Yorkshire Election Broadcasts

Rumour has it that the Yorkshire Party is looking to field as many as 30 candidates in the forthcoming general election. That would be quite an achievement for such a small party, but the impact could be muted if the party receives insufficient media coverage. Whilst perhaps not that significant overall, party political broadcasts do have an impact. The current OFCOM rules on Party Political and Referendum Broadcasts, however, do not recognise the English regions and, therefore, English regional parties; such as the Yorkshire Party, in particular, as it is one of the largest; are at a significant disadvantage.

Paragraph 17 of the OFCOM rules states: “In determining allocations of PEBs (Party Election Broadcasts) at elections, the four nations of the UK should be considered separately. Paragraph 15 states: “Registered parties should qualify for a PEB if they are contesting one sixth or more of the seats up for election in the case of first-past-the-post, multi-constituency elections such as a General Election.”

This leads to the ridiculous situation where the Yorkshire Party would have to field 89 candidates before it would be entitled to a party election broadcast whilst the Scottish National Party would only have to field 10 candidates; Plaid Cymru 7; and the Northern Ireland parties 3. There are only 59 constituencies in the whole of Yorkshire.

There are many issues around what constitutes a nation state which I don’t want to get into here because it is an argument that can go on and on. Let us just accept that the nation state is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and that all regions and states are subordinate to that. Why then, should Yorkshire be discriminated against in this fashion? You could say that the situation of Yorkshire is tenuous but only because it has been subverted and discriminated against by detractors in Westminster over the years. Unlike Scotland, Wales and even London, it has not had sufficient individuals of standing willing to speak up for our rights. This needs to change now!

Let us not forget that if Yorkshire is in a tenuous position, then so is England because England does not even have a government it can call its own. (So, if Yorkshire does not have the status of a region, it could equally be deduced that England does not meet the criteria of a nation.)

This outrageous political discrimination against the English regions and Yorkshire, in particular, should end forthwith. English regional parties should be treated in the same way as the SNP, Plaid and the Northern Irish parties. In other words, Yorkshire regional political parties should be granted PEBs if they put up 10 or more candidates. If this does not happen, then we should consider creating our own regional broadcaster. It will be difficult, expensive and time consuming, but it will be worth it in the long run.

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