionist agenda. Treating the Scottish Greens on a par with the SNP, Labour, Conservatives, and Liberal Democrats is essential if the BBC is to demonstrate impartiality and fairness.
One may also raise the question as to whether UKIP deserves parity in coverage. In Scotland, their case is far less clearcut than that for the Greens. So far as I am aware, UKIP has not seen a surge in membership (a search on 'UKIP Scottish membership surge' only brings up stories about how UK-wide Green membership outstripped UKIP in January 2015), and the leaders of UKIP do not approach Patrick Harvie in popularity within Scotland.
The political situation in Scotland differs greatly from England, and it is vital that BBC regulations for Scotland reflect the unique nature of politics north of the border.
Yours, -- P