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Diane Abbott: This is from a previous appearance on the BBC’s Question Time.

I think the BBC, Isobel Oakeshott and Fiona Bruce need to be prosecuted for the systematic, televised abuse of Diane Abbott. Don’t you?

Ms Abbott is the UK’s most-abused MP. It is beyond the pale that an organisation calling itself a public service broadcaster willingly participates in that abuse.

And it’s hardly an auspicious start for Ms Bruce’s tenure as chair that she presided over this abuse on only her second outing in the role.

Here’s the offending incident:

Momentum’s claim – that Ms Abbott was correct and Labour is neck-and-neck with the Conservatives in the polls, despite the combined efforts of the Tory-supporting media moguls – is borne out be recent poll results. See:

Notice the comment from Devutopia there: Christian Fraser on the BBC News Channel allowed a Tory stooge to say that party was “leading all the polls”, even though they weren’t.

Aaron Bastani of Novara Media adds wider context:

So it’s a campaign of disinformation by the BBC, it seems.

Survation, remember, was the only polling company that accurately predicted the result of the 2017 general election.

According to some audience members, sentiment against Ms Abbott was stoked before recording started. Here’s Jyoti Wilkinson:

Tonight I managed to wangle myself into the @bbcquestiontime audience. The way they stoked up the anti Dianne Abbott sentiment before hand was appalling – the BBC is in dire need of reform … The wangle was the fact I managed to get picked without having some underlying hatred of Dianne Abbott”.

The story is corroborated by Alison Martin:

The jeers against Diane Abbott were worse than could be heard on the broadcast; was some humour at Diane’s expense from BBC staff before the recording”.


Mr Bastani (again) provides a little second-hand information:

I’m told that prior to broadcast of tonight’s #bbcqt Fiona Bruce came out, introduced herself to audience and gave a 10 minute talk [this is normal for QT]. Proceeded to make jokes about Dianne Abbott which were ‘in reality appaling’ then in rehearsal the floor manager did the same thing [while this is definitely not]. Abysmal”.

There’s more evidence, as you can see from this Zelo Street article.

The BBC has denied claims that Ms Abbott was treated unfairly. According to the Mirror, a spokesperson said: “We firmly reject claims that any of the Question Time team treated any of the panel unfairly before and during the recording last night.”

Meanwhile the Express has insisted that Ms Bruce and Ms Oakeshott were right to say Labour is behind in the polls, producing the result of a new survey by Tory-supporting pollsters YouGov – from January 6 and 7, nearly a week before the date of the the Survation poll quoted above.

Perhaps Ms Bruce can’t read dates – in which case one has to question her suitability for a job chairing the BBC’s mainstay political panel show.

And Ms Abbott? She has accused the Question Time team of legitimising racist abuse.

I think she has a point and I would like to see an adjudication on it.

Evolve Politics thinks the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) should be asked to judge:

Having had personal experience of IPSO, I wouldn’t advise it unless you have the patience of a saint because it can take a long time and any recommended remedial action won’t be worth the wait.

My advice?

Take the BBC straight to court instead.

*”Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception… sanity” – Wikipedia.

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