Labour didn’t lose the election in 2015….

…it lost it a lot earlier than that. It lost it in 2010 – not by its conduct in what was always likely to be a disastrous election, but in its reaction to that election. It lost it through cowardice, through short-termism, and through  what must have felt like political expediency at the time. It lost it by failing to challenge the Tory (and to an extent Lib Dem and UKIP) attempts to rewrite history, and to set a new agenda. It lost it by failing to stand up for itself, by failing to stand up for exactly those people that Labour was created to support and protect. It lost it by failing to stand up for the truth – and by failing to challenge a whole range of myths.

The first of those myths is the most obvious – the cause and nature of the economic crisis. Labour didn’t cause the crisis. Labour’s spending – whether you think it ‘overspending’ or not – was neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things – and yet almost the first we’ve heard of this from Labour has been in the 2015 campaign, and then almost apologetically. Labour should have been shouting this from the rooftops continuously from 2010, and should be shouting it still. And yet even now it’s a bit half-hearted, and every time a Labour MP says ‘no, we didn’t overspend’ it is greeted with shock! ‘Of course they overspent, everyone knows that’ seems to be the reaction – and that’s mostly because for five long years they’ve hardly dared mention it.

The next of the myths is the myth of the scrounger – fed and supported by poverty porn like Benefits Street, nurtured daily by the Daily Mail, but also seemingly accepted and agreed with by Labour spokespeople from Liam Byrne to Rachel Reeves. A myth, nonetheless – in scale, particularly. Yes, of course there are ‘scroungers’, but the numbers are relatively minuscule and the significance of benefit fraud and ‘living on benefits’ is overstated in almost every way. And yet Labour do not dare challenge it – for fear of being seen as ‘soft’. It’s not ‘soft’ to tell the truth. Indeed, it would be much braver to tell the truth. Too brave for Labour. And yet every time this fake ‘toughness’ is shown by Labour, the myth grows, and Labour’s future chances diminish. If poor people are really scroungers, then we should place our trust in those who can properly deal with them – the Tories. Each time Labour feeds this myth, it puts another nail in its own coffin. Every word of Liam Byrne, every article in the Guardian by Rachel Reeves hammers those nails in.

The third myth is about immigration – a two-fold myth, first of all that immigration is bad, and secondly that Labour got it ‘wrong’ by letting in too many people. By having an ‘open doors’ immigration policy. And yet all of these are myths. All the evidence suggests that immigration is beneficial in a wide variety of ways. It doesn’t cause unemployment or even depress wages. Benefits tourism and health tourism are particularly pernicious myths: immigrants are net contributors financially and the NHS relies on immigrant labour at every level, from surgeons to cleaners. And yet we get apologetic statements from people at the top in Labour, we get ‘Controls on Immigration’ on mugs and the Ed-Stone. And, just as for social security, every bit of ‘toughness’ is another nail in Labour’s coffin – feeding the execrable UKIP as well as the Tories. And still Labour keeps on hammering those nails home.

And the side effects of accepting these myths are hideous. The first makes austerity look ‘sensible’ and ‘necessary’ rather than ideological brutality. It means that the real causes of the problems are largely ignored – and that just makes further disasters more likely. The second creates division, ferments hatred of people on benefits and in particular of disabled people – and indeed fuels violence against them – as well as building shame in those who find themselves needing help, shame that can be deeply, deeply damaging. The third fosters racism and xenophobia – it has pumped up the rabid nastiness of UKIP and others, allowed hideous laws like the Immigration Act 2014 that entrenches racism in the law by making landlords and employers suspicious of anyone they suspect might be an immigrant: anyone who looks or sounds ‘foreign’. All this could and should have been opposed – not just because it’s based on lies and innuendo but because it is deeply and dangerously damaging. And yet, rather than opposing it, Labour has largely fed the myths themselves. Out of fear, it would seem, more than anything else.

So no, Labour didn’t lose the election in 2015. They had already lost it long before. And unless they take a genuinely difficult decision and start to tell the truth, and start to stand up for what they believe is right rather than what they think the electorate will find attractive, they’ll keep on losing. They’ll keep on doing their very best to destroy their own party – and letting down the people who their party was formed to support.

