Saturday, January 10, 2015

David Cameron's unexpected Green Party ultimatum



In January 2015 David Cameron announced that he would not participate in the pre-election leaders' debates unless the mainstream media decision to exclude the Green Party is reversed.

At first it might seem a little odd that David Cameron would be speaking up for a party that are on the opposite end of the political spectrum to his own, especially given that the polls show that a majority of Tory supporters don't want the Green Party included in the debates. However it doesn't take a great deal of political knowledge to understand why he's taken this stance.

UKIP are already posing a serious threat to David Cameron's Tory party, especially in marginal constituencies, and the decision to invite Nigel Farage to the pre-election leaders' debates has only upped the pressure further. If Farage does well in the debates, which seems likely given that he's a far more competent orator than the other three, the Tories look set to lose an awful lot of votes to UKIP, and any chance of forming the next government.

David Cameron is clearly trying to offset the threat posed to his party by UKIP by forcing the invitation of the Green Party, who would clearly stand to gain votes from Labour and the Liberal Democrats rather than the Tories, should Natalie Bennett do well.

The other consideration is that if the mainstream media stand their ground against Cameron, and against public opinion, and maintain their exclusion of the Green Party, then the debates couldn't go ahead, which is an even better scenario for Cameron than the inclusion of the Green Party. After all, it seems highly likely that Cameron would get mauled by Farage whether Natalie Bennett were there or not (unless Farage has one of those weird off-days that result in stuff like that infamous LBC "car crash" interview last year).

This demand for Green Party inclusion is actually a very smart tactical ploy from Cameron and the Conservatives, because it's a win-win situation for them. If the Green Party are included, the pressure on Labour and the Lib-Dems will be increased, and if they are not, Cameron can avoid the debate altogether.

It is very rare indeed that I agree with anything David Cameron does, but in this instance I think he's actually doing the right thing in calling for the Green Party to be included in the debates.

What makes this stance even better from my perspective is that it is transparently clear to everyone that Cameron is doing the right thing for the entirely wrong reasons. He doesn't give a damn that the Green Party surge has made them a much stronger political force, nor about the promotion of political diversity, nor about fairer media coverage for the biggest anti-austerity party. It's absolutely clear that Cameron has only taken this position out of pure self-interested opportunism. So not only is Cameron supporting a cause I believe in, he's demonstrating once again, that Tories are essentially only driven by pure self-interest.


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