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A Party Leaders debate on Sky – you are kidding right?

October 5th, 2009 Posted in UK Politics by

election-debate2So I understand from a joint press release on Friday that BBC, ITV and SKY have jointly agreed to offer the leaders of the three main parties in England (Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Nick Clegg) the prospect of a three way TV debate – one each hosted by ITV, Sky and BBC.

 I have two questions….


Am I the only one to question why SKY gets a seat at the table when its owner has already declared for one of the party’s involved? Rupert Murdoch’s SKY operation cannot be considered impartial – and I for one would support any of the parties that declined to take part in a debate on that network.

2. WHY JUST A LEADERS DEBATE ? – lets see the lot of them…

I understand that the media are gagging for a “presidential” debate between the leaders . And we might wish that the leaders were “presidents ” standing on their own tickets – but they are not. David Cameron cannot control the ultra “get out of Europe” brigade, so sits on the fence on the issue, Nick Clegg cannot move without the “Federal Policy Committee” approval and Gordon Brown is ….well… fighting everyone in his party…. and teetering on the brink of a coup ….

These are not “presidents”. These are leaders of complex , fractious groups, who without exception, are facing bigger internal battles than they are external ones. I knew that politicians had lost touch with the real world – but when did the broadcasters lose the plot?


(Nothing on Sky thanks a lot – your boss has made his views clear already).
Four debates on ITV , BBC1, BBC2 and Channel 4  (these all have independent news programmes that are unbiased).

Each debate covering one of the 4 great offices of state . This would involve the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Foreign Secretary and the Home Secretary and their counterparts from the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. At least that way we would get to sample a range of talents from across the parties not just the figureheads. Strikes me as fairer all round (and much more entertaining I’m sure)….


10 Responses to “A Party Leaders debate on Sky – you are kidding right?”

  1. Philip Walker Says:

    Sky is biassed but the BBC isn’t? Did you miss Jim Naughtie’s prostration before the Prime Minister the other day?

  2. Terence-Jonathan White Says:

    I could have sworn that the BBC were a little centre left. And Sky are most certainly centre right. But then again, there is political bias wherever you go.

  3. Joe Otten Says:

    Meh, I don’t watch Sky news but I see no reason to boycott it.

    The BBC has a London middle class establishment bias, which is just as easily and often Conservative as it is Labour.

  4. Angela Harbutt Says:

    I agree with you all on the BBC – I am NO fan of the BBC as my various blogs on this site have shown. There is all sorts of “institutional bias” within the BBC – but at least they are wonderfully inconsistent – one minute toadying up to the Labour party , the next moment cross examing the Leader on his medications and getting into all sorts of trouble…

    But Joe I think that is quite different from Rupert Murdoch clearly declaring for the Conservatives some 7 months out from a general election. That in my view should prevent him from being involved in what are pertaining to be impartial, unbiased debates……

  5. Angela Harbutt Says:

    By the way I did not mention Scotland – deliberately as it vexes me (not Scotland – but how you handle a debate up there)- any ideas welcome…

  6. Hywel Says:

    Has Murdoch “declared for the Conservatives”. I must have missed that.

    I know one of the titles he owns has but that is a different thing (IIRC The Times has always declared for the Tories.

  7. Angela Harbutt Says:

    Hywel – I worked in the media for 20 years. No one at the Sun moves withour Murdoch’s say so. So yes Murdoch has declared for the Conservatives and any suggestion that The Sun is “editorially independent” from its owner will be laughed out of court by everyone in the business – especially those who work for him.

  8. Ziggy's Current Take On The Lib Dems Says:

  9. GMB Says:

    “ITV , BBC1, BBC2 and Channel 4 (these all have independent news programmes that are unbiased).”


  10. Hywel Says:

    So why doesn’t the same go at The Times then? If that can be editorally independent of Murdoch why can’t Sky News?