It may well be too late already. All these myths have taken hold very strongly indeed – and it would be very, very hard to fight them. I doubt very much Labour is up for that fight, even if it wants to be.

That British Bill of Rights…

The much discussed ‘British Bill of Rights’ is already being drafted. I can exclusively bring you some extracts* of the current draft.


Article 1 – Right to Life

Everyone shall have the right to life, unless their death is deemed necessary in the interests of national security, or if they cannot afford the relevant insurance to pay for hospital bills.

—-

Article 6 – Right to a Fair Trial

Everyone shall have the right to a fair trial unless they cannot afford it or the Home Secretary should decide that such a trial is not necessary in the interests of national security

—-

Article 8 – Right to a Private Life

Everyone shall have the right to respect for their private and family life, except if any intrusion in that private or family life is performed by the police, the security services, tabloid newspapers, Google, Facebook or any other commercial enterprise as agreed with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

—-

Article 10 – Right to Freedom of Expression

Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers, except if such information is deemed unsuitable, extreme, or otherwise inappropriate by the Home Secretary, the Prime Minister, Rupert Murdoch, Paul Dacre or the Taxpayers Alliance

—-

Article 11 – Freedom of assembly and association

Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, excluding the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests, and excluding any form of assembly or association that the Home Secretary should deem disorderly, embarrassing, annoying or otherwise objectionable.

—-

Article 12 – Right to Marriage

Everyone has the right to marry and found a family, but the choice of partner shall be considered subject to approval by the Home Secretary, the Minister for Inequality and the media.

—-

Scope of these rights

These rights shall be accorded to all British Citizens, except Scots, Welsh people, Irish people, those who the Home Secretary determines are undeserving of rights, or decides to strip citizenship from, or are determined by the media to be scroungers, immigrants or children of immigrants, internet trolls or persons otherwise objectionable in what the Prime Minister deems to be a democratic society.”


This is understood to be the current draft, but it is believed that certain members of the cabinet believe these rights are too extensive and too generous.

*This may not actually be the real thing.

Denial isn’t a river in Africa – it’s an election in the UK

Just a few words after a depressing but somehow familiar-feeling election. My overwhelming sense is that many of us – and I certainly include myself in this – have been in denial, before, during and now after the election.

The Lib Dems have been in denial about the reality of their coalition for pretty much the whole of the five years, right up until the end. They were in denial about what the coalition did. They were in denial about how it looked to the electorate. They were in denial about the extent of the carnage that lay ahead – and even now they’re in denial about the reason for their catastrophe. I’ve had Lib Dems blame people like me for ‘talking them down’ and for pushing the ‘myth’ of their betrayal…

The number of things the Labour Party have been in denial about is probably too huge to even guess – but the denial about what happened to them in Scotland is the biggest. Even a few weeks ago they were still denying the extent of the likely disaster, and even now they seem to have very little idea of why it happened. They are still, to an extent at least, blaming the electorate – suggesting that people have deluded themselves about what the SNP really is, and that they’ll soon come to their senses. They’re in denial about the details – about the vote where Ed Balls (sigh…) voted in favour of austerity, suggesting that he didn’t, and that he avoided Osborne’s trap. He didn’t avoid a trap – he blundered right into it like a blindfolded elephant.

UKIP are (and have always been) in denial about the whole nature of their party – even this morning I had one of their supporters taking me to task for suggesting they were racists, since they had some Sikh and Polish candidates. Yes, some of their best candidates are black… but… And they were no less in denial about their own electoral prospects – a few weeks ago, they were talking about five or six seats. One was always the most likely, and that was more about personal loyalty to Carswell.

And the Tories? Or rather their supporters? They’re in denial about the harm that their policies will bring to vulnerable people, to the legal system, and much, much more. They really believe there is no ‘real’ poverty in this country – just relative poverty, where people watch big screen TVs and play with their Wiis… They really believe that disabled people aren’t going to suffer – and those that do are mostly faking.

It’s that denial that’s the worst of all. And people are already suffering as a result….

