Threatening The Powerful 127

About 20,000 of our 80,000 DVDs have now been delivered, with startling results. People have started phoning up for posters, and coming out of their homes to shake our hands as we go past.

I have knocked on hundreds of doors personally, possibly thousands, in the last three weeks. I can report that I have detected absolutely no public enthusiasm for the Conservative Party. The media’s presumption that this is a shoo-in for Chloe Smith seems based on nothing. In fact, many more people have told me that they are voting UKIP, than have said they are voting for any other party. The large majority say they will either not vote, or will vote for an independent.

The media’s determination to hype the Greens is even weirder. At its most frenetic, the Green campaign has been invisible verging on lacklustre. They seem to think it will help them to be shrilly rude about me, while Rupert their candidate wears ties and tries to look official.

The BBC is doing everything possible to constrainn debate, and in particular to give no time to arguments against banking bailouts or aganst the Afghan War, and to corral political opinion back into the safe custody of the major political parties. Even though our campaign is the only interesting thing in Norwich, and even the Sunday Express reports today that I am “Head and shoulders above” the other candidates in debate, the BBC is excluding me from their live televised “Candidates’ Hustings” on Monday at 22.15.

They are also excluding UKIP. While I disagree with them fundamentally, they also plainly have a right to be heard. The BBC is trying to define the field of politicial debate and choice.

Guidance from the Electoral Commission clearly states that, where there is a candidates’ hustings from which any candidate is excluded, the candidates who take part must divide the cost of the hustings between them and declare it against their election expenses limit.

A BBC broadcast candidates’ debate, where the candidates’ speak for election and answer questions to voters, plainly is not BBC news and editorial content, but a hustings. That hustings reaches the voters through a broadcast, and the cost of the event is both the cost of organisation and the cost of broadcast to the voters. So the entire cost of the BBC broadcast must be divided between the candidates and declared against their election limit.

I am sure the Tories and Lib Dems at least are already over their election limit (to be disguised by false accounting on the cost of centrally printed leaflets). Each has already delivered a dozen different leaflets per voter, several of them in fake newspaper or magazine format. If the BBC hustings cost is divided between those candidates invited to take part – Con, NuLab, Lib Dem and Grren – they wil be tipped well over the limit.

I regret having to take a legalistic approach, but the BBC’s determination to exclude me from the election has to be countered.

Meantime, just as the momentum is really switching our way, we need both people here to help leaflet and canvass, and we need donations to cover the remaining materials and expenses of the campaign. Please, please come. or if you can’t please give something to help the work of those who are here.

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127 thoughts on “Threatening The Powerful

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  • M

    I will be interested to see the combined Craig + Greens vote. Not from a hostile ‘you split the vote’ perspective but from a ‘look what we could have done if we had worked together’ perspective, with a view TO working together from here on.

    If we are serious about fighting back, it’s the only way. Let’s unite on the main issues and we can work through the minor disagreements at a later stage. If we really care, we will unite, no matter WHAT has gone on in the past – differences and egos must be left at the door if we are to acheive something better than this incredibly fucked up world we are currently living in.

    Good luck tomorrow Craig. xx

  • mary

    A general election will be held within 10 months. Will Craig give it another go then if unelected this time thinking the unthinkable.

  • Craig

    anon –

    Craig and crag are of course the same word (as in Ailsa Craig, which golf lovers have been looking at the whole week).

    Other than poke some gentle fun at Rupert for wearing a tie, I don’t think in any sense I have been attacking him. I am interested to know what I have said about him which somebody considers a lie.

    I have a great deal of time for Rupert. I wrote to the local paper to defend him against a ridiculous attack on his views over terrorism. If we had a decent voting system, I would urge people to give Rupert their second preferences.

  • M.Wood

    Craig and crag

    Sorry about the typo’s

    That’s what happens when you type very late at night with eyelids hitting the floor:)

    I hate style over content, it is what one says that counts, plus I have rubbed of most of the letters on my keyboard protesting at this New Labour Stalinist brave new world we all live in .

    OK then, best of luck.


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