Letter and Reply re BBC sidelining Hull Greens

27 April 2018

 Here's our two letters. Who do you think is winning?

 

 

To BBC Editor, Radio Humberside

Dear Martyn Weston,

I'm taking this opportunity to write to you over the Green Party being sidelined from the Radio Humberside elections debate, yet again.

I'm fully aware of the argument we are presented with, that due to lack of electoral success, the BBC chooses to class us as a minor party. This is a great way to blame US, the victims, of your policy. 

For a party that's been going 46 years, this is tantamount to suppression.

It shows no accommodation to what fair votes would mean. For example, in the fairer EU elections, we have polled near 10% of the national vote previously.

An actual fair system, would probably give us 5-10% of the seats in Hull, 3-6 councillors - years ago. Here to serve Hull with some of the best policies UK politics has to offer. You talk about electoral success of Ukip, who you will have on, when the only ever Hull Ukip councillor, tried to join Labour, was refused, had to sit as an independent, and roundly lost next time round, letting down all those Hull citizens who voted for him, in multiple ways.

This is the type of politics you and the institutional BBC have been encouraging for a long time. Nigel Farage on Question Time 35 times!!  You know Ukip has had millions in City money thrown at it? You know the Greens generally won't accept corporate donations?  I think of all the Conferences I've been to which have been barely covered by the BBC, often with some mocking line. I think of the barrage of negative coverage Corbyn has received over the past 2 years - for daring not to be Blairite! - and think that's what we would get were we more successful. I think of all the times I've turned out for the BBC here, over 13 years, making time to come to the studio, or on location, prepping for an hour on whatever subject is thrown at me.

To be rewarded with institutionalised insults like this.

This is fully in line with the job of a state broadcaster who rubber stamps the status quo.

Ukip is standing 5 candidates this year. We're standing 9. How many Hull councillors does Ukip have? Zero. How many MP's does Ukip have? None. Do people even know the name of their current leader?? Nationally Greens are standing near 2200 candidates - but Ukip has crashed and is standing 500. Why have them on?? Is it just to mock them over having won the referendum and ask what's the point of Ukip now?? How does this help Hull politics?? That brilliant achievement of taking Britain out of the EU, with some bare majority, with all manner of economic, social and environmental issues now coming to light - often at odds with what the right wing papers have been saying about the EU for decades! -  let alone the consequences to come?

But this isn't a plea. This is us saying you are now losing us at local level. You've already lost many of us at national level. Huge numbers of Greens and the left no longer listen to Question Time or Any Questions, or Newsnight, or BBC News.

We've not kept it a secret, but we've been emphasising social policy since 2010 and 2015, and we've been instrumental in pushing Labour away from Blairism. Nationally about a quarter of Greens have joined Labour under Corbyn.

Your current policy literally has you act as gatekeeper, shutting out an important voice- at a time when government policy is deliberately killing thousands of Britons a year. In propaganda studies the first thing the state media does is control the spectrum.

On Monday a royal baby was born, a fair chance the station mentioned it. But April 23rd is also a famous day in Hull history. It's the day Hull closed its gates to King Charles I, beginning the Civil War. An "unashamedly Hull" station would never miss that.

If you invite us we'll come. Or maybe you think we've nothing new to say.

Kind Regards,

Martin Deane MSc

Chair, Hull and East Riding Green Party, 2005-2018.

Parliamentary candidate, Hull North, 2005, 2010, 2015, 2017.

Council candidate 2005-2018, Avenue ward.

Secretary, Hull Stop the War Coalition, 2002-2010.

[Slightly edited]

Dear Martin,

Thank you for your email regarding our local election debate.  I know my colleague (N.) has explained the position of the BBC and in particular Radio Humberside.

Careful consideration is given to all political parties fielding candidates.  Our coverage is balanced against how each party has performed both nationally and locally in local and Parliamentary elections.

You will appreciate consideration given to the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.  Whilst not electing any councillors in Hull in the last local elections, you will be aware UKIP came 3rd, sometimes 2nd, in wards, and ahead of the Conservative Party.  Therefore the party is invited to put forward a representative to appear in our debate.

(N.) has also explained to you that we will be giving due coverage to the other parties fielding candidates – the Green Party being one of those.  You have recorded a piece which will be transmitted as part of the programme on Monday.

I hope this clarifies our position.  If you wish to take your complaint further, can I please point you in the direction of the BBC complaints procedure which can be found here http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/

Kind regards,

Martyn Weston

Editor, BBC Radio Humberside 

[Slightly edited]