Tag Archives: Question Time

Why did the BBC put forward a National Front extremist as having mainstream views?

Remember the crazy racist ranter on the BBC’s Question Time last week?

The one whose views were legitimised by the programme makers in a tweet that put forward her views with no counter-argument – contrary to the Corporation’s own rules?

This one:

She has now been identified, it seems, as “Sherri Peach, nee Bothwell, mostly connected with Britain First, married to former National Front Election Candidate, Roy Peach”.

She was also a National Front candidate herself, back in 1974 – twice.

It has been alleged that this woman, who is from London, was sought out by a staff member for Question Time programme maker Mentorn Media who invited her to appear on the show in Dorset. It seems she stayed in a local hotel – funded by a third party, as yet unknown – and was placed in the front row during the recording.

As Zelo Street points out, this incident puts the BBC in an extremely difficult position.

It shows the BBC putting out an extremist far-right and racist viewpoint as though it was a widely-held belief, giving it a legitimacy that it does not – and should never – have.

And it shows the BBC failing to follow its own guidelines on impartiality, at a time when it is under investigation for political partisanship by Ofcom.

Yet time and again we have seen the Corporation’s complaints department simply brushing off complaints about this kind of behaviour, as though it didn’t matter at all.

It does matter. Why is the BBC condoning racism?

Source: Zelo Street: Question Time Ranter IDENTIFIED

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The BBC exists to inform and educate – not to tweet clips of racist rants for viral hits

The BBC’s treatment of this far-right racist is a perfect demonstration of everything that’s wrong with its current affairs programming.

The woman was hand-picked to join the audience of the BBC’s Question Time on February 20, and delivered a fact-free rant during the show.

It was followed by an awkward silence, before panellists delivered the fact injection that the general public needed after being exposed to such nonsense.

But then the BBC acted really atrociously. Look at the way the Corporation portrayed the moment on Twitter:

I’m grateful to the Angry Yorkshireman of Another Angry Voice for his comment on this:

“The role of any responsible broadcaster should be to point out the lies, and the massive impracticality of just ‘closing the borders’, not to actively and uncritically amplify dangerously ignorant far-right diatribes like this.

“Uncritically amplifying this fact-averse nonsense adds to the toxic political environment in which bigots are encouraged to believe that their ignorance has as much value and importance as other people’s facts and evidence.”

Correct. It’s doubly-abhorrent in a week when Boris Johnson’s government was exposed as being stuffed with racists (including the prime minister himself).

Just to balance up, here’s panellist Ash Sarkar responding to the racist:

The tweet from Sam Bright is very interesting, as are his follow-ups:

That’s the heart of the matter – that the BBC is putting clips of extreme views onto the internet in order to get viral hits, as though that somehow validated its current affairs programming. It doesn’t.

Spare a thought also for the poor guy who had to sit next to the racist while she ranted. He looked uncomfortable at the time and he expanded on his demeanour on Twitter afterwards:

The reason for the racism can be summed up in this video which, ironically, was made for the general election campaign and if more people had paid attention, perhaps we would not be putting up with the increased bigotry and ignorance we’re experiencing now:

So there you have it. When politicians – or their mouthpieces, as on Question Time – blame immigrants, it’s because they’ve run out of excuses for the terrible decisions they’re making.

Lastly, isn’t it amazing how the mainstream news media have tried to normalise this?

Seriously.

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More Question Time bias as Fiona Bruce pats Brandon Lewis: ‘I’m just teasing you’

Cute: But would she show such consideration to Diane Abbott?

What the actual …?

If there was ever an example of BBC bias towards the Conservatives, it’s this:

Asked a difficult question by a BBC Question Time audience member, former Tory Party chairman Brandon Lewis struggled to answer.

So presenter/chair Fiona Bruce patted his arm and said, “I’m just teasing you.”

Where’s the impartiality in that?

Where’s the responsibility to hold those in power to account?

We have seen this on BBCQT before, and the Corporation might legitimately say it’s bias by the programme-maker Mentorn.

But then, the BBC gave Mentorn the contract to make it, so ultimate responsibility lies with Auntie. Doesn’t it?

There’s a full story on Skwawkbox: Video: Tory MP struggles with BBCQT question. Presenter pats his arm, “It’s ok, I’m teasing you” and moves on | The SKWAWKBOX

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Comedian drops truth bomb on Tory policies for war veterans, disabled and elderly people

Emotional: Francesca Martinez.

If, like This Writer, you have switched off Question Time in disgust during the last few years of Conservative government and BBC/Establishment propagandism, then you missed a treat last night (June 13).

Answering a question on whether broken promises, gaffes and hanging from a zip-wire are the criteria for becoming the next UK prime minister – a clear reference to Boris Johnson’s commanding lead in the Conservative leadership election, she made the point that it doesn’t matter who gets in; every single Tory MP has the blood of more than 100,000 people on their hands:

I found it heartbreaking to watch this because like Ms Martinez (and many others), I have been campaigning for an end to Conservative persecution of the sick, disabled, elderly and vulnerable since their policies first started wrecking – and ending – lives.

Yet still this – let’s call it what it is – slaughter goes on. See this article for some further information on people who have died recently.