Why I’m voting Labour in Cambridge

I’ve finally decided how to vote – as I’ve blogged before, in Princess Bride style, it’s been very hard to decide how to vote in Cambridge. Cambridge is a strange seat – over the last few decades we’ve had Tory, Labour and Lib Dem MPs – and at present it is a Lib Dem/Labour marginal. The sitting MP, Julian Huppert, is a good man, a local man, and one of very few MPs who understands the internet, something that really matters to me. And yet, after today, I can’t either support him, or vote Green (I’m a Green party member) which might effectively support him. Instead, I feel that I have to vote Labour. Why? For one simple reason: it looks very much as though the Lib Dems would prop up a Tory government.

Nick Clegg has been the persuasive factor. Today, he’s been saying things that confirm that, to all intents and purposes, he would prefer to go into coalition with the Tories. There are many reasons for him to prefer that – but even the suggestion means that I have to vote against the Lib Dems.

The ‘logic’ that Nick Clegg has used is that he would do a deal with the ‘largest party’, and he has suggested that this would be the ‘legitimate’ thing to do – though constitutionally this is entirely unconvincing. Rather, it looks like an entirely self-serving suggestion. And it’s worse than that. Choosing which party to form an alliance with based solely on the number of seats they win is a morally bankrupt position: it’s like choosing who to have a relationship with based on the amount in their bank balance. Would anyone with any morals do that at all? Don’t you choose your partners on whether you like them or not? Whether you get on well together? Whether you’re compatible? The same, surely, has to be true of political alliances – unless your party has no morals, no objectives, no policies, surely you would choose which party to ally with on the basis of their policies, first and foremost, or their politicians themselves – their trustworthiness, and so forth? Clegg isn’t saying that. He’s saying that his party is open to offers from whoever has the most seats. If he really doesn’t care about their policies, then what kind of morality does that suggest?

If, on the other hand, the Lib Dems choose to cozy up to the Tories because they prefer their policies, then I’m even more worried. Which of the Tories’ policies do they like? The brutality of their policies towards vulnerable people? The illiberalism of Grayling’s legal policies? The xenophobia of the immigration policies? The divisiveness of their tax policies? The Govean attempts to bring education back to the ‘golden age’ of division and discarding those deemed unworthy?

None of that sounds very convincing as a reason for the Lib Dems to cozy up to the Tories. It’s easy, on the other hand, to see why Clegg himself should like to cozy up to the Tories: it looks very much as though his survival as an MP will depend on Tory defectors. The polls suggest that the Tory voters like Clegg – and one of the main reasons for that is how compliant Clegg has been in coalition.

That, then, brings the biggest and most worrying thing of all – and the ultimate reason why it would seem wrong not to oppose the Lib Dems in every way. The Independent, in their leader, suggested that the best result would be another Conservative/Lib Dem coalition, but one that is more liberal and less conservative. The problem is, exactly the opposite would be inevitable should the Lib Dems ally with the Tories. How could the Lib Dems exert more leverage this time around, if they had half the number of MPs that they had before? And how likely is it that the Tories would be anything but more conservative? The few ‘liberals’ amongst their ranks have been sidelined or discarded – Dominic Grieve and Ken Clarke for example – whilst the hardliners have been kept or promoted. Iain Duncan Smith. Chris Grayling.

No, any new Tory/Lib Dem coalition would be almost certain to be much more conservative, more extreme than this one – and that is too hideous not to oppose in every way possible. That, in Cambridge, means voting Labour, even if that means voting against one of the best MPs in the house. If he was really as independent as he sometimes claims, I would vote for him – but he isn’t. He’s too decent, and too loyal to a leader and a party that does not deserve his loyalty – and for that reason I have to vote against him.

So, though I have huge misgivings about Labour, from their immigration and civil liberties policies onwards, I have to vote for them. There is no real choice, now that the Lib Dems have shown their hand.

The Cambridge Election: Princess Bride Style


Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 09.59.32

“So, Paul,” the man said. “There are five cups before you. One labelled Julian Huppert (LD), one labelled Daniel Zeichner (LAB), one labelled Rupert Read (GREEN), one labelled Chamali Fernando (Conservative), one labelled Patrick O’Flynn (UKIP). Four of the cups contain deadly poison. One contains wine. Which one will you drink?”

“Come, you’re a clever man, you know about politics, you care about things, surely you know which one you should drink?”

I stared at the cups, eyes widening. The man smiled, wickedly.

“Come on, Paul. You were at school with Patrick. Surely you’ll vote for your old school friend?”

