Ofcom have today announced a draft decision that the Greens are not a major party and as such do not necessarily need to be included in the televised leader debates during the upcoming general election campaign, while simultaneously deciding that UKIP ARE a major party and should be included.
Ofcom have justified their decision on the basis that UKIP have performed well in recent elections (‘winning’ the recent European elections and two by-elections) and are polling well at the moment, while the Greens have not performed as well and are polling between half and one third as well as UKIP.
This completely disregards the fact that UKIP have achieved this success on the back of massive media support from publications and broadcasters with centre-right, neoliberal editorial slants (including the BBC) while the Greens have shown an unprecedented rise in support despite an effective media blackout, as well as having representation in the European and Scottish parliaments since 1999 and Westminster since 2010 without media support or recourse to inflammatory, populist politics.
Surely it is Ofcom’s responsibility to try and redress this balance, rather than reinforce it?
The regulator must acknowledge the effect of media bias on by-election and polling performance, rather than choosing to use it as an excuse to cement the exclusion of the Greens.
You would expect a media regulator to understand the role of the media in creating such trends, unless they are being willfully blind in order to preserve a status quo that they are quite happy with.
Of course, when the industry watchmen are clearly complicit in the iniquities of the mainstream media, who can we appeal to, how can we push for change, inclusion and equality when their ears are stoppered shut?
First, complain to Ofcom here and rather than relying on the conventional media to spread the word, become the media yourself and discuss the issues on social media making liberal use of the #invitethegreens and #greensurge hashtags.
You can’t stop the signal.