Boris Johnson won’t stop it. Jeremy Hunt won’t. Nor will Michael Gove. Raab? Javid? Hancock? Stewart? Don’t make me laugh.

They don’t care about it. Or if they do, it is This Writer’s sincere belief that they enjoy it. Otherwise they would have put a stop to it.

Ms Martinez said these deaths were caused by austerity. The Tories will say it was a financial necessity and that argument is a paper tiger because there is no financial necessity that justifies causing the death of a single person, let alone more than 100,000 – and remember, these are just the deaths we have been allowed to count.

The only answer is a general election and a Labour government. Once that is achieved, then the Conservative Party’s MPs must be brought to account for this ongoing atrocity.

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Ever wonder how the Tories keep themselves on top? Here’s how

This woman has been prime minister for nearly three years – not because she is any good at it – she isn’t – but because the people of the UK have been told, throughout that time, that there’s nobody better.

The easiest way for a political party to keep itself high in the opinion polls is to set the agenda for public debate and then tell people what to think.

The easiest way to tell people what to think is by dominating the mass media.

And the easiest way to dominate the mass media is by ensuring it is full of your cronies.

The BBC’s news team is run by Tories, as has been explained many times before – here and elsewhere.

And so are many of the private companies that make programmes for the BBC – like Mentorn, the maker of Question Time

That’s probably how this happened:

And this:

This happens week after week, and not just on QT. Not only is the panel stuffed with right-wingers – so is the audience.

Then they tell us all what to think, and dissenting voices are treated as foolish, or childish.

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The BBC’s flimsy excuse for stopping Heidi Allen appearing on TV – but welcoming Nigel Farage

Stranglehold: The signer was actually interpreting a comment in a previous Nigel Farage TV appearance, but it works equally well to describe feelings across the nation at this minority party representative’s residency on the BBC in the run-up to the EU elections. The BBC is meant to be impartial; where are the other minority party representatives?

Apparently the BBC thought it was all right for Nigel Farage to appear on Question Time because other politicians were there to balance out his views.

It is true that, besides Mr Farage, Amber Rudd appeared for the Conservatives, Jonathan Reynolds for Labour and, yes, Anna Soubry for Change UK.

So perhaps it is right for Ms Allen to have been denied the chance to appear on Have I Got News For You. That would have given her minority party two appearances on the major UK TV network in two days – an unfair advantage over Mr Farage’s minority party.

And in fairness, the BBC should now be giving airtime to the Green Party, Plaid Cymru, UKIP, the SNP, the DUP, Sinn Fein and – oh, yes – even the Liberal Democrats, before letting representatives of Labour, the Tories, Change UK or the Brexit Party have another crack of the whip.

Do you think that will happen?

No. Neither do I. So much for BBC impartiality.

And here’s a relevant point:

Mr Farage is set to appear on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday – his second appearance in four days.

With the BBC under investigation for failing to uphold its commitment to impartiality, isn’t it surprising that nobody considered this to be a mistake?

The BBC has pulled an episode of Have I Got News For You because of impartiality fears ahead of the European elections – just 24 hours after it hosted an episode of Question Time featuring the Brexit Party’s leader.

It decided to cancel the airing of the show, presented by Jo Brand and recorded the day before, because it realised it could break impartiality rules because Heidi Allen from Change UK was on the panel.

The show’s production team took to social media to apologise, as viewers turned on BBC One to find a repeat of Would I Lie To You instead.

In the statement it said: “Sorry everyone. The BBC have pulled tonight’s edition of #HIGNFY – no, we didn’t book Danny Baker. We booked Heidi Allen, a member of a party no-one knows the name of (not even the people in it), because the Euro elections, which nobody wants, may or may not be happening. Sorry.”

Source: BBC pulls Have I Got News For You over Heidi Allen appearance – 24 hours after Nigel Farage appears on Question Time | Latest Brexit news and top stories – The New European

This teacher set the record straight on who is responsible for rising youth crime: TORIES

The Mentorn TV executive who chooses Question Time audience members may be reviewing the company’s policy after this truth bomb dropped on the April 4 edition of the programme (there is a connection with the Conservative Party, as I understand it):

She was referring to the attempt by Home Secretary Sajid Javid – and by prime minister Theresa May, let’s not forget – to palm off responsibility for knife crime among young people onto teachers like herself.

As I wrote last week, she wants teachers to have a “public health duty” to identify warning signs that a young person could be in danger, such as worrying behaviour at school, issues at home, or “presenting at A&E with a suspicious injury”. For real?

There is an existing duty requiring teachers and police to work together to safeguard children. As a former Home Secretary, Theresa May should know that.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the teachers’ union the NASUWT, delivered the reality check to Mrs May when he said: “All professionals involved with children and young people are well aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding their health and welfare.

“Violent crime involving young people, of course, needs to be taken seriously and appropriate strategies considered. However, this is a complex issue which will not be resolved by putting additional pressures and responsibilities on teachers and head teachers or indeed others.”

No it will not.

But the very rich are looking for their next tax cut, aren’t they, Mrs May? And what’s a bit of extra crime among the plebs anyway? That’s just culling the stock. Am I right, Mrs May?

