/ Boris Bottles it

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Eric9Points 28 Nov 2019

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-climate-change-debate-channel-4-empty-chair-general-election-ice-sculpture-a9222771.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR3JtPoOq2mWg3dPxo5CzH4cHMu4OEVk2fqPT9NvWCx5qWzJsJyDtlPGHGU#Echobox=1574952993

We'll not be hearing him on tonight's climate change debate. I heard CH4 may replace him with a melting ice sculpture instead.

I don't imagine he'll turn up to talk to Andrew Neil either.

Why should he? If you're sure people will vote for you whether or not you engage in the democratic process why not spend your time doing more enjoyable things instead? We're no different from the Americans, Donald Trump could shoot someone in central park and people would still vote for him, BJ shows his contempt for democracy and people still vote for him.

Sad.

5
wercat 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

I just hope that someone manages to pin a viral climate change denier tag on him after this, as it matters so little to him compared with taking back his control of us

Post edited at 16:59
2
The Wild Scallion 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

> We'll not be hearing him on tonight's climate change debate. I heard CH4 may replace him with a melting ice sculpture instead.

> I don't imagine he'll turn up to talk to Andrew Neil either.

> Why should he? If you're sure people will vote for you whether or not you engage in the democratic process why not spend your time doing more enjoyable things instead? We're no different from the Americans, Donald Trump could shoot someone in central park and people would still vote for him, BJ shows his contempt for democracy and people still vote for him.

> Sad.

The majority of the electorate do seem to be social flagellants. 

neilh 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

Not really sure it shows a contempt for democracy, after all how many actually watch a Channel 4 debate?

35
MonkeyPuzzle 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

Tories saying they'll "review C4's licence" for not accepting Gove instead of Johnson for the leader's debate. Never thought I'd get to say "Trumpian" this much in a short period as now. Sinister.

2
jkarran 28 Nov 2019
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Tories saying they'll "review C4's licence" for not accepting Gove instead of Johnson for the leader's debate. Never thought I'd get to say "Trumpian" this much in a short period as now. Sinister.

Repulsive. 

In case anyone ever wondered how the unthinkable happened to the ordinary, this is it, this is how stable prosperous countries fail with a whimper rather than a firefight. I suppose a front row seat is a privilege of sorts, we're making history. 

Jk

Post edited at 19:40
2
galpinos 28 Nov 2019
In reply to neilh:

He's threatening to review their broadcasting license? Because they wouldn't accept Gove because he was too scared/couldn't be bothered?

2
neilh 28 Nov 2019
In reply to galpinos:

Gove is far better on the environment than BJ.far more on top of his brief  

nobody would believe anything that BJ comments on anyway.

all a bit of political greenwashing anyway. When China continues to build coal fired power stations at the current rate , handwringing in the Uk over BJs attendance misses the big issues. 

42
john arran 28 Nov 2019
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Tories saying they'll "review C4's licence" for not accepting Gove instead of Johnson for the leader's debate. Never thought I'd get to say "Trumpian" this much in a short period as now. Sinister.

Not so much Trumpian as Orwellian, which is similar to Trumpian, but cleverer and more sinister.

2
stevieb 28 Nov 2019
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

I didn’t realise that they had offered Gove. I think C4 should have accepted Gove. He’s been horrible on the radio recently but he does seem far more engaged on the environment than most of his party. 

7
Coel Hellier 28 Nov 2019
In reply to stevieb:

> I think C4 should have accepted Gove.

Agreed.  Governments are teams.  It is the Tory Party in general standing at the election, not just its leader.   We shouldn't expect PMs to be experts on every aspect of policy, they can't possibly be. Offering Gove as a senior member of the team is entirely reasonable.

If Channel 4 wanted a serious debate, as opposed to political theatre, then it should have been accepted.   There is a claim that they allowed Corbyn to veto appearing with Gove instead of Johnson. Channel 4 should not have allowed that, though Corbyn may have wanted to put up a nominee also. 

Post edited at 20:52
35
Robert Durran 28 Nov 2019
In reply to stevieb:

> I didn’t realise that they had offered Gove. I think C4 should have accepted Gove. He’s been horrible on the radio recently but he does seem far more engaged on the environment than most of his party. 


