THE decision by ITV to host a political debate featuring only the leaders of the Conservative and Labour parties does raise significant concerns about democratic representation and fair play, particularly for voters in Scotland and Wales as well as supporters of other political parties such as the SNP, LibDems, and Plaid Cymru. The following points arise:

1. Representation and Fairness.

Excluding the SNP – who are the third-largest party in the UK Parliament – and other significant parties like the LibDems arguably disenfranchises a substantial portion of the electorate. This is especially relevant in Scotland, where the SNP have a significant presence and represents a majority of the Scottish seats in Westminster. The exclusion also overlooks the regional significance of parties like Plaid Cymru in Wales, which might have less national representation but hold considerable sway locally.

2. Democratic Deficit.

The term “democratic deficit” refers to the situation where democratic institutions or processes fall short of fulfilling the principles of democracy in their practices or operations. By not including the SNP or other relevant parties, a large segment of voters in Scotland and Wales might feel their views and concerns are being ignored, contributing to feelings of political disenfranchisement.

This could exacerbate existing tensions around the issues of Scottish independence and the calls for more devolved powers to the regions, as it highlights the centralisation of political discourse around only two parties.

3. Impact on Voters.

For the Scottish electorate, the exclusion of the SNP means that issues pertinent to Scotland may not be adequately addressed in the debate. Similar concerns apply to Welsh voters with regard to Plaid Cymru and to those who support the LibDems.

The format may reinforce a two-party system perception, sidelining the multi-party nature of UK politics and ignoring the political plurality that exists.

4. Broadcaster Responsibility.

As a public broadcaster, ITV has a responsibility to ensure fair representation and provide a platform that reflects the political landscape of the UK. Limiting the debate to just the leaders of the two largest parties could be seen as failing to uphold this responsibility.

5. Potential Solutions.

Including leaders from the SNP, LibDems, and other significant parties in the debate could provide a more balanced and representative discussion, ensuring that a wider array of issues and perspectives are covered. Alternatively, holding multiple debates with different party configurations might ensure that all significant voices are heard while maintaining manageable debate formats.

In conclusion, the exclusion of key political parties from such debate may indeed be perceived as an affront to the democratic principles of fair representation. It is crucial for media outlets to consider the broader implications of their decisions on political engagement and democratic participation.

Peter Macari


STARMER is certainly not the charmer as he single-handedly tries to absolutely ruin the Labour Party by banishing the very MPs and members who are the bleeding heart of his party – the left-wingers and socialists! Without these people, there is not the slightest difference between Labour and the detested Tories.

Not content with telling the world he is a fan of the monster Margaret Thatcher, this slippery little fraudster – who won the leadership of his party on a litany of false, socialist promises which he soon ditched – has now built a cabinet that in a way is more Tory than the Tories, with the snake oil salesman Streeting disgusting more people by the day. Starmer has single-handedly lost more than 400,000 Labour Party members in his quest to be PM, and is now in real danger of actually losing the election on July 4, as he is being found out more by the day that he has absolutely nothing to offer different from the catastrophically abysmal Tories.

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If Labour had not been royally deceived by “Sir” Keir and had a real leader in place as their leader and not this complete and utter charlatan, they would most likely have already been built a completely unassailable lead in the polls. Make no mistake, if Starmer gets over the line it will be an unmitigated disaster – the likes of which have only ever been seen before by the quite truly bonkers Liz Truss. The question really has to be asked now though – why did Starmer not just join the hated Tories as they too are absolutely leaderless?

Scotland cannot quit this open-air prison a moment too soon and any person living up here who genuinely wants a better Scotland for themselves and their children should not even consider for a moment about voting for any London party and I fail to believe any Scot with an IQ higher than a two-week-old haggis supper would vote for Starmer or the truly sneaky, two-faced, dishonest, downright lying, silly little rich kid playing at politics, repugnant anti-Scot, Anas Sarwar.

Iain K


SINCE being called, the election campaign has been a debauched exhibition of slander, lies and mutual name-calling. Absent has been any serious analysis of the issues. All that has been present are gimmicks and gesture politics.

The result is widespread contempt from the voters. The Westminster system is morally bankrupt and on life support.

The Tories are so desperate they are proposing to bring back military conscription. This bonkers proposal involves sending the young to become cannon fodder for a wreckless war against Russia.

This plays well with the elderly uneducated bigots who make up the Tory base. They are so stupid and so uneducated, they see everything though the prism of Empire nostalgia.

Whilst the plan has been widely ridiculed, it has not been entirely dismissed by the Labour Party.

The National: Douglas Ross

The utterly risible Tory branch manager Douglas Ross had his party’s launch of their campaign.

What Ross proceeded to do was launch a 20-minute diatribe against the SNP. No mention of the corruption and utter rot the Tories have presided over the last 14 years.

The “alternative” is Sir Keir Starmer’s “party of Nato”, Zionism and austerity. In other words, no change whatsoever. His nomination for Scottish Governor General (Ian Murray a fanatical Unionist) has promised to neuter Holyrood.

