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Ears to the ground

Betsan Powys | 17:14 UK time, Thursday, 3 September 2009

There are plenty of subjects that are, as President Obama put it, "above my pay grade".

There are many more where it makes a lot of sense to keep stumm until those upstairs have worked things out. This particular battle - the battle to get a leaders' debate off the ground and on to the screen - is undoubtedly one of those.

Still ... it's pretty hard to avoid hearing others talking about it.

In yesterday's Times the head of Sky news, John Ryley, accepted that "some will feel angry to be excluded." Let's think ....

If a debate with the three main party leaders is broadcast in Wales without Plaid's parliamentary leader joining them, the infamous Elfyn-o-meter would almost certainly go off the scale.

What about the clear commitment to hold separate debates in Wales and Scotland? It appears that to Plaid, that partial solution sounds a little like a partial pregnancy.

Then comes the warning. In Mr Ryley's view voters would "be quick to punish any party that turns to lawyers in a vain attempt to prevent the public having the opportunity to hold its leaders to account".

Here's an educated guess: lawyers known to Plaid and there are one or two of those, will have been contacted already.

And what about UKIP and the BNP? Aren't they likely to chomp at the bit if
there's half a chance of taking on the mighty broadcasters in court?

It's hard to see how this all ends tidily. Which will cost more I wonder - the lawyers fees or a stage set twenty metres long with a rather a lot of podiums along its length?

Still ... above my pay grade.


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