Yes, listening to Gove on the environment when he had that brief is the only time I have ever entertained the possibility that there might be an upside to Brexit.

1
MeMeMe 28 Nov 2019
In reply to neilh:

> all a bit of political greenwashing anyway. When China continues to build coal fired power stations at the current rate , handwringing in the Uk over BJs attendance misses the big issues. 

The per capita emissions of greenhouse gases for China is not so different from ours and perhaps we should look at why China is building so many new power stations, the engine behind China's economic expansion is Western Consumption. We might have reduced our direct emissions here but a great amount of that is because we just make all our stuff in China and then import it to the UK (https://www.carbonbrief.org/mapped-worlds-largest-co2-importers-exporters).

I think we need to take responsibility for our own actions and our own emissions (including emissions that we essentially export to other countries), simply blaming others is not a strategy that's going to get us out of this mess.

You might not think it matters that BJ attends the debate but it's political engagement that is needed to push through policies that change things and intentionally missing the debate is a sign of political disengagement in the issue.

1
stevieb 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I guess the alternative view, is that Gove vs Corbyn is a bit of an election free hit for the conservatives. But he would have offered a lot more insight on the subject. I gave up watching a while ago. 

Eric9Points 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

No, all other parties sent their leaders. Either they all do or none do.

Given that global warming is the most important issue facing mankind I really want to know what our future head of state is going to do about it and expect them to have an excellent grasp of their party's policy.

And if that turns out to be pretty well phuq all as John Gummer pointed out a month ago then BJ can explain to the nation exactly why he thinks that's acceptable.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-48929632

Post edited at 21:04
1
girlymonkey 28 Nov 2019
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Tories saying they'll "review C4's licence" for not accepting Gove instead of Johnson for the leader's debate. Never thought I'd get to say "Trumpian" this much in a short period as now. Sinister.

Seriously? Where are they saying this? (I feel I need sources for everything these days!)

peterdavidgrant 28 Nov 2019
Coel Hellier 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Given that global warming is the most important issue facing mankind I really want to know what our future head of state is going to do about it ...

The post-election head of state would be El Queenie!

But, while you might be voting primarily on climate change, I suspect that most people will not be (most people will vote either based on Brexit or on general economic/financial policies). 

If a channel wants a "leaders debate", then sure, invite only the leaders.  If it wants a climate-change debate then allowing each party to put up a champion sounds reasonable.

21
climbingpixie 28 Nov 2019
In reply to stevieb:

Gove is good on the environment but I think C4 were right to empty chair Johnson. It was a leaders debate and whether or not the leader has a grasp on their party's green policies is important. It demonstrates the level of commitment and interest that the leader has and gives an indication of what priority they afford the issue. Clearly the Tories don't think it's that important and that's useful information for voters. Additionally, environment and climate change is something that needs to stop being considered as a separate area or issue and really should be a lens through which most of our future planning takes place, which means it's not unreasonable to expect that a party leader to have a decent understanding of their policies.

3
galpinos 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> If a channel wants a "leaders debate", then sure, invite only the leaders.  If it wants a climate-change debate then allowing each party to put up a champion sounds reasonable.

Well, they said they wanted a "Leaders Debate on Climate Change" so they only invited the party leaders, which seems in line with your above terms?

john arran 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

It's a good example of tribal mentality that a poster sympathetic to Tory views should consider the Tory leader refusing to turn up to a Leader's debate perfectly reasonable.

Ask yourself whether you really would have taken the same view had Corbyn or any of the others wanted to delegate the Leader position for the night to an environment specialist to save any embarrassing gaffes or inadequacies showing up. As is the way of psychology, I suspect the answer you give may be yes.

6
summo 28 Nov 2019
In reply to john arran:

I suspect channel 4 wants the leaders as it thinks it can sell the ad breaks for more money. 

17
climbingpixie 28 Nov 2019
In reply to summo:

There was only one ad break in the whole 1 hour show tonight so they didn't seem to be trying to milk ad revenue.

1
pec 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Agreed.  Governments are teams.  It is the Tory Party in general standing at the election, not just its leader.   We shouldn't expect PMs to be experts on every aspect of policy, they can't possibly be. Offering Gove as a senior member of the team is entirely reasonable.

