Unless you’ve been living under some spacious rock where you can deafen out the sounds of politics (if you have, let’s talk), you’ll know that there’s a fair bit of campaigning going on in the country right now, ahead of a General Election next month.
Tonight (Thursday 28th November), the leaders of the main political parties – Conservative leader PM Boris Johnson, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, LibDems leader Jo Swinson, Green Party leader Sian Berry, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price and leader of the Brexit Party Nigel Farage – were all invited to take part in a debate on climate change on Channel 4. Most of them agreed to take part.
Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, however, declined their respective invitations and so naturally, Channel 4 News filled their spots with two giant slabs of ice. I anticipated that these inanimate understudies would actually be able to add a far more intelligent and thought-provoking commentary on such an important an issue – in comparison to Boris and Farage, anyway.
Unfortunately, the pair remained cold and quiet for the entire debate.
Channel 4 news announced the replacements on Twitter, writing:
“These two ice sculptures – which represents the emergency on planet earth – will take the place of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage tonight after they declined our invitation to attend a party leaders’ #ClimateDebate.”
This is the kind of ice-cold shade that fuels my very existence, so bravo, Channel 4 News.
According to reports, Boris decided to send Michael Gove (and his dad for back-up, it would seem) down to Channel 4 HQ to represent him at the debate, but Channel 4 wasn’t having any of it. Resulting in this gem of an interview. Bumble away, boys:
According to Channel 4 News’ Twitter, the invite remained open to both Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage right up until the last minute, but in the end, neither showed. Just moments before the live debate began, Channel 4 News said:
“Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage did not accept our invitation to attend.”
In response, the Conservatives have reportedly written to broadcast regulator Ofcom, claiming that Channel 4’s decision is in breach of the Broadcasting Code. Channel 4 has stressed that it invited all party leaders to take part in the live studio debate and that the Brexit Party and the Conservatives failed to deliver their leaders.
Ben de Pear, editor of Channel 4 News, said:
“These two ice sculptures represent the emergency on planet Earth, not in any human form but are a visual metaphor for the Conservative and Brexit parties after their leaders declined our repeated invitations to attend tonight’s vital climate debate.”
So why did Boris and Farage decline the offer, anyway? We can speculate and speculate, but unfortunately we just don’t know officially. All I’ll say is that it seems fairly ironic that the pair were substituted with two blocks of ice, when you take into account their past transparency.
No puns or jokes to round-off this piece, just a plea – make sure you vote on Thursday 12th December.
Images via Twitter and Getty
Having worked in children's media and publishing for almost a decade, Ben is thoroughly excited to now be able to swear in stories and features. He is such a big fan of Disney and Horror films that he started an LGBTQ+ podcast called 'Once Upon A Scream'. His mum listens. You can contact Ben at email@example.com. Twitter: @PulsfordBen / Instagram: @thebenmidlerFollow