I reached out, and took the cup labelled UKIP – and immediately threw it into the grass. “That’s a trap,” I said to the man. “No-one with a brain or a heart would ever vote UKIP. And I have a brain and a heart. At least I think so.”

The man smiled again. “So what about Chamali? She’s a lawyer. You teach law. Surely you’ll vote for her.”

I reached out again, and took the cup labelled Conservative – and threw it just as far as I threw the UKIP one. “Any lawyer worth his salt wouldn’t touch the Conservatives. I know what Grayling has done to our legal system. And anyway, I told you, I have a heart. No-one with a heart would vote Conservative. Another trap.”

The man’s smile became even broader. He waved his hand at the remaining three cups. Now, both he and I knew, it was a lot harder. I swallowed, looking at the three cups: Julian, Daniel or Rupert.

“Tell me,” the man said. “Which will you drink? You don’t have long. You have to choose, or the choice will be made for you.”

“I know, I know,” I said, looking once more from cup to cup.

“So what are you thinking?”

I looked at Julian’s cup. “I could vote for Julian,” I said. “He’s been a good constituency MP. He’s probably the best MP in the house in terms of the internet. He even understands surveillance. He, like me, is on the Advisory Committee of the Open Rights Group. He even opposed the rise in tuition fees. I like him. He’s a good man.”

“So drink!”

“But if I vote for Julian, and he wins, but the Tories are the largest party, then his boss Nick Clegg says they’ll work with the Tories. So we’ll have another coalition, more austerity, more division, more and nastier cuts, horrible things for education, for vulnerable people. More deaths. More demonisation. More general nastiness. So I can’t possibly vote for Julian.”

I hesitated, and didn’t pick up Julian’s cup and discard it as I had the Tory and UKIP cups.

“So drink from Daniel’s cup?”

“I could,” I said with a slight smile. “And a Labour government would be notably more protective of the vulnerable and of public services – neutral analysis of the figures make that very clear, even if Labour are still much more in favour of austerity than I’d like.”

“So drink!”

“But if I vote for Daniel, and Labour win a majority, then Yvette Cooper will be Home Secretary. We’ll have a crack down on civil liberties in the name of counter terrorism. And we’ll have full scale internet surveillance as soon as she can make it happen. So, I can’t possibly vote for Daniel.”

I smiled, but this time it wasn’t a happy smile. But I didn’t throw away Daniel’s cup either. The man grinned again.

“Rupert’s cup then? Go on, take a drink.”

“I’d like to vote for Rupert. I’m a member of the Green Party. I think their heart is very much in the right place. Their policies on austerity, on Trident, on civil liberties, on surveillance and so on are great. Even their copyright policy which people have been laughing at isn’t actually as bad as people think. And at least they’re thinking about the subject, which the others are mostly ignoring. Rupert’s even a colleague of mine at UEA.”

I hesitated again.

“But if I vote for Rupert, he won’t win. If by voting for him I let Julian win, then the Tories might be in government again and we have more smashing of the vulnerable, destruction of the NHS, the legal system and so on. And if by voting for Rupert I let Daniel win, and we could have more surveillance and more of a crack down on civil liberties again. So I can’t possibly vote for Rupert.”

The man opened his hands wide. I held up mine, to stop him speaking.

“So I’m back to Julian. Should I drink from his cup? But he hasn’t even ruled out an alliance with UKIP, or with the DUP, so if I vote for him I might help those two who are worse extremists even than the Tories, so I can’t possibly vote for Julian.”

I pushed Julian’s cup aside, and it teetered and tottered, but didn’t quite fall.

“So perhaps I should drink from Daniel after all. But that means Rachel Reeves in charge of the DWP, and more ‘toughness’ and more ‘hardworking people’. And what’s more, he wrote disparagingly about Tony Benn immediately after Benn’s death. So I can’t possibly vote for Daniel.”

“But..”

“I haven’t finished! So perhaps I should drink from Rupert’s cup. I don’t know which is worse, Julian or Daniel, so perhaps I shouldn’t care and I should vote with my conscience, for the policies. But I know Rupert was very rude to some people I know at a hustings. So I can’t possibly vote for Rupert.”

I sat back, closed my eyes, stuck my finger in the air, then reached out for a cup at random and drained it.

The man laughed.