> If Channel 4 wanted a serious debate, as opposed to political theatre, then it should have been accepted.   There is a claim that they allowed Corbyn to veto appearing with Gove instead of Johnson. Channel 4 should not have allowed that, though Corbyn may have wanted to put up a nominee also. 

Agreed(!) I also think Channel 4 may land themselves in hot water in choosing to place the melting ice statues on the podiums of the Conservatives and Brexit Party.

Whatever anyone thinks about them not attending, this is a blatantly politcal statement by C4 which contravenes the obligation to political neutrality. To do so during a general election campaign is playing with fire, especially when their head of news is on record as having made a number of personal attacks on Boris Johnson such as comparing him to Vladimir Putin and the editor of C4 news has "liked" a tweet calling Boris a c***. We should not know the political views of people in these positions.

Hardly surprising the Tories are considering C4's remit.

40
Lusk 28 Nov 2019
In reply to summo:

We can only assume here that you didn't watch it due to the lack of your usual anti-Corbyn rant.

4
stevieb 28 Nov 2019
In reply to climbingpixie:

> Gove is good on the environment but I think C4 were right to empty chair Johnson. It was a leaders debate and whether or not the leader has a grasp on their party's green policies is important. 

Maybe you’re right. I think Johnson would’ve been embarrassingly light on detail. Against Corbyn, Gove would’ve gone for point scoring. But I genuinely would be interested in what Gove would like to do, and thinks is feasible, re climate change. 

pec 28 Nov 2019
In reply to galpinos:

> Well, they said they wanted a "Leaders Debate on Climate Change" so they only invited the party leaders, which seems in line with your above terms?


The BBC seems happy to accept non leaders in its debates, Rishi Sunak will appear for the Tories and Rebecca Long-Bailey for Labour this Friday. The problem with C4's stance is that its refusal to let Gove take part and its ice sculpture stunt will become the story not what anyone says during the debate which of course, most people won't have seen anyway.

4
Name Changed 34 28 Nov 2019
In reply to john arran:

> Not so much Trumpian as Orwellian, which is similar to Trumpian, but cleverer and more sinister.

More pole pot  

and that’s not funny 

balmybaldwin 28 Nov 2019
In reply to pec:

> The BBC seems happy to accept non leaders in its debates, Rishi Sunak will appear for the Tories and Rebecca Long-Bailey for Labour this Friday. The problem with C4's stance is that its refusal to let Gove take part and its ice sculpture stunt will become the story not what anyone says during the debate which of course, most people won't have seen anyway.


Is that a leader's debate?  No.

Do you really think they would have accepted Gove on the QT Leaders special?

If you don't think the Conservatives are trying to play the media and the public for fools you are an idiot of the highest order.

3
john arran 28 Nov 2019
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> If you don't think the Conservatives are trying to play the media and the public for fools you are an idiot of the highest order.

I would be surprised if he wasn't perfectly aware that the Conservatives are trying to play the media and the public for fools, and he's trying to take all of us for idiots of the highest order.

1
pec 28 Nov 2019
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> If you don't think the Conservatives are trying to play the media and the public for fools you are an idiot of the highest order.

If you don't think all the parties are trying to play the media and the public for fools you are an idiot of the highest order.

11
Coel Hellier 28 Nov 2019
In reply to galpinos:

> Well, they said they wanted a "Leaders Debate on Climate Change" so they only invited the party leaders, which seems in line with your above terms?

Specifying both topic and person seems over-prescriptive -- and thus a political choice. 

Leaders of parties deal with the full range of topics.  It's appropriate to have a wide-ranging general debate for the leaders.    If you're narrowing down the debate to a particular topic, then putting up a party spokesperson seems reasonable.  It's actually entirely normal.  If there's a TV news piece on a particular issue, the broadcasters will ask for a spokesperson on that issue. 

Edit to clarify: by specifying the topic (climate change), and also demanding that it must be the leader who debates, Channel 4 is effectively declaring climate change to be of paramount importance.  (They are not, after all, holding a "leaders debate" on lots of other topics, such as Brexit, or on the NHS, or on pensions, etc).  

