BBC

#InviteTheGreens petition hits 200,000 signatures

Reposted from Bright Green, where I’m now Green Movement Editor

The petition demanding the major broadcasters invite the Greens onto the 2015 General Election debates has now reached over 200,000 signatures.

bennet_farage1-450x252

It hit the 200k mark at around 3pm on Monday, piling further pressure on the media companies, including the BBC, to open up the televised debates to the Green Party.

The landmark means that the petition has racked up an average of 50,000 signatures per week since launching exactly four weeks ago, on the 13thOctober.

The petition, by Robyn Meadwell, states: “The Green Party beat the Liberal Democrats in the 2014 European Elections and is polling neck-and-neck with them in General Election opinion polls. In May 2014 more than 1.2 million people voted Green – more than 150,000 more than voted Liberal Democrat.

“Natalie Bennett has just as much a right to be on that panel as the men. Apparently it’s too “messy” to have too many candidates in a TV debate.

“By excluding a party with a female leader, we are sending a clear message to the public — politics is still an old   boys club.”

The 200,000 signatures follow Caroline Lucas’ appearance on BBC Question Time last Thursday, which led to the hashtag #InviteTheGreens trending across the UK.

The BBC will come under the most heat after this news, in the wake of the BBC Trust’s decision to open up the question of the TV debates to a public consultation this week – a move welcomed by the Greens and the SNP.

Thousands have joined the Greens over the past few weeks following the broadcasters’ controversial move, with the parties’ now having a combined UK-wide membership of over 31,000.

Advertisements

Young Greens call for Young Leaders Debate for General election

A great idea from the Young Greens – see below.

(Make sure you sign the #InviteTheGreens petition – over 160,000 signatures and counting. And like the Facebook page.)

Hundreds have joined the party over the past few days over the Greens’ exclusion from the TV debates. 

—-

The Young Greens, the youth branch of the Green Party, have this week launched calls for a “Young Leaders” debate to be held in the build up to the General Election in 2015.

This comes in response to widespread criticisms that the current proposals for Leaders Debates, published on Monday, have excluded parties such as the Green Party and the SNP which have substantial support.

Siobhan MacMahon, Co-Chair of the Young Greens, said:  “The obvious truth from the proposed TV debates is that broadcasters are struggling to adapt to the new political reality that we face in the UK, with five or more parties all staking legitimate claims to featuring in the debate. The Greens have been unfairly excluded from that process, despite receiving over a million votes in the European Elections and beating the Lib Dems into fourth place. Leaving out the Greens is an affront to democracy and a slap in the face to millions looking for a genuine political choice.”

The Young Greens’ proposal would feature representatives from the youth branches of each of the political parties with MPs in Westminster, and would focus predominantly on issues affecting people aged 30 and under. If TV broadcasters are reluctant to take on the idea, it is suggested that this could take place on radio or be live streamed over an internet platform such as YouTube and Google Hangouts.

Clifford Fleming, the other Co-Chair of the Young Greens, pointed to the massive engagement of young people in the Scottish Referendum as a reason for launching a Young Leaders debate.

Fleming said: “Politicians usually ignore the youth vote because we are less politically engaged, but the Referendum proved that young people do care about politics when they can see the big difference it will make to their futures. It’s time that we had a political debate that speaks directly to young people and reflects the issues that really matter to them.”

MacMahon added: “I really hope that representatives from the Youth branches of other Parties will work with us to make a Young Leaders debate happen. We have an opportunity to work together to really engage young people in politics, and have a real debate about the future of our country.”

The Young Greens have grown by over 100% in 2014 alone, with over 4,000 members – making the Young Greens the third largest party among young people.

For quotes, inquiries or interviews email press@youngreens.org.uk or call 07454397816.

Young Greens petition against lack of BBC coverage hits 5,000 signatures

2pm Update: an hour after posting this, the petition had reached 6000 – 1000 signatures in an hour!

9pm Update: Nearing 14000 signatures! Look out for coverage in Monday’s Morning Star newspaper…

 

A petition launched by a Young Green against the BBC’s lack of coverage of the Green Party during the elections has already received over 5000 signatures since 6pm on Saturday night. Dozens of Young Greens have also complained to the BBC directly.

 

As you will be aware, much of the coverage over the past two days has been over UKIP’s ‘breakthrough’. However, it was also a good night for the Greens, receiving an average of 9% where we stood and gaining 16 new councillors to become the official opposition in Liverpool, Solihull, Islington and Lewisham (on top of Norwich), while gaining our first representatives in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Epping Forest, Babergh and the Wirral. This means the Greens now have 162 councillors on 56 councils. Yet the publicly-funded BBC has almost entirely failed to discuss the Greens in any meaningful way – focusing on UKIP securing 17% on a low turnout, a so-called ‘political earthquake’.

 

You can view Portia Cocks’ petition here – https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/bbc-news-stop-this-media-blackout-of-the-green-party and can complain directly to the BBC here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complain-online/

 

To see a full breakdown of Green gains in the local elections, go here.

 

Meanwhile, Greens are expecting very strong results in the European elections. I wonder how the BBC will cover it…if at all?