Within this campaign, the status of Scotland as a colony and an afterthought have been confirmed. The third-largest party at Westminster have been excluded from the TV debate.

In the twisted reality of Western society, war criminals, warmongers, and war profiteers enjoy freedom, wealth, and rewards, while peace activists, truth-tellers, and whistleblowers languish in prisons, face assaults, and live in poverty. This election is yet another one where a government will be imposed on Scotland in an election in which it has no say.

Alan Hinnrichs


SAD, isn’t it – the oldest trick in the book, and for how much longer I wonder will people in the UK be taken for absolute morons – or whatever phrase you may choose to use – to be used by the contrickselfservative “party” ?

On Tuesday we saw them smiling their false smiles, waving a few pounds in front of pensioners to win their votes for the forthcoming General Election – the pensioners having had those pounds taken from them in taxes beforehand!

Dear, oh dear … this shows utter contempt. These are demeaning, condescending, sneering, cheap as dirt, shabby, grubby, grabby “strategic trickster techniques” for their “use then drop” means of popular control – a sewer-laden arena wherein since time immoral the contrickselfservatives have stooped to conquer.

It is about time they really grew up respecting and furthering the intelligence of the population by offering uplifting ideas and ideals / living examples of essential goodness, truth and beauty those deep and sound, universal commonsensical soulful principles into the communal mind set, not resorting to the pathetic and relentless tricks of the carrot on a string and the donkey such as Reform, Niggle Garbage and Trump have also been belching forth to brainwash people to do it their way… dragging us down to their level.

Charles Mugleston

Felixstowe, Suffolk

WHILE it’s easy to agree with the aims of Parents for Future Scotland (Letters, May 27) to contain emissions in our city centres, schemes such as Edinburgh’s low-emission zones (LEZS) are little more than a political box-ticking exercise and a gross waste of public money.

Firstly, we already have emissions tests within vehicle MOT testing. If a vehicle fails that, it is not allowed on any road far less city centres. And if those tests needed to be stricter, then that is the most cost-effective way to achieve cleaner air.

Secondly, we don’t need any private vehicles in city centres – they should all be prohibited. But councils won’t do this because of the revenue stream that is car parking charges.

Thirdly, like minimum pricing of alcohol, these LEZ schemes are an elitist policy directly aimed at the poorest in our society. Just as it’s okay to have an alcohol habit if you can afford it, so it is with LEZs which allow those who can afford it to emit noxious gases into the city centre air.

Rather than wasting money on schemes like this, wouldn’t it be better to just ban all private vehicles in cities and make public transport free at the point of use?

Then we can sack those responsible for playing politics with nonsense like this and deliver the cleaner more accessible city centres and consequent health benefits we all want.

Jim Taylor


THE Big Energy/Highland Tourism oxymoron jamboree in Inverness last week left a bitter taste in the mouths of campaigners as they battle to save rural Scotland from colonisation by those global investment companies with their eyes on the prize – mouth-watering profits burdening not only the environment and communities but every UK consumer too.

What was deeply disappointing was to see new Deputy First Minster Kate Forbes sharing the event with sponsors like controversial SSEN, two major wind developers, RES and Statkraft and the new subsidy hunter in town Field – already firing in proposals for battery storage all over the Highlands.

Field’s founder was a partner of Bulb Energy that went bust, costing UK tax payers a whopping £6.5 billion.

The collapse of the company was said to be the biggest UK scandal since the crashing downfall of RBS.

These are not people our elected representatives should be flinging down the welcome mat to let alone share a business event with.

All these developers are determined to crush community opposition and help industrialise rural Scotland into a place no right-thinking tourist would ever want to visit. Big Energy and Tourism are in an arranged marriage of convenience for the developers, not Highland hospitality. It is a sinister attempt to make what they do appear more acceptable while mocking the intelligence of the electorate.

Kate Forbes will lose the Highlands if she continues backing and enabling Big Energy against the wishes of her constituents. She and others in government need to fix their monumental wrongs of the past and put the Scottish people first above the energy colonisers.

They must protect rural Scotland and her communities or watch their political gravy train come off the rails as the electorate switch the points to send them all hurtling down the track into political obscurity.

Lyndsey Ward

Spokeswoman for Communities B4 Power Companies

KEIR Starmer, again, maintained Labour’s traditional continuity stance on outflanking the official Tories from the right. Not only that, he managed to go even further. He seems to be ready to break all his election promises before he even gets the keys to Number 10.

Also, magnificently, he has managed to make Labour “reformists” and fellow British national chauvinists look like socialist revolutionaries and an English “Red Wall”, look like socialists. As the Sunderland shipyard workers said, “Boris has our backs”. Labour have Scotland’s backs and should never be allowed back into Scotland after all they’ve done in the past to ruin Scotland and her economy.

Donald Anderson