Three debates, two debates, none? The pre-campaign buzz has been consumed with a farsical confusion about the televised leaders’ debates: who should debate, when, and how many times?! By the time you read this the permeautation will no doubt have changed again, but the debacle has at least contributed to extending the sphere of legitimate voices. The surprise inclusion of a third party in 2010 has given way in 2015 to bombastic statements about inclusive seven-way debates! If nothing else, this will give airtime to parties that argue against the (formerly?) main parties’ ideological addiction to austerity and also challenge the male dominated assumption of politics.
This issue of Three-D is timed so that it can act as an intervention into current debates and highlight our areas of concern during the campaign. Of upmost importance here is the need for a progressive media and communications policy, and to press these issues firmly on the election agenda. CPBF and the Media Reform Coalition has done some excellent work in putting together a manifesto for change that will serve as an effective tool in raising these issues with Parliamentary candidates and parties.
Also in this issue of Three-D, we review the results of the recent REF exercise, which found world-leading and international excellence across the sector in media and cultural research – despite the challenges faced. Indeed the issue of HE funding promises to be another key election issue – Labour pledging to reduce tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000 in 2016, for example. Then again, the Lib Dems promised not to raise tuition fees in 2010… and now we have funny mashup music videos on YouTube with Clegg saying “I’m sorry”.
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