01 August 2009

The leaders TV debate: Boulton v Richards

Following on from Steve Richards well considered article on the leaders TV debate, Adam Boulton, Sky’s political editor, has taken the bait and has allowed himself to get awfully wound up about the matter:

This is not a TV jerking circle. It’s about giving the public access to make a more informed decision. OK most won’t be able to vote directly for one of the leaders but are these hacks seriously telling us either that its not important who is prime minister or that that isn’t how their own outlets so often present the political contest?

Richards is not saying that at all.  What he is saying is that it will be a huge diversion away from the real issues and consume too much energy, when the media and the politicians themselves should be concentrating on the issues.  Richards was on Newsnight saying much the same while admitting that the debate would possibly happen.

Of course, Boulton is going for this big time for the obviously transparent reason that he wants to be the presenter.  Boulton rather pathetically calls Richards ‘snobby’ and a ‘man of people’, which proves Steve’s point.

If the level of argument has sunk to this juvenile level already, then whether we have a TV debate or not will become one big bore.  Maybe I am mistaken, but elections are about more than certain individuals egos.

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