As the Tories failed yet again to show on Channel 4, Cathy Newman spoke on their behalf

Cathy Newman
Peadar O'Cearnaigh

On 8 December, Cathy Newman hosted Channel 4’s Britain Decides: Everything But Brexit Debate. Representatives from five of the UK’s main political parties debated the 2019 election issues apart from Brexit. And as it has done throughout this election campaign, the Conservative Party continued its tradition of not showing up.

But its non-appearance didn’t seem to matter that much, as Newman interjected at several points throughout the debate to answer on its behalf. And judging by the public’s reaction, people are utterly sick of this disrespectful and shameful Tory attitude.

It would hardly go unnoticed

This point wasn’t lost on the panel that did show up. Labour’s shadow education secretary Angela Rayner called it out:

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It’s a no show from the Tories

It goes without saying that political parties must face the electorate they want to lead. This way the public gets to cross examine their policies. So it’s really sad for democracy that the governing party has balked on so many occasions during this campaign.

The Conservative Party wasn’t there to answer for its appalling record on the NHS, climate change, or child poverty. But in any case, Newman saved it the trip. People watching clearly noticed this and they weren’t in the least bit happy:

Although one person believed the Tories actually were there, but had merely taken a different form:

Johnson’s “cock up”

And surprisingly, it was perhaps Boris Johnson who gave the best explanation for his party’s absence. Perhaps he feels his party is guilty of one too many a “cock up” which no amount of “sensible” debating could ever hope to compensate for:

If you can’t take it…

The Conservative Party’s attitude towards the debates and interviews in this election is an insult to the British people. It quite simply doesn’t want to answer to the public for its appalling record in government. It’s unprepared to appear unless it can manufacture some kind of cheap publicity stunt.

But it’s voters who have the final say, and they can make a shameful and unresponsive government pay this coming Thursday. More importantly, they can replace it with one that actually does care.

Featured image via Twitter – Channel 4

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    1. Having the chairwoman of a debate speak up for the Tories in their absence is just an outrage. Just as in the past they spoke of the “political machine” like in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia, this coming together of the Tory Party, the media, finance and the means of production is a neo-liberal machine. It’s a sinister development in neo-liberalism as it nears its end but clings desperately to survival.

      Even Tory voters must have blushed and thought what are we coming to. I still think they intend to steal the election from Corbyn–hence the lies about leading the polls–but I think the numbers who may turn out for him may make it too big to rig, though in the Brexit north they may be able to pare his numbers.

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