But, declaring that is a political choice (just as if it decided to hold a "leaders debate on the NHS" but not on other topics), and a broadcaster like Channel 4 should not be making that sort of political choice during an election. 

Plenty here might agree with them in making climate change paramount, and as a voter you have every right to make that call.  But Channel 4 should not.

Post edited at 22:50
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Coel Hellier 28 Nov 2019
In reply to john arran:

> It's a good example of tribal mentality that a poster sympathetic to Tory views should consider the Tory leader refusing to turn up to a Leader's debate perfectly reasonable.

And a good example of tribal mentality that you think that a party deciding who to send as their spokesperson to a climate-change debate is unreasonable? 

19
tom_in_edinburgh 28 Nov 2019
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Tories saying they'll "review C4's licence" for not accepting Gove instead of Johnson for the leader's debate. Never thought I'd get to say "Trumpian" this much in a short period as now. Sinister.

Anyone who thinks the BBC is impartial should consider how quick the Tories are to put pressure on broadcasters that displease them.

1
birdie num num 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Why should he? If you're sure people will vote for you whether or not you engage in the democratic process why not spend your time doing more enjoyable things instead? We're no different from the Americans, Donald Trump could shoot someone in central park and people would still vote for him, BJ shows his contempt for democracy and people still vote for him.

> Sad.

I’m not sure that anyone who declines to turn up for an assassination by media can strictly be accused of showing contempt for democracy really. It’s a red herring. Besides media has no respect for anything democratic.

15
r0x0r.wolfo 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Channel 4 shouldn't decide the topic because it's political?

Well what about the agenda and questions put forward in the other debates? The politicians aren't picking the questions themselves are they?

Of course you want the leader to commit to all of these promises that will be lucky to survive the first week after the election. At least there will be some continuity after the inevitable post election cabinet reshuffle. 

It's fine to use other people from the party if all parties agree to it in advance. What's not fine is to wait until everyone is committed to putting their Queens on the board to then throw in a sacrificial pawn last minute so you have very little to lose and everything to gain.  The others put skin in the game for a climate debate but Conservatives aren't willing to because they are ahead in the polls.

Post edited at 01:05
summo 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Lusk:

> We can only assume here that you didn't watch it due to the lack of your usual anti-Corbyn rant.

No. Too busy deciding if I should fly from Scotland to London to save the planet or not.  

1
The Wild Scallion 29 Nov 2019
Blanche DuBois 29 Nov 2019
In reply to birdie num num:

> I’m not sure that anyone who declines to turn up for an assassination by media can strictly be accused of showing contempt for democracy really. 

Simple cowardice then.  Pretty par for the course by Johnson.

neilh 29 Nov 2019
In reply to MeMeMe:

The political engagement could easily have come with Gove. Why in earth does it always have to be the leaders? I am for example interested in a Javid v McDonnell debate. But it will never happen. The same with Abbott v Patel. ( Patel would be useless).

8
Blanche DuBois 29 Nov 2019
In reply to the thread generally:

in the same article "a Conservative party spokesman" claims "“Under this government the UK was the first advanced economy in the world to legislate for a net zero target and we’ve reduced emissions faster than any other advanced economy while continuing to grow our economy."

Is this true?  A quick internet search suggests not. 

Coel Hellier 29 Nov 2019
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> Channel 4 shouldn't decide the topic because it's political?

They should not decide that one topic is paramount above others in the election.   (It is for voters to decide that, not a state-funded broadcaster.)  And that's what they're doing by having a debate on that one topic and then demanding that the party leader must be the one to represent the party.

11
summo 29 Nov 2019
In reply to neilh:

> The political engagement could easily have come with Gove. Why in earth does it always have to be the leaders? I am for example interested in a Javid v McDonnell debate. But it will never happen. The same with Abbott v Patel. ( Patel would be useless).

Because relative to most MPs Gove is a closet environmentalist and fairly well up on his brief and would have destroyed all apart from the green party representative. 

It's laughable, Swindon proposes a frequent fliers tax whilst flying to London for the show.

