Has the Beeb made Norwich a big party stitch-up?

Has the Beeb made Norwich a big party stitch-up?

Are the rules stacked against any indie challenge?

A feature of the Norwich North by election which might have repercussions has been the way that the BBC and other broadcasters are able to deem who is a serious candidate or not.

And inevitably only those who are representing the main parties are designated the former category and get featured in the coverage. For the others we are usually told to refer to the programme’s website where there is a full list.

Now this is understandable when you get candidates like Miss GB standing on a “beauty” ticket – but I feel something is seriously wrong when someone like Craig Murray is dismissed in this way.

In the aftermath of the expenses revelations there was much speculation about the possible rise of independents – yet judging by the Norwich North by election serious candidates like Murray are going to be hard-pressed getting a look in.

Craig Murray, it will be recalled, is the human rights campaigner who was sacked as a British ambassador for refusing to condone torture and judging by his publicity material he has a very different proposition from the main parties which might just resonate.

Murray lists a whole series of problems he’s been having on his website which I think raise serious questions about the democratic process.

If ever there was a time for non-conventional candidates it is this by election. The broadcasters have got it wrong.

Declaration of interest: I do have a small bet on Murray at 33/1.

Mike Smithson

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