Letter: Greens off screen

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Sir: Bearing in mind the BBC's policy of virtually excluding any serious coverage of the smaller parties, the Party Election Broadcast is the single opportunity they get to present their case on national television.

The idea advocated in your leading article (28 April) of adopting the American system of paid advertising would in effect eliminate green politics from the airwaves, as we certainly could not afford prime-time advertising.

We agree that attention to things like who should qualify for a broadcast, what the criteria should be and who should set them is long overdue. It is because so many minor parties are qualifying for broadcasts now that Local Election Broadcasts were scrapped - a bitter blow for the Greens, who are fielding sufficient candidates in the county council elections to meet the usual criteria.

PETER BARNETT

Director of Communications

The Green Party

London N19

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