IF you hadn’t realised 2015 was an election year already with all the posturing that has already been going on so far this month, this week has made it all but inescapable.

The economy and the NHS have both been battlegrounds since the New Year arrived, with all the ‘we can handle this much better than you’ assertions you would expect and, sadly, not quite believe.

But with comedian Al Murray throwing his hat into the ring to go up against Nigel Farage and the bizarre squabble that has erupted over the live TV debates, Westminster seemed to get a bit sillier this week.

The debate row is one I find slightly odd. In case you have missed it, Prime Minister David Cameron is refusing to take part in a live televised debate, a popular addition on the road to the 2010 election, unless the Green Party is involved, alongside the usual suspects of Labour and the Lib Dems, with UKIP new to the line-up this year.

On the face of it, this seems a reasonable request. The Greens are a big party, with more support in some quarters than the browbeaten Lib Dems, still suffering for their Coalition compromises. In fact, the party has just announced a surge of 2,000 new members which it claims makes it bigger than UKIP.

So fair enough, surely. But what I don’t quite understand is why Cameron has been so quick to back himself into a corner by saying he won’t appear unless they do. Didn’t he know Ed Milliband and Nigel Farage will use that as a stick to beat him with, right up until we all hit the polling stations on May 7.

It is fairly well established that he was no fan of the debates, possibly seeing them as giving the smaller parties a leg-up. But that was in 2010. In 2015, surely people will remember the way Nick Clegg rose to prominence, before the business of forming a Coalition with the Tories saw him come crashing down to earth. It’s entirely possible people will remember that this time around and take it into account.

Of course it’s entirely likely someone will blink and back down – whether that is the broadcasters, who could pull the TV events, or the PM himself. And failing that, it may even end up before a judge as there is a question that to proceed without Cameron may see broadcasters in breach of guidelines.

If the debates don’t go ahead, is Cameron, already accused of running scared, gambling on being pummelled against the ropes for the next few months before, Muhammed-Ali-like, springing to life and vanquishing his tiring opponents with a few well placed uppercuts?

I can’t really see it myself. What worked for the legendary boxer in the famed Rumble in the Jungle isn’t likely to fare so well for our current PM in the Brawl in Whitehall.

And then we have Al Murray, picking a fight with Farage as a thinly veiled caricature of the UKIP leader and his party. A British Moon on a British Stick, he is promising, along with pints for 1p.

The only danger with that is, you could probably see him getting elected, much in the way that Star Wars fans battled to get ‘Jedi’ listed as a major religion in the 2001 census.

Frankly, there are certainly less appealing platforms to be on as May 7 approaches.