3
elsewhere 29 Nov 2019
In reply to summo:

> Because relative to most MPs Gove is a closet environmentalist and fairly well up on his brief and would have destroyed all apart from the green party representative. 

So it wouldn't have exposed their leader to debate.

Others parties accepted invite to a debate between leaders, not an invite to another debate.

Pefa 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

Boris like most bullies, are real cowards deep down. 

summo 29 Nov 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

> So it wouldn't have exposed their leader to debate.

> Others parties accepted invite to a debate between leaders, not an invite to another debate.

I guess it depends on the motive. Have a climate debate, or challenge the leader. 

I'll vote lib Dem despite Swinsons incompetence, so I'm not defending a party I support. But certainly listening to gove when he's been talking about defra, the environment etc he's more on the money than any of his predecessors for the last few decades. 

2
Ian W 29 Nov 2019
In reply to neilh:

> The political engagement could easily have come with Gove. Why in earth does it always have to be the leaders? I am for example interested in a Javid v McDonnell debate. But it will never happen. The same with Abbott v Patel. ( Patel would be useless).


I would also be interested in a McDonnell / Javid debate; it could be really good. I'd also be interested in a Patel / Abbott debate, but more for the comedy value.

MeMeMe 29 Nov 2019
In reply to neilh:

> The political engagement could easily have come with Gove. Why in earth does it always have to be the leaders?

The leaders decide what happens and what doesn't. Gove could have a great environmental agenda but what does it matter? He's not even environment minister let alone Prime Minister!

_Meaningful_ political engagement in government happens top down, the Prime Minister sets the government agenda and the current Prime Minister appears to have no interest in environmental matters.

summo 29 Nov 2019
In reply to MeMeMe:

> The leaders decide what happens and what doesn't. Gove could have a great environmental agenda but what does it matter? He's not even environment minister let alone Prime Minister!

> _Meaningful_ political engagement in government happens top down, the Prime Minister sets the government agenda and the current Prime Minister appears to have no interest in environmental matters.

Not once in the last 2 years has Corbyn had his views challenged on question time or any questions because he refused to attend. He is an aspirant PM. 

Double standards? 

4
john arran 29 Nov 2019
In reply to MeMeMe:

> The leaders decide what happens and what doesn't. Gove could have a great environmental agenda but what does it matter? He's not even environment minister let alone Prime Minister!

> _Meaningful_ political engagement in government happens top down, the Prime Minister sets the government agenda and the current Prime Minister appears to have no interest in environmental matters.

Sending Gove was akin to the Labour Party sending Keir Starmer for a Leaders Debate on Brexit. He'd almost certainly be able to talk a lot more sense than the actual leader but we all know the words would be very hollow without the active support of the actual leader.

1
MeMeMe 29 Nov 2019
In reply to summo:

> Not once in the last 2 years has Corbyn had his views challenged on question time or any questions because he refused to attend. He is an aspirant PM. 

> Double standards? 

Boris Johnson not attending shows his lack of engagement in environmental affairs and since he is the leader of the government the likely lack of meaningful progress in this area by the current government. 

That's my point, no more no less, if you want to pick a fight with someone over press standards or what Jeremy Corbyn did or didn't do then pick it with someone else.

neilh 29 Nov 2019
In reply to john arran:

modern politics is often just a series of sound bites over a few minutes. I would rather they talked to people like Gove to hear and weigh up their points of view .

gove is an interesting person to listen to and has considerable influence. 

3
birdie num num 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Blanche DuBois:

Well, whatever you want to call it, but why bother, when you’ve watched the others get a mauling?

Politics is a media feeding frenzy. 

3
john arran 29 Nov 2019
In reply to neilh:

> gove is an interesting person to listen to and has considerable influence. 

Which isn't really relevant in the context of a party leaders' debate, is it?

On a related note, where are they hiding JRM? Hiding a clear electoral liability principal Tory in the run-up to an election is one thing; hiding the leader is quite another!

JimR 29 Nov 2019
In reply to john arran:

Apparently he also sent his dad along with Gove. Unbelievable!!!

1
pec 29 Nov 2019
In reply to john arran:

> On a related note, where are they hiding JRM?

Same place they are hiding Dianne Abbot?

