The BBC, Sky and UTV will each screen a live TV debate between the three candidates to become British prime minister.
Inevitably Alex Salmond is indulging in a strop about the arrangement, despite the fact that his party does not organise nationally and his own lack of participation in the next general election.
The serious point is that, whatever nationalists might maintain, the most important facet of Westminster elections is their determination of the next government of this country. Minority parties should, of course, be granted airtime, and the networks have vowed that there will be devolved equivalents to the UK wide leaders' programmes.
The contest to become prime minister is, however, of national interest and it deserves its own broadcasts, without an irrelevant contribution by Alex Salmond, or another member of his party. Regional debates are the forum where regional figures’ input is appropriate.
In Northern Ireland, no doubt, we will be treated to a head to head between Peter Robinson et al which will make the heart swell with pride. In Scotland Salmond will probably take an inordinately pivotal role in the SNP’s campaign, despite his non-candidature. The party relies on his personality cult. If there’s a debate for Scottish leaders, he’ll be there.
None of which should deprive viewers in the ‘nations and regions’ of the opportunity to engage fully with the UK wide campaign to determine a new prime minister. That is the most vital debate which will take place between now and May and it has nothing to do with Alex Salmond.