This UK General Election has one big similarity to the five that preceded it: hardly anyone seems to care about what is devolved and what is not. Thus while BBC Wales often seems to be at pains to mark territory, BBC network news reporting on manifesto pledges has all too often missed two magic words – “in England.”
But it is simply far too easy to blame the broadcasters when they are actively fed policy confusion from the political parties themselves. Thus the Welsh Labour campaign has mainstreamed the NHS – in England – and Plaid leapt on this to bring forward a tilting at windmills motion all about defending NHS Wales from the outcome of the impact of the election on NHS England.
In political campaigning terms this fudging has also manifested itself in General Election debates. Thus AMs and MEPs have been as likely to rock up on Welsh debates as the hundreds of candidates standing in Wales in this General Election. This isn’t the fault of the broadcasters alone in setting the rules of who they are to expect – this is also the fault of the political parties who play so fast and loose with who they put forward.
Everyone is contributing an ingredient to the recipe for the perfect fudge.