The Television Debates: Ladies, step forward

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Turn on your televisions – it’s time to watch the hilarity unfold.

The latest news to hit our headlines with regards to the May elections is David Cameron’s announcement that he does not want to partake in a televised debate, similar to the last head-to-head we saw during the 2010 elections.

Three live debates feature as part of the planned schedule, put together by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky. Parliament dissolves at the end of March, so the broadcasters are aiming to follow this with two live multi-party debates, featuring the leaders of the largest parties. This would then culminate in a head-to-head between Ed Miliband and David Cameron.

But on this occasion Cameron’s decision to be controversial has caused the right kind of stir. The broadcasting agencies, in the typical blanket approach to politics, had originally only thought of pitting the leaders of the big three, Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, plus UKIP – so maybe I need to rename that the big four – against each other in a live debate.

The amount of participants in the debate has been reconsidered since Dave has put his foot down. Let’s welcome the SNP, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru to the mix, and say hello to our female party leaders Nicola Sturgeon, Natalie Bennett and Leanne Wood.

I know it’s not necessarily all about ratio here; for example, if you take one look at Labour you’ll see they’re on track to break a record for the largest cohort of female MPs in UK, ever. No, it’s not about that at all. But it’s good to see some balance.

Plus it’s good to see some sense, away from the Labour-Conservative/Conservative-Labour criticisms. During the latest prime minister’s questions, Cameron and Miliband participated in some playground politics – Ed chose to focus entirely on the TV debates and nothing else, chicken noises were made from a few Labour hecklers, and the Conservative leader opted for a quick subject change.

Diverting back to that ‘sense’ I just mentioned. Comments from the minor parties have been brief and direct: Plaid’s Leanne Wood said: “I’m delighted that the broadcasters are holding firm. It would have been wrong for one individual to dictate and change the terms of these debates.” And the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon stated that “A Tory prime minister simply cannot be allowed to dictate terms to everyone else taking part.” Good to see some people are thinking straight here.

Come on boys, let’s get it together.

By Naomi White

naomi-white-blogger-300x195Naomi White

I’m a twenty-something young woman who has recently begun her career in the city. After moving to London last year, I can safely say I’m already hooked.

I graduated not too long ago, uprooting my life in Swansea in favour of a new direction. The last few years in Wales have allowed me to explore as many opportunities as possible, from working in the Welsh government, from trying my hand at rowing, to writing for the student blog.

But now I work for a media house, so I’m surrounded by marketing and publicity all day. I love it as I am able to stay on top of the news almost 24/7, skimming through every article and every opinion piece I can lay my hands on. And by that I don’t just mean the latest pictures of Kim Kardashian (you’ve got me – guilty pleasure).

Naomi White
About the author

Naomi currently works in the West End as an Executive Assistant for a real estate investment firm, but outside of work hours she is a keen current affairs blogger. You’ll either find her in Topshop spending all of her paycheck, or at her desk, wearing a rather snazzy new outfit but wondering why she has no paycheck left.

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