“Did I chose the wrong cup?” I asked him, feeling myself gasping for breath.

“It didn’t matter,” the man said quietly. “I lied to you. There was poison in all five cups. Whichever you drank you were doomed.”

No, Mr Hammond, the debate has barely begun…

In a speech to the Royal United Services Institute yesterday (the text of which can be found here) Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond suggested that the debate over privacy and security, over mass surveillance and the role, tactics and practices of the intelligence and security services, was nearly over. In his words, after the current reviews by the Intelligence and Security Committee (the ISC) and the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, both of which are due to report shortly, “we should draw a line under the debate”.  I have one simple and direct response to that. No, Mr Hammond, it isn’t time to ‘draw a line’. The debate isn’t over: it has barely begun.

In his speech, Hammond highlights and praises the role played by the ISC. As he puts it:

“I regard the independent scrutiny and oversight that the ISC provides as a particular and significant strength of the British system.”

Is he talking about the same ISC that put on a public show in November 2013, a public hearing that was little more than theatre, carefully scripted, where the anodyne questions were given in advance to the heads of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ so that they could prepare the answers? The same ISC which failed to notice that, as ruled by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal last month, GCHQ had been acting unlawfully in its surveillance activities for seven years? The same ISC whose chair, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, cheerfully admitted to me at a round table event that formed part of the aforementioned review that he did not understand the most important piece of legislation governing interception and surveillance, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act. That same Sir Malcolm Rifkind who had to resign from his position as Chair of the ISC for being duped into offering his services to a fake Chinese company – and even now does not seem to acknowledge that in his position taking a role for a Chinese company might provide some sort of conflict of interest?

No, Mr Hammond, the ISC does not provide the kind of ‘independent scrutiny and oversight’ that is needed – indeed, we don’t just need a review by the ISC, we need a full review of the ISC, so that it has some degree of real independence, so that it has the ability and knowledge, the understanding of the technology and the law that is needed in order to provide real ‘scrutiny and oversight’. Right now, it isn’t a ‘particular strength of the British system’ but very much the opposite. Its existence might suggest we have oversight: in practice, we really don’t.

And how can we draw a line under the debate when even the terms of that debate are still confused? As I’ve written before, the characterisation of the debate is – either deliberately or ignorantly – miscast. Rifkind characterised it as ‘individual privacy vs collective security’ – failing to grasp either that privacy is far from an individual right (indeed, its main function is one about relationships between people, and it underpins collective rights like freedom of assembly and association, and indeed freedom of expression) or that it isn’t really a ‘balance’, or that people want one or the other. People don’t want privacy or security – they want both, and they should be able to have both.

Phillip Hammond continues this mischaracterisation in his speech, referring to the “balancing act between the privacy we desire and the security we need”. No, Mr Hammond, privacy isn’t something we ‘desire’ – it’s something we need. It is a right, a right reflected in all the significant Human Rights documents, and in the Universal Declaration of Human Right and the European Convention on Human Rights in particular, both of which the UK is a party to. A qualified right, of course, but a right nonetheless, and to portray it as something we ‘desire’ is to downplay its significance, something that advocates of authoritarianism appear very keen to do. Privacy isn’t a selfish whim, it’s a fundamental right – and privacy on the internet is becoming more, not less, important these days as we spend more time and put more of our lives online. It is not something to be downplayed, but something to be taken more and more seriously.

So, Mr Hammond, no. No line can be drawn under the debate. As well as the two reviews mentioned in the speech, there are a whole series of legal challenges to the various activities of the intelligence services and others, not just in the UK but all over the world. The debate is only just starting – and if you expect privacy advocates, civil liberties advocates and others to stop campaigning, I’m afraid you’re very much mistaken. Others have recognised this – last Friday I was part of a seminar organised by the Association of Chief Police Officers into the ethics of policing the internet, the debate about which the police believe is only just starting.

Indeed, no line should be drawn under the debate: these debates need to continue forever. The watchmen need to be watched.  The price of liberty is eternal vigilance – and that includes vigilance over the authorities, not just by the authorities.

