Monday, 13 October 2014

Great to debate, but let's have a format that reflects our multi-party era

The ERS helpfully commenting on the dodgy stitch-up debates format, that is excluding the Greens:

Great to debate, but let's have a format that reflects our multi-party era

Commenting on the broadcasters' proposal for three TV debates in the run up to the 2015 General Election [1], Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

"It's great to see some momentum behind the idea of TV debates. At their best, TV debates can make political issues come alive for the electorate, and after the success of 2010 voters expect to get this opportunity to hear directly from party leaders. It would be hugely disappointing to go back to the old days of no TV debates.

"But the format suggested by the broadcasters doesn't really reflect the fact that we are now firmly in a multi-party era. It's difficult to see how to justify the exclusion of smaller parties from the debates. And having a two-party duel between Labour and the Conservatives simply doesn't reflect the way people see politics these days. Democracy is about hearing from everyone, not just from the two men most likely to be Prime Minister.

"People have changed since the heyday of the two-party system, and they want to hear a variety of voices in politics. The debates should be an opportunity to hear from the leaders of all parties which command a significant amount of support.

"Of course there are practicalities to consider in order to decide where to draw the line, but the principle should be in favour of openness rather than shutting people out. We want to see a format that fairly represents all of the parties which field candidates across the country and which people support in significant numbers."


For more information, interviews and comment, contact Will Brett on 07979 696 265 /

[1] See

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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Natalie Bennett in Cambridge tomorrow with me:

Party Leader Natalie Bennett set for candidate news conference

The Green Party tonight (Fri) named the academic, author and campaigner Rupert Read as its candidate in Cambridge for next year's General Election.

There will be a first opportunity to question Dr Read on his new campaign when he appears at an introductory news conference at King's College on Monday (Oct 6th), introduced with a personal endorsement from Party Leader Natalie Bennett. The event will also reveal further high-profile endorsements for Dr Read's candidacy.

Alongside his work as Reader in Philosophy at the University of East Anglia, Rupert Read is a former city councillor in Norwich, and already the Green Party's national spokesman on transport. He has been instrumental in helping to develop Green Party policy nationally. He said:

"I love Cambridge: probably the most 'networked' and 'thinking' city in Britain. Cambridge Green Party is young and enthusiastic and fires me up for the campaign ahead. Cambridge was our third strongest result in the entire country in the 2010 General Election, and, according to our Party's own research, quite simply the strongest place in the entire country in terms of Green potential. If not here, where? If not now, when? I would love to represent Cambridge in the place that matters the most: the House of Commons."

Recent polling on voting intention by the Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft indicated that the Greens are starting with 9% support in the constituency. A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times last week indicated that voting intention nationally put the Greens at 6%, neck and neck with the Lib-Dems, who currently hold Cambridge.

In a busy programme of events on Monday, there are five opportunities for members of the media to meet Rupert Read and hear his views on a range of issues:

11:00: News conference launching Rupert Read as the General Election candidate for Cambridge. With Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett. Chetwynd Room, King's College.

12:00: Lunchtime talk and Q&A with Rupert Read and Natalie Bennett, Keynes Hall, King's College. "The Green Vision for a Sustainable Society".

13:00: Seminar with Rupert Read, Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, Coslett Building, Mackenzie Rd, Cambridge. Dr Read will be questioning the notion that "you can't stop progress" by asking what progress really is.

14:00: Rupert Read and Natalie Bennett available for media one-to-ones.

19:00: Talk and Q&A with Rupert Read and Natalie Bennett, Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Trumpington St, Cambridge. "What Green Party Economic Policy Really Means", including equality, taxes, renewables and localism in a post-growth society.

follow me: @rupertread , and @greenrupertread , on Twitter.
1. 2. 3. Rupert's Read: October 2014 4. 12. 15. 18. 19. 20. 21.

Rupert's Read

22. 23. 31. 32.