4
Hat Dude 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

Johnston is being steered away from potential banana skin situations by those managing Conservative election strategy; they know he's a loose cannon who will react unpredictably and possibly disastrously if asked questions he's not able to answer.

It's easier for them to try to deflect any criticism like they have today with the attack on C4.

pec 29 Nov 2019
In reply to pec:

> The problem with C4's stance is that its refusal to let Gove take part and its ice sculpture stunt will become the story not what anyone says during the debate which of course, most people won't have seen anyway.

Well the headline story on R4 Today programme was exactly this, no mention of anything actually said in the debate.

Whereas more people will know about the Andrew Neil interviews than ever actually watched them, nobody will know what was discussed in the environment debate who didn't watch it and even they won't know what the likely next government thinks because they wouldn't let their representative take part.

So the outcome of C4's action is that a load of people who'd never vote Tory in a million years think the stunt was great and eveybody else has their suspicion that C4 is institutionally biased confirmed.

They must be really pleased with themselves.

6
john arran 29 Nov 2019
In reply to pec:

> Same place they are hiding Dianne Abbot?

Quite possibly. Last time I checked she wasn't a party leader, which is the point of my statement you've chosen to ignore.

balmybaldwin 29 Nov 2019
In reply to summo:

> Not once in the last 2 years has Corbyn had his views challenged on question time or any questions because he refused to attend. He is an aspirant PM. 

> Double standards? 

Eh?  He was on QT Leaders thingy last week.  Which was also the first time Johnson (or May) had been on in the last 2 years.

The Lemming 29 Nov 2019
In reply to summo:

> I suspect channel 4 wants the leaders as it thinks it can sell the ad breaks for more money. 


That's how commercial TV works, but you knew that right?

Yes I know it's also a public service network too.

galpinos 29 Nov 2019
In reply to pec:

> The BBC seems happy to accept non leaders in its debates, Rishi Sunak will appear for the Tories and Rebecca Long-Bailey for Labour this Friday. The problem with C4's stance is that its refusal to let Gove take part and its ice sculpture stunt will become the story not what anyone says during the debate which of course, most people won't have seen anyway.

The difference here is that the Conservatives didn't offer Gove in lieu of Johnson when invited. They turned down the debate because they saw no reason to have a separate debate on climate chance (as per the text of their e-mail to Ch4 news when they declined the offer to attend). This fair enough, they are under no obligation to attend. They didn't say Johnson was unavailable, nor did they offer a replacement, they declined the offer outright.

They then turned up at Ch4 unannounced, with their own camera crew and Johnson's father (I mean WTF?) and tried to make it out like they were being blocked out of a debate they had declined to attend.

If they had responded to the initial invitation saying Johnson would not attend but Gove would in his place and Ch4 had said no then, you would have a point. However, they didn't.

1
summo 29 Nov 2019
In reply to The Lemming:

> That's how commercial TV works, but you knew that right?

> Yes I know it's also a public service network too.

Exactly. So just because he was asked why should he attend. Whilst not a fan of his, he's clearly wise enough to know he has more lose than gain by attending. That's politics. 

4
Moondancer 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Blanche DuBois:

> in the same article "a Conservative party spokesman" claims "“Under this government the UK was the first advanced economy in the world to legislate for a net zero target and we’ve reduced emissions faster than any other advanced economy while continuing to grow our economy."

> Is this true?  A quick internet search suggests not. 

These guys seem to assess it as largely true, but with a number of caveats: https://fullfact.org/environment/uk-greenhouse-gas-emissions/

galpinos 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

As per my reply to pec, if they had offered Gove when invited, instead of outright declining, then I would agree with you. That would have also given the other parties the opportunity to offer then SME instead of their leaders, levelling the playing field. Hearing there proposed environment ministers/those ministers which good subject knowledge is always a good thing.

But they didn't. They declined to join the debate as it was not a suitably important topic to have a separate debate on (their words in their e-mail declining the invitation to participate) then doorstepped Ch4 at the last minute in order to change the story to them being blocked out and started banging on about how they had called the climate emergency and cared about the environment.

In general, I agree that it doesn't have to always be the leaders, in this instance I think you are wrong.

