THE BBC’s continued refusal to cover Gwlad at this election remains a complete mystery.
The party are now to submit a complaint to Ofcom about the corporation’s decision to exclude the party from its official election website .
On March 23rd, the BBC published its original list of parties standing at Election on its website, with a note to say this would be updated at final date of party registration (April 8th).
This revised list was then published a week ago (April 12th), making no mention of Gwlad, although three other parties with fewer candidates are covered.
Despite having brought this to their attention immediately, the necessary information is STILL not provided on their website (as of this morning, Monday, April 19th).
During a phone call to the BBC on Friday, a party representative was told the corporation was ‘looking into the matter’, but there was no guarantee that an answer would be forthcoming before May 6th (date of election).
In a further sleight of hand, the BBC have now deleted their March 23rd announcement saying they would revise their list after party registration day!
Covering their tracks apparently in anticipation of this anomaly being made public. Unfortunately for them, we have a screenshot of that original announcement.
Other sections of the media are also starting to pick up on this strange exclusion, with The National’s Gareth Axenderrie writing on Saturday:
‘Gwlad, a conservative nationalist party has not just been left out of the debates, but appear to have been left out of the BBC’ s coverage altogether’.
With a week having passed since the omission was brought to their attention, and no action taken to redress the situation, questions must be asked about the BBC’s real motivations with all this.
Gwlad have said from the outset that the party is not targeting Plaid voters as such at this Election, but rather the pro-Wales voters who usually go with Labour or the Tories.
You could describe these voters as ‘quite soft unionists’ in effect, and we know for sure that there are thousands upon thousands of these voters who are fed up with both Labour and the Tories.
They probably will never vote for Plaid because of ideological reasons, but they may well be tempted to go for a more pragmatic nationalist party, offering a new start for Wales.
Hence the BBC – the main arm of the establishment – doing their utmost to prevent these voters from hearing Gwlad’s messages.
It seems to be a clear case of shoring up the unionist vote by any means, fair or foul.
Gwlad’s complaint to Ofcom will refer to their own guidelines for media election coverage based on Communications Act of 2003 .
These say that coverage should be predicated on past electoral support, but that ‘appropriate coverage to parties with significant views and perspectives’ should also be provided.
Well, there’s hardly any more significant views at a Welsh election than a party with an officially approved designation as ‘The Welsh Independence Party’!
But with the BBC arrogantly thinking they can still set the parameters for the whole election, the word on the ground is looking very different.
Gwlad candidate Rhydian Hughes had a very good reception when leafleting in both rural and urban settings in Clwyd West over the weekend.
‘People were telling me they are fed up of all the usual parties, and very keen to hear about our message’ said Rhydian.
‘For example, there was a group of young lads in Mochdre yesterday supporting Welsh Independence and wanting more of our leaflets to share with their mates.’
`The reception I’ve had so far as given me a big boost – you can really sense that change is in the air’ he added.
The old legacy media such as the BBC are struggling desperately to hold on to their power and influence – and over-playing their hand.
Meanwhile, people on the ground are turning away in droves – responding instead to real people with real passion for the cause.