BBC Question Time’s definition of balance

questiontimeI wasn’t planning to write a blog piece today, because Friday is the day that the Dugcast is released, but the farce that is BBC Question Time cannot pass unremarked. The programme is, frankly, a disgrace. BBC management were aware that the programme was tired and past its glory days, and so we got a shiny new presenter in the shape of Fiona Bruce. However that’s like replacing your curtains and touching up some paintwork when your house is structurally unsound, its roof is half off, its walls are falling down, and it’s built on top of a mineshaft that’s collapsing. Question Time is past saving, and Thursday’s atrocity of an episode from Motherwell proved it.

You would never know from watching BBC Question Time that this is a country where the SNP has more MSPs and MPs than Labour and the Conservatives combined. You’d never know that opinion polls in Scotland strongly suggest that in the event of a snap General Election the SNP would gain seats. And you’d certainly never know that half the population of Scotland supports independence and 59% of the people of Scotland think independence would be better than a no-deal Brexit. I was brought up in North Lanarkshire. But thanks to BBC Question Time I now know that the area is a hotbed of support for the Conservatives and Brexit.

There is absolutely no point in taking a debate programme to different towns and cities across the UK if the audience is not representative of the local population. It becomes nothing more than lip service paid by the metrocentric BBC to regional and national diversity within this so-called union. If the audience were truly representative of the population of the area from which the show is broadcast then you would expect strongly Tory audiences in the leafy English shires. You’d expect a Labour leaning audience in the towns of northern England or South Wales or the inner cities. And you’d expect that in Scotland around half the audience would support independence. In fact you’d expect a majority to support independence in places like Dundee or Motherwell which returned Yes majorities in the referendum of 2014.

But that’s never what happens. The audience is selected according to arcane BBC views on what constitutes balance. That’s a balance which seems to skew heavily towards support for Brexit, opposition to immigration, and a nasty rightwing intolerance which views compassion as a weakness and cruelty as a virtue. It’s a balance which invariably detests the very notion of Scottish independence. It’s a balance that gives us an abundance of plummy accented Tories in the working class Yes voting city of Dundee. It’s a balance which gave us a Motherwell, a town in North Lanarkshire with a Yes majority, a town with an SNP MP and constituency MSP, which appeared to be predominantly inhabited by right wing leaning British nationalists.

There was naturally a starring role for BBC Question Time’s very own Scottish Nigel Farage. Billy Mitchell is a man who is a failed UK council candidate, a founder member of an Orange flute band, and a fan of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. He is even less representative of Scottish public opinion than David Coburn, or indeed of Michael Forsyth who for some reason graced the panel. Yet Billy crops up more often on BBC QT in Scotland than a herpes sore at a clap clinic. He’s a bawhair away from getting mentioned in the programme credits.

It’s not easy to get on BBC Question Time. It’s even less easy to get picked to ask a question. It’s less easy still to have that question tweeted by the production staff. But Billy keeps on doing it. We can rule out him being the luckiest man in Scotland. So as an explanation that only leaves a breathtaking incompetence on the part of Question Time production staff, an incompetence which oddly only ever seems to favour right wing Ukip types, or there is systematic bias on the part of the programme. Neither of those is a good explanation for a BBC which insists on the right to raid our bank balances.

There’s the strange case of Billy Mitchell, but there’s the even stranger case of the framing of questions about independence. Questions about Scottish independence ought to come from Scottish audiences which are evenly balanced on the subject. You’d think that ought to mean that questions directly about independence ought to be evenly balanced on whether the questioner is positive or negative towards independence. David Dimbleby infamously refused to allow the topic of independence to be addressed, however when a question about independence is asked, the framing of the question is invariably negative – as The National has pointed out.
https://www.thenational.scot/news/17420082.question-times-independence-questions-reveal-a-sinister-pattern/

Clearly, what we are dealing with here is not an isolated instance that has rubbed independence supporters up the wrong way. What we are dealing with here is a consistent and persistent pattern of anti-independence framing and bias from BBC Question Time. Only some questions are fit to be asked. Those would be Great British Questions suitable to our Great British Broadcaster.

This is a serious issue. Scotland, as we all know, is denied the right to a national public broadcaster of its own. All we have is the BBC, a BBC which anyone who owns a TV set is legally obliged to pay for. Yet that BBC consistently refuses, or is incapable of, depicting the Scotland that actually exists. Instead we get a Scotland refracted through a British nationalist lens held up from London. We get a British nationalism which is regarded as the norm against which all other political views must be compared, and usually compared unfavourably.

The BBC’s charter, as decided by the British government, obliges the Corporation to “promote cohesion” between the nations of the UK. As one of the last remaining British institutions, the BBC is institutionally incapable of reporting fairly and in an unbiased manner on an independence movement within one of those nations of the UK. BBC Question Time demonstrates that failure on our TV screens every Thursday evening. It doesn’t reflect the Scotland that exists, it reflects the Scotland that British nationalism wants to see. That’s BBC Question Time’s definition of balance. It’s failing us all. It’s failing itself. It has become an unfunny joke.

BBC Question Time has some very serious questions to answer. It’s a safe bet that they won’t. Scotland doesn’t need the biased propaganda of BBC Question Time. It’s time the BBC was questioned.


 

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68 comments on “BBC Question Time’s definition of balance

  1. Scott Cameron says:

    QT is now actually more Jeremy Kyle than serious political debate. It’s lamentable that people were actually joking that Mr Mitchell would appear on the show but were proven right! I, like others, ceased watching it a long time ago. What’s further embarrassing, is that right-minded folks elsewhere on these islands may have tuned in and thought that they stumbled across David Attenborough’s latest series on primates by mistake

  2. benmadigan says:

    as I said on Wings I gave up after 10 mins. This was not the Scotland I know.
    Glad to see you agree, Paul.
    It was awful propaganda.
    Rather than giving the Scots an opportunity to express their views, (wasn’t/isn’t Motherwell a Yes stronghold?), it was destined for the English, to reinforce their view that “we are all happy together in the UK. UKOK”

  3. Illy says:

    “a BBC which anyone who owns a TV set is legally obliged to pay for.”

    This isn’t true, but the BBC likes lying about what you need to do to not need to pay the BBC tax.

    • Brian Ritchie says:

      Yes, it’s the watching or recording of live programs that attracts the licence fee, not the owning of the receiving equipment.

      • ArtyHetty says:

        Indeed, u can have many tv sets in your house, after all, most people have the internet and or mobile phones which can receive live tv, if they want to watch it, but they’d have to then pay the BBC tv tax. In Scotland as far as I know you cannot be locked up for debt, whereas in England they do lock people up who don’t pay the tv tax and I guess can’t prove they don’t watch live tv, or catch-up. 6 weeks behind bars for not paying the BBC to pipe their disgusting lies into your living room!

        Our