1
oldie 29 Nov 2019
In reply to neilh:

> I would rather they talked to people like Gove to hear and weigh up their points of view . <

I agree. However in this instance it would be unfair to the other parties, who had sent their leader as invited, to accept that another party could choose whatever representative they wanted. The melting ice replacements were a gimmick which unfortunately detract attention from the fact that one party was trying to "stretch the rules".

2
summo 29 Nov 2019
In reply to oldie:

>  "stretch the rules".

Can you link a copy of the rules? ;) 

jkarran 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

Johnson's decision to avoid scrutiny is logical. He's winning and he stands to lose more than he gains by scrutiny, Con/Brex voters in general are not motivated by the environment but we all know how he would have been: shambolic, under prepared and error prone falling back at every question on fixed talking points before losing the thread and delivering the usual wiffle waffle little bit of latin wah wah obscure quote ya! Some of his potential voters may well care that he's an utterly incapable bullshitter, I'm not convinced they will but with Johnson you just never know how badly he'll derail, it's not worth taking that risk.

If our PM doesn't feel he'll stand the scrutiny of his peers we deserve to know that.

jk

Bellie 29 Nov 2019
In reply to pec:

Usual misdirection by Tory HQ.  make the story about CH4 not about the debate or subject. Hence the doorstepping last minute to create the illusion even though they had already declined.

Just as a few weeks ago the twitter fact check stunt clearly done to ensure the stories next day were about this and not the debate and subjects.

Sadly its been proved to work for the populists which is why they've gone full on board with all the stinky stuff this campaign.   

1
Pefa 29 Nov 2019
In reply to john arran:

Good Post except you seem to think JC didn't do a good job in the C4 leaders climate debate when in fact he was excellent. 

3
timjones 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

Is the reality TV circus of televised leader debates a useful part of the democratic process?

It seems that as this sort of pantomime proliferates we sink ever deeper into the mire whilst party fanboys use them to fuel their attempts to sing their chosen idols praises on social media.

Eric9Points 29 Nov 2019
In reply to timjones:

> Is the reality TV circus of televised leader debates a useful part of the democratic process?

Yes it changes election results. 

If it wasn't important the Tories wouldn't have bothered inventing an elaborate lie last night. 

2
AMorris 29 Nov 2019
In reply to pec:

You're right of course. I mean, how can we compare, for instance, the majority of the british media being effectively one-party and acting as a tory mouthpiece to the editor of one broadcasting company liking a tweet or putting melting ice statues in place of absentee leaders in a debate about a matter as trivial as climate change.

Those idiots at C4, don't they know how its done?!

1
timjones 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Yes it changes election results. 

> If it wasn't important the Tories wouldn't have bothered inventing an elaborate lie last night. 

It may change some peoples votes but is the rising obsession with TV debates featuring just the party leaders a good thing?

It would have been far more informative if the debate had been between Gove and a similar counterpart from each of the other parties.

 

2
Eric9Points 29 Nov 2019
In reply to timjones:

You may be right, I think it's a good point. 

What angers me is that BJ dodged the debate because he felt he and his party would be more damaged by being there than by refusing to join. Their record on actually doing stuff on climate change is poor and they seem to have little in the way of a programme to improve on their record. By not turning up (they knew Gove wouldn't be allowed in) they limited the damage.

Glad to see that the BBC won't allow BJ onto the Andrew Marr show unless he does an interview with Andrew Neil. I hope the rest of the news outlets take a similar approach.

1
toad 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

I think johnson was surprised at the rough ride he got on Nick Ferrari this morning. 

1
pec 29 Nov 2019
In reply to john arran:

> Quite possibly. Last time I checked she wasn't a party leader, which is the point of my statement you've chosen to ignore.


Since when was JRM a party leader? Unless I'm mistaken and JRM stands for Boris Johnson.

2
john arran 29 Nov 2019
In reply to pec:

Oh dear. I fear you aren't aware that you've completely misunderstood.

deepsoup 29 Nov 2019
In reply to timjones:

> It would have been far more informative if the debate had been between Gove and a similar counterpart from each of the other parties.

Other parties don't have a 'similar counterpart' to Gove, because the gateway to his dimension is in the cellar at Tory HQ.


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