Debates, impartiality, Cameron and Chickens…

[AMENDED TO REFLECT THAT THE BBC TRUST RATHER THAN OFCOM ADMINISTER THE RULES]

The saga of the TV debates for the General Election has rumbled on over the weekend. The accusations that David Cameron is ‘chickening out’ of the debates have been gaining in volume, and the broadcasters let it be known that they might ’empty chair’ Cameron if he continues to refuse to participate. Then, on Sunday, a story appeared in the Independent that suggested that the real chickens won’t be Cameron but the BBC. According to the Independent, the BBC are trying to avoid confronting Cameron, and are even considering giving him a separate programme if he ducks out of the planned debate.

‘Sources at the BBC’ have told the Independent that:

“…to comply with election and Ofcom rules about impartiality, if it hosts a debate without Mr Cameron, it would feel compelled to let him have his own programme, an in-depth interview or allow an extended party political broadcast. It is believed that the other broadcasters would follow a similar approach as the BBC.”

But can this actually be true? On the face of it, this appears to be the opposite of impartiality – indeed, it appears to be rewarding Cameron for his avoiding the debates. The BBC’s rules on impartiality are derived from the Communications Act 2003 (as amended) and the Broadcasting Act 1996 (as amended) – that is, they are backed up by legislation. They are effectively similar to those rules set out in the Ofcom Broadcasting Code (which can be found online here), though it is the BBC Trust rather than Ofcom who administer the rules. There are two things immediately worthy of note:

  1. That the words in the act – including the word impartiality – are generally to be interpreted literally; and
  2. That there is no specific guidance about debates – mainly because debates are not a traditional part of the electoral process in the UK.

Still, it should be possible to work out what the rules mean in this context. The relevant parts of the code are as follows:

5.5 Due impartiality on matters of political or industrial controversy and matters relating to current public policy must be preserved on the part of any person providing a service (listed above). This may be achieved within a programme or over a series of programmes taken as a whole.
Meaning of “series of programmes taken as a whole”:
This means more than one programme in the same service, editorially linked, dealing with the same or related issues within an appropriate period and aimed at a like audience. A series can include, for example, a strand, or two programmes (such as a drama and a debate about the drama) or a ‘cluster’ or ‘season’ of programmes on the same subject.

No precise guidance is given about how to apply this to debates – because, as noted above, there is no guidance specifically about debates. You could, and perhaps the BBC is, interpret the piece about ‘series of programmes taken as a whole’ to mean that another programme would fit the bill, but helpfully there is an extra bit of guidance in the section on elections that seems to establish the principle. This is in Section 6, which applies to elections, though about ‘[c]onstituency coverage and electoral area coverage in election':

6.9 If a candidate takes part in an item about his/her particular constituency, or electoral area, then candidates of each of the major parties must be offered the opportunity to take part. (However, if they refuse or are unable to participate, the item may nevertheless go ahead.)

So what does this all mean? Well, first of all, it seem entirely clear that the Ofcom Broadcasting Code does not ‘require’ the BBC or other broadcasters to offer Cameron his own programme. As I’ve mentioned twice before, there are no specific rules about debates that would bind them in this way. Indeed, as also shown, the general approach should be the opposite: the rules about specific constituency events should set the principle: if someone refuses or is unable to participate, as long as they have been offered the opportunity (and Cameron has) the debates should nevertheless still go ahead.

Indeed, impartiality should mean that if the BBC does offer Cameron a separate programme, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg (and potentially others) should be able to demand one for themselves. I suspect each of these leaders’ advisers has already worked this out – if they haven’t, they should have!

Personally, I rather dislike the debates – they make our electoral system seem too ‘presidential’, they increase the focus on personality rather than policy, and they end up giving ‘telegenic’ politicians an advantage that may bear little relation to their intelligence, morality etc etc – but if we are to have them, we should be fair about it. If Cameron thinks they’re a bad idea, he should have been honest about that from the start – but he wasn’t.

I’m not sure Cameron is a ‘chicken’ about this – I suspect he’s making precise calculations about risks and benefits – but if the BBC is really trying to suggest that they are bound to give him his own programme, I think they really are being chickens, and that there is certainly not the obligation on them that has been suggested. They should be simple and straightforward: if Cameron wants to be included, include him. if he doesn’t, then go ahead anyway. That’s what the law, and the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, as I see it, requires. The BBC Trust, who follow the same legislation that backs up the Ofcom rules, should follow the same rules.