I hardly watch Question Time anymore, largely due to the repeated mantra from all the political parties that participate in the show. About 90% of the arguments we hear have been repeated before on other media outlets. And although last night’s Question Time did not present anything new, it did highlight something incredible.
Take note of the following tweet.
This tweet dates back to 2017 and highlights the appearance of a frequent Question Time guest. Many of you will recognise the individual in the image. That is Billy Mitchell, former UKIP candidate and is a member of the religious sectarian cult the Orange Order.
The BBC have a vetting procedure that actively works to stop members of the public appearing on the show more than once. So the odds of anyone hopping onto the show more than once is insanely high. Yet our friend Bill here has appeared on the show multiple times.
And last night he made his fourth appearance on the TV show, fifth including the radio.
They even gave him his own wee slot to attack the Scottish National Party.
That was, of course, after they also put out this question to the panel.
I recall back in 2014 I appeared on Gordon Brewer’s radio show with colleagues of mine. The debate was, unsurprisingly, around Scottish independence and I had submitted a question on NATO, which I blatantly made my question very biased. A BBC staff member confirmed that my question was allowed, but when giving me a piece of paper to read out my question they had altered it to be politically neutral.
Bill Mitchell was also at the same radio event as me. After it was finished he had confronted me about my point on NATO (again if I recall correctly I made the point we did not need WMDs to be a NATO member, whilst also pointing out NATO membership should be decided by the people of Scotland and not Westminster). Our confrontation was short due to him needing to leave soon. He was rather “in my face” with his argument, but apart from that I had little personal issue with him.
(Edit: I’ve found the session we met at, which can be found here. Sadly the recording is not available, however if anyone does obtain it please let me know or listen to it yourself. You will hear me and Billy Mitchell speak during the debate.)
It seems the BBC pick and choose when it’s appropriate to edit questions, rather than following a process.
Journalist Mandy Rhodes tweeted out pretty much everyone’s thoughts.
This is not down to luck. This is blatant BBC bias in its classic fashion. Whilst most of us do recognise this bias many viewers miss the terrifying nature of it. Because allowing the extreme voices to be amplified is the BBC’s speciality. Let’s look at a few different examples.
A few months ago the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pulled out of a conference in Edinburgh after discovering alt-right political activist and ex-Trump fanboy Steve Bannon was to speak at the event.
The event, titled News Xchange 2018, was to gather some of journalism’s biggest leaders to discuss challenges and opportunities that face the industry. So, it does seem odd that they would invite someone who is infamous for creating fake news, doesn’t it?
Steve Bannon is known for many things other than journalism though, most of it relating to the fondness fascists seem to have for him and his style of rhetoric.
But Nicola wasn’t having it for a second, stating:
So why are the BBC getting flak? Well it turns out that they were the ones co-hosting the conference. This also includes one of their own staff members being executive producer of the conference, whilst director general of the BBC, Tony Hall, is to speak at the event with Bannon.
But it doesn’t stop there. Not only were they content with his invitation, they even described him as a “powerful and influential figure…promoting an anti-elite movement.”
That’ll be the same Steve Bannon who was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and was CEO of a global news network. The same Steve Bannon who previously stirred hatred towards Muslims, made homophobic remarks and campaigns with literal neo-Nazis.
Yes, very “anti-elite”.
The BBC have also portrayed Tommy Robinson, a racist football thug who also stirs hatred towards Muslims, as a victim. At the same time the BBC portray Jeremy Corbyn (who, like him or not, is certainly not a bigot) in communist imagery.
Interesting choice by the BBC. We’ve seen something similar to this before.
And it’s not the first time the BBC have pandered to Robinson.
Many of you may recall left-wing bookshop Bookmarks was attacked by UKIP members only a few months ago. Masked thugs attempt to destroy left-wing literature and intimidate/physically push staff around.
Which, as we know, the aim isn’t unheard of.
So what did the BBC label this incident?
Yes, you read that correctly. They labelled it a “protest”.
You may also recall last year when the BBC left racists and bigots in tears of joy when they played out Enoch Powell’s racist speech “Rivers of Blood”.
The BBC also loves to give airtime to ideas promoted by the far-right, such as updating the Treason Act. Also note the imagery they use in the tweet below.
Then there is BBC’s Andrew Neil who “praised the research” of the Századvég Foundation at the Hungarian Embassy. That’s the very same foundation that produces studies for the far-right Orban government.
And hoo boy, don’t get me started when the BBC allowed former Breitbart London editor Raheem Kassam to pretend to be a legal expert on legal policy, which he wasn’t. Breitbart is a social media group that works to advance and market ideas of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.
It’s also worth remembering in 2016 when the BBC interviewed the far-right political leader Marine Le Pen on Remembrance Sunday. Which is quite frankly disgusting.
It’s not always the guests the BBC invite on that is the problem. Sometimes it’s the BBC themselves.
This should not be normal. Ten years ago when the then leader of the BNP, Nick Griffin, appeared on Question Time it caused a huge controversy. There was outrage that the BBC would allow such a blatantly racist and backwards creature onto the panel. Yet in UK politics today these voices are becoming increasingly normalised. These controversies are becoming much quiet when in fact we should be getting louder.
These examples are just the top of the iceberg. The British Broadcasting Corporation is not here to present an impartial view of Scotland or the UK. It is here to pander to the increasingly dangerous and violent voice of the far-right. The same far-right which undermine our democratic principles. And it’s about high time political parties called out this bias more openly.
There’s not much else I can say that’s new. Many of you are already aware of the biased nature of the BBC, but be aware of the danger it presents in the future.