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Thursday, 4 August 2016

Television coverage for Trump, Clinton and UKIP, but Labour leadership debates will be "recorded highlights". Why is that?

Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn set for Cardiff debate

There is a leadership contest taking place over the course of the next seven weeks, between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith for the leadership of the Labour party. This leadership contest  is being held against a background of heated debate between the two camps with accusations of "splitting" the Labour party, threats of intimidation, bullying,  xenophobic comments and other exchanges.
A series of live debates between the candidates have been arranged at venues around the country, for the public to hear for themselves the policy options and visions of the two contestants.How strange then, that the television media should choose not to cover the debates live on our screens. Admittedly, the media would find it difficult if not impossible, to feed the public a potted and edited version of events, with sufficient spin to fit with the stations bias towards or against a candidate, when the public have heard for themselves what was actually said rather than what Sky News or BBC News Channel would have you believe was said. Not that they have been prevented from doing just that in the past of course.
For coverage of these debates, we shall have to rely on our computers as they will be streamed live on Labour's website.
Compare and contrast this with the incessant coverage on both BBC News Channel and Sky News of the endless race for the Whitehouse with Clinton and Trump filling our screens every hour. These debates which seem to have been running now for months, will continue with increasing ferocity right up until polling day in November. In addition to this, the leadership election for UKIP has been drawing unprecedented coverage with a field of candidates who most people in this country have never even heard of. This almost blanket media attention, is indeed puzzling for a party who has only one seat in the House of Commons, and under the present voting system is unlikely to gain many others.

UKIP Leadership Election Candidates 2016

There has always been common knowledge that the United Kingdom media and television have their own (not very well) hidden agenda's in their reporting of British Politics, particularly where the Labour party are concerned. Perhaps, by not covering the Labour leadership debates in any great manner, it is felt that their preferred candidate will to some degree be protected  from close examination. No doubt the plotters of the Parliamentary Labour Party, who bullied Owen Smith into standing as a challenger (because none of their own number had the backbone to challenge Corbyn themselves) will not break cover to support their man and will allow him to sink or swim in the heated atmosphere of the debates. So much for their loyalty to their "champion".

Some plotters in hiding

Whatever the next few weeks and the list of debates may bring about, BBC and Sky television should be made to account for their bias and partisan coverage of the leadership contest. They will not of course, as the scurry away to hide behind the collective barricade of "Media independence"