Tuesday, 27 April 2010

SNP await TV judgement -wonder what they're hoping for?

Waiting for the Lady Smith to pass judgement in the Court of Session over the SNP legal appeal at being excluded from Thursday's big debate.

I think the SNP leadership will be secretly mortified if they actually succeed. If Salmond gets on screen he'll be seen as a preening gatecrasher, and not just in England.

Worse, if the judgement prevents Scottish viewers from seeing the most important political television event in the UK, the backlash against the SNP will be phenomenal.

Also, if the SNP do score a legal win it will remove the inherent sense of grievance in nationalist credo and deny Salmond a May 7th excuse for what looks to be a fairly pedestrian polling performance in this election.

Not that the SNP don't have an argument. As Salmond said the debates are the campaign now, and I think the SNP has to be included in the coverage somehow.That should be a matter of arbitration and the BBC, hamstrung by its multi-layered, no risk management, should have included the SNP in discussions rather than deliver a fait accompli.

But Salmond himself - having refused three of the four TV podiums offered him and not even standing for election or the office of Prime Minister - is in a weak position to be fighting the case.

It's a matter of degrees - do you give equal billing to a party that has 1% of MPs or even none? UKIP is now threatening to join the legal bandwagon. Arguments for another time, if the SNP can't force its way aboard this election.

Meanwhile, the internal party analysis, however cynical, has to be that failing is good for the cause. The SNP gets the headlines it has found hard to generate during the campaign and the supporters who gave their bawbies to the court action will feel twice-thwarted. After all, grievance doesn't feed itself.

1 comment:

  1. The BBC allowed SNP finance sec John Swinney to debate business policy with the three major partes. Allowing the SNP in surely weakens the BBC's case for excluding Alex Salmond from the Leaders' Debate....