We Asked 11 Obscure Political Parties If They Should Be In The TV Debates
The Greens think they should be involved, but what about the Beer, Baccy, and Crumpets party?
David Cameron has pledged that he won't take part in the TV leader debates before the general election unless the Green party is invited.
But what about the other political parties in the UK? BuzzFeed News asked 11 small parties if they think they should get an invite to debate alongside Cameron, Miliband, and Clegg.
1. The Beer, Baccy, and Crumpets party
Ray Hall (pictured to the left of William Hague) is the leader of the Beer, Baccy, and Crumpets party, which is fighting to abolish excise duty on draught beer.
He said his party will contest all 650 seats in the general election, at a cost of £325,000 in deposits, and therefore deserves a debating podium alongside Cameron, Miliband, and Clegg.
"Yes, we should definitely have a place at the debate," said Hall. "I think democracy needs new blood to survive, and a debate that excludes new ideas is
a waste of time and simply perpetuates stagnation. Je suis Charlie, almost."
2. Justice for Men and Boys (And the Women Who Love Them)
Mike Buchanan, the leader of the anti-feminist Justice For Men and Boys party, is adamant that he should take his rightful place alongside the main party leaders, although he's not convinced the Green party deserves to join him.
"We should definitely be taking part in the leader debates, whether the Greens are there or not," said Buchanan. "We're the only party in the country which isn't institutionally anti-male, so we represent half the electorate – there are no women who are damaged by the way the country is run, but almost every man is.
"I think five parties – the main three, UKIP, and us – is the right combination, although I wouldn't necessarily stop the Greens from taking part."
3. The Church of the Militant Elvis party
Lord Biro, who leads the Church of the Militant Elvis party, doesn't have a television in his house so he isn't particularly bothered if he's on the debates or not. However, he'd quite like to have a pop at Nigel Farage and Mike Buchanan.
"I don't think I should be involved because I don't have a TV, plus I don't want to be on TV because it always makes me look fat," said Biro. "But, having said that, I'd like to have a go at UKIP and this new Justice for Men and Boys Party who are standing round here, or, as I call them, the Chain Them to the Kitchen Sink party."
4. The Borders party
The Borders party, which only stands in the borders of Scotland, doesn't believe it should be invited to the leader debates.
"As we are a party who only contest local council seats in the Scottish Borders Council – it is unlikely that we would ever be included," accepted a spokesman.
In a 1,200 word statement, the leader of the Veritas party, Therese Muchewicz, told BuzzFeed News the organisation, which was set up by Robert Kilroy-Silk in 2005, should indeed be involved in the TV debates.
However, she believes she won't get an invite because of a media plot to dismiss them as nothing more than the "BNP in M&S suits".
"If 'Je suis Charlie' actually means anything, it means embracing a free and open society and the sharing of ideas no matter how unpalatable for some," said Muchewicz. "Nothing else will suffice."
6. The Socialist Party (Of Great Britain)
Danny Lambert, who described himself as a "mandated delegate" of the Socialist party because "we don't have leaders in this party", thinks TV debates wouldn't exist in a socialist Britain.
"You only need politics where there is a divided society, but in our society we'd essentially be a human family," said Lambert. Asked how that would work in practice, he said: "We're not here to give you blueprints or concoct recipes for the cookshops of the future, as Marx said."
In the non-socialist Britain of 2015, he isn't expecting an invite to the leader debates, but thinks more TV time should be given to all small parties so they can put their cases forward.
7. The Liberal party (#NotTheLibDems)
Sir Henry Boyle of the Liberal party – a small splinter group who refused to accept the formation of the Liberal Democrats in 1988 – was initially wary when BuzzFeed News called: "You are clear that we're the Liberal party and not the Liberal Democrats?" he asked. "We get a lot of that."
He went on to tell us that smaller parties should have a debate of their own.
"It would be unmanageable with 15 or 20 speakers, and the voters would be bored stiff," he said. "What we suggest is that there might be another debate with the minor parties taking part without the major parties."
8. The British National party
Simon Darby, lead spokesman for the British National party, which was previously led by Nick Griffin and now only has two local district councillors, said it's "completely unfair" that the far-right party hasn't been invited.
"This just proves we don't have a democracy in this country," he said. "Our kind of opinions aren't allowed to be broadcast, real issues aren't to be discussed.
"Our problem is we tell the truth. The politicians in this country are successful if they tell lies, the ones who tell the truth are put in prison. But we'll let the Greens take the legal action against this – we don't tend to do very well in court."
9. The Wessex Regionalist party
"We argue that all parties and candidates should be treated with equal respect by the media, just as they are in law," said a spokesman for the Wessex Regionalist party, which fights to achieve home rule for the ancient kingdom of Wessex.
"This pre-selection of views considered worth hearing is a form of censorship and a disservice to voters, who should be provided with the means to make up their own minds."
10. The Animal Welfare party
A spokeswoman for the Animal Welfare party (AWP) told us the party should indeed be invited because it is the only party which doesn't "have its head in the sand" over animal rights.
"Yes, we do believe that AWP should be invited to take part in the leadership debates," she said. "We believe the main parties have their heads in the sand when it comes to ensuring the planet our kids and grandkids inherit is actually going to be habitable, and the electorate should be given the opportunity to hear what we have to say."
11. The Christian party
Jeff Green, the leader of the Christian party, said there's "absolutely no way" his party should be given the opportunity to take part in the leader debates.
"We're nowhere near big enough," said Green. "It would be an interesting experience, and we've been on TV a few times, but I think you should first have to have a member elected into Westminster. If you start bringing in all the small parties like ourselves it would just become totally unmanageable."
"We're not big enough yet, but maybe next time," he said.