Labour’s plan to make televised debates between party leaders compulsory in the run-up to a general election have been roundly mocked as critics asked if the Prime Minister would be jailed for failing to take part.
Ed Miliband has announced that if elected Labour would pass legislation creating a commission to put live television jousts at the heart of every future general election campaign.
Alex Salmond, the former SNP leader, said he supported having TV debates but added: “Could you actually pass a law which says that somebody has to turn up at a TV debate?
“What do you do when David Cameron doesn’t turn up? Shall we stick him in the clink, do we put him in Wandsworth [prison] or somewhere?”
Standard prodnose reaction to everything, isn’t it. And that, I’m afraid, is why I so despise Miliboy.
The English way is not to have a law about such things. It is to have some expectations, socially enforced, and open to reasoned argument. Law is about only those things that must be done. Which is why we’re so generally a law abiding nation. That’s always been the deal. Laws are only for things that must be done so we do obey them. The moment you open the floodgates and have laws about (say, whether you can smoke with a pint) trivia then that trivialises all the other laws.
We learnt this some centuries ago. When defacing Westminster Bridge carried the death sentence we found that juries would not convict for defacing Westminster Bridge.
The law is important so should only be for important things.