So biased, the BBC aren't even aware of it

Because of the way the human eye is designed, we each have a blind spot. The problem is that we're all so used to it that we're not usually aware that we have one. Such is the case with the BBC.

Any reasonable person might have thought that the row over the upcoming party leader's debates on the BBC, ITV and Sky would have made the BBC look hard at how they approached other programmes in the run up to May's election—not least the ones that they alone are responsible for—but the Politics Show yesterday proved that they haven't taken a blind bit of notice.

It was an extended hour-long question and answer session with Gordon Brown (followed by the usual 15 minute regional opt out). Next week Nick Clegg will be given the same place in the media spotlight, and it will be David Cameron's turn the week after.

So what should the BBC do?

Simple. Having devoted three hour-long sessions to three of the elected parties who stand in the next election, the BBC have a duty to give the same opportunity to both Plaid Cymru and the SNP in Wales and Scotland. Because the Politics Show already has a UK/regional split, it would be very simple to change that split for one week to have 15 minutes of UK content, followed by the remainder of the show being devoted entirely to a similar question and answer session with Ieuan Wyn Jones in Wales and Alex Salmond in Scotland. I would even be prepared to see the compromise of this being a 45 minute session, so that the Politics show would fit into its usual 60 minute slot. Viewers in England would have a mix of regional or England-only content during this time.

It is a practical and easily implemented solution that will give Plaid Cymru and the SNP the same exposure in Wales and Scotland as the other three parties get. No special favours, just simple equality of treatment. And it would of course not be confined to Welsh and Scottish issues, since both parties have policies for the UK as a whole. In Plaid's case pensions and the treatment of our service personnel after they leave the forces; for the SNP immigration and nuclear arms; and for both parties issues such as Britain's transport infrastructure ... though of course the actual questions would be posed by those invited to participate.

No, this doesn't solve the problem of the BBC/ITV/Sky debates between the three other party leaders. But why should the BBC—who after all have a special duty of balance—repeat the same mistake again?

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