It's no use at all calling Brave Dave Cameron a coward for refusing to take part in leader debates.It's in his self interest not to, and with Dave self interest has always been the dominant motive. The Prime Minister has most to lose from the debates and he won't want his instinctive Knee to the groin reaction to show. Not statesmanlike or even nice.So I don't blame him for doing what Cobber Crosby tells him.
Yet he is being unfair to the British people. Electors deserve a debate so they can judge brain working against brain and see the personality of the participants. A debate would stimulate voters and probably halt the steady fall in turn out. Last time it disrupted canvassing and upset the parties by disrupting their plans and, as it turned out boosting the Lib-Dem vote through Clegg mania- and look where that got us.
This time there should be Leader debates restricted to the two parties which can form a government and a wider debate with all the others so we can see what their preferences are, but to have the two main leaders with Clegg, or Farage would give them an unreasonable boost as it did Clegg last time.I wouldn't object by the way to a mini leader debate between Farage and Clegg. Lovely to see them wrestle in mud and make promises.
You can't, however have an empty chair in a two or three leader debate so Cameron has effectively stymied that. But they could and should have one in any crowd spectacular that's planned for the election period. If they don't we'll get nowt and the public deserve better than that.j
But will they have the guts to go ahead with the empty chair and call Cameron's bluff with this piece of Tory arrogance?.The broadcasting organisations are timorous creatures. Mrs Thatcher would have bashed them. Remember that she fired Alasdair Milne and put Marmaduke Hussey in to do it, and took their contract away from Thames for making Death on the Rock to give it to Carlton the world's worst telly company (PR Cameron.D) I doubt if Dave would have the strength to do that and the coalition wouldn't let him. but if he wins he's certain to take it out on any naughty TV organisation. You've been warned.