>> 28 May 2004

The Farce of BBC Question Time

We are repeatedly informed by the anchorman of Question Time, David Dimbleby, that the programme's raison d'etre is to give a representative sample of British opinion on a range of current affairs. Fine words indeed!

If only that were true. Unfortunately, both the composition of the weekly panel, and the political bent of a clear majority of the audience suggest that any vestiges of 'impartiality' have long since been cast aside. Let's look at the most recent line-up (broadcast Thursday 27.05.04):

1. Peter Hain - one time radical left-winger who figured it was wise to discard his more unpalatable principles for a rapid rise up the parliamentary career ladder.

2. Phil Willis - a member of arguably the most collectively left-wing party in the House of Commons, and a man whose own website castigates the leaders of the UK and USA for taking the bold initiative of invading Iraq and removing a man who had murdered hundreds of thousands of his own people.

3. Janet Street Porter - a doyenne of 'the loony left' who thought it wise to argue that Abu Hamza be given the right to continue his sermons of hatred under the banner of 'freedom of expression', yet argued that advertisement of junk food should be stopped due to its potentially harmful consequences.

For those viewers not consumed by the philosophies of left-wing politics, well, they had the benefit of the presence of Conservative MP, Caroline Spelman in addition to 'Gosford Park' creator, Julian Fellows. Perhaps it my poor grasp of ratios, but that doesn't appear to constitute a politically balanced panel.

Couple the above injustice with the fact that most audiences on Question Time foam at the mouth at the mere mention of George W Bush and applaud with frenzy the articulation of views that the silent majority would find abhorrent, and you have a programme that the founding fathers of the Politburo (Lenin, Trotsky, Kamenev, Stalin and Krestinsky) would have been proud of.


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