C4 Climate Debate. A Couple of Observations
For many people the climate emergency is up there with the NHS and Brexit as the biggest issue that needs addressing in the next five years. It was therefore right to see a leaders debate on TV dedicated to the subject
The fact the Prime Minister chose not to attend strongly suggests it is not seen as a priority for the Conservatives. Certainly their manifesto makes few references to significant climate actions and their financial projections do not include any significant allocations of money to address the issue. The full debate can be found here https://www.channel4.com/programmes/channel-4-news/on-demand/69214-332
Sending Michael Gove accompanied by a Conservative TV crew to record him being barred from a leaders debate smacks of a stunt and not taking the issues seriously
For the Conservatives to say "Broadcasters have important responsibilities to present a balanced debate representing all parties, and Michael Gove was well qualified to represent the Conservative position at this evening's debate." is streching credibility. This is the same Party who in the ITV debate had stopped the Remain side of the Brexit debate being aired with their refusal to accept Jo Swinson into that debate
On BBC Newsnight a Conservative spokesman said he thought Mr Johnson was too busy to attend. Odd he found time to sip cider on a campaign visit to the west country but couldnt squeeze into his schedule a discussion about the Climate emergency
On leaving the studios, Gove was confronted by a 15-year-old climate activist, Izzy Warren, about Johnson's failure to attend and the Tories' green policies."I asked Gove why, if the Conservatives think this is a priority, the prime minister wasn't here today."
He told her that it shouldn't matter who was there to speak and that they had the most ambitious manifesto ever on climate change. "This is a party that has been in power for 10 years and we haven't seen climate action," she said. Quite So!
The Conservatives are now threatening to review Channel 4's broadcasting remit if they win the general election after the channel decided to replace Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage with melting ice sculptures during its climate change debate to signify that time is running short
A Tory source confirmed that the party would review Channel 4's public service broadcasting obligations if MrJohnson is returned to Downing Street next month. Under the proposal, first reported by BuzzFeed News, they would "look at whether its remit should be better focused so it is serving the public in the best way possible".
For a party that has doctored videos, set up websites that look like Labour ones or independent "fact checking" sites which are not independent and distributed manuals to candidates on how to smear rivals ( see https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/28/revealed-tory-candidates-issued-with-attack-manuals-on-how-to-smear-rivals) this is a bit rich!
Responding to reports that the Conservatives are threatening to review Channel 4's broadcasting remit if they win the general election, Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary
"It is appalling that the Tories are threatening Channel 4 in this way. This is a pathetic attempt to cover up for Boris Johnson's own cowardice.
"Trying to intimidate the media like this is straight out of Donald Trump's playbook and has no place in an open and inclusive democracy.
"Time and again Johnson has tried to duck scrutiny for his repeated lies and damaging Brexit plans. This election is a chance to deny Boris Johnson the majority he is taking for granted, by voting Liberal Democrat so we can take seats off the Tories across the country."