What do you think?


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POLL: BBC backtracks over Question Time row – Fiona Bruce DID make unwise comments about Diane Abbott

Fiona Bruce: The Mirror used this image on its article about her verbal indiscretion.

Well, how about that! It turns out the BBC was lying when it said Diane Abbott was not treated unfairly during the warm-up for the show in which she appeared nearly two weeks ago.

The Mirror is reporting that Fiona Bruce made “light-hearted personal comments” and “what she believed were good-humoured remarks” before recording of the show began.

Apparently the admission was made in a private email between the show’s editors and the Shadow Home Secretary.

This Writer had heard elsewhere that the remarks concerned Ms Abbott’s relationship with Jeremy Corbyn, with a suggestion that she is in her current position because of that relationship.

I don’t know about you, but I would say a suggestion that Ms Abbott only became Shadow Home Secretary because of a relationship she had in the 1970s certainly qualifies as an example of her being “treated unfairly”.

The implication is that she didn’t earn her job by merit and doesn’t deserve to have it – and Fiona Bruce had no right to make such a suggestion.

Ms Bruce has hosted just three editions of Question Time, after taking over from David Dimbleby. It seems clear that she is not capable of doing the job properly, considering the amount of political bias evidenced by her remarks.

But Question Time is in trouble for other elements of its production that day. Is it true that another member of the team also made prejudicial remarks about Ms Abbott to the audience? The BBC will have to release recordings of what was said before we know for sure.

And what about the claim that Ms Abbott’s microphone was turned down during the recording of the show itself, so she had to work harder to make herself heard?

The BBC has admitted that it lied about Ms Abbott’s treatment – but the extent of that lie has yet to be established. As for Ms Bruce – let’s have a poll:

I look forward to your responses.

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Question Time row: Fiona Bruce issues ‘clarification’ on Abbott gaslighting – but is it enough?

Do you think that this is enough of an apology from Fiona Bruce, for gaslighting Diane Abbott on the BBC’s Question Time on January 17?

Ms Bruce had joined Isobel Oakeshott, after Ms Abbott said Labour and the Conservatives were neck-and-neck in the polls, to claim that the latest poll showed Labour was behind. This was not true and Ms Bruce should have apologised.

I suggested yesterday that the programme would enjoy an upsurge of viewers for its first five minutes – who would switch off if they did not hear an apology in that time. The 20-second statement from Ms Bruce duly appeared midway through the show – ensuring that any viewers who did as I expected would not have a chance to hear it.

The official BBC statement stops short of an apology too.

Labour has made an official complaint, which includes other incidents reported about the Question Time recording in which Ms Abbott appeared.

It has been claimed by audience members that Ms Bruce and another BBC representative told jokes at Ms Abbott’s expense before the show was recorded, apparently to turn opinion against her. It is believed that this was recorded but the BBC is refusing to hand over the material.

And a sound technician said Ms Abbott’s microphone was turned down so she would find it harder to make herself heard.

So the Labour Party still has many reasons to complain.

I’ve already said I hope this goes to court. The BBC has been involved in too many rows like this and deserves a bloody nose.

As for Ms Abbott? She has come out of this smelling of roses:

If this unsavoury incident results in a little more support for the UK’s first black female MP – who receives more hate messages than all the country’s other politicians put together – then I’d say it did some good.

That’s in spite of the efforts of Ms Bruce, Ms Oakeshott and the BBC itself.

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BBC’s Question Time to get huge increase in viewers – for first five minutes of tonight’s show

Will they or won’t they? That will be the question on viewers’ minds as they tune in to the BBC’s Question Time this evening (January 24).

And if Fiona Bruce fails to apologise for joining Isobel Oakeshott in gaslighting Diane Abbott on last week’s edition, you can bet that a large number of those viewers will switch off. After that, word of mouth could cripple not only the programme’s reputation but also its viewing figures.

It would be extremely hard for Question Time, the BBC or new presenter Fiona Bruce – this incident happened on only her second show as chair – to recover their credibility and I can certainly foresee calls for the show to be scrapped and replaced with a less biased format in the future.

For those who don’t know what the row is about, not only did Ms Bruce and Ms Oakeshott lie to Ms Abbott that she was mistaken about Labour’s position in the national opinion polls…

(The BBC subsequently issued a clarification that managed to stop short of being an apology)

… but studio audience members have claimed a BBC employee and Ms Bruce stirred up feeling against Ms Abbott with prejudicial attempts at humour about her prior to recording of the programme. The BBC is believed to have recorded the pre-show warm-up but has refused to release this evidence.

Outraged Licence Fee-payers have been clamouring for an on-air apology ever since:

https://twitter.com/James4Labour/status/1088334992994983937

Will the BBC back down? Smart money says no.

Instead, it is likely the Corporation will double down on its position and hope the outcry dies down.

But the Labour Party has made a formal complaint and may escalate this to court action if it doesn’t get satisfaction.

The national publicity of a court case could do huge harm to the BBC’s reputation as an impartial public service broadcaster.

Can ‘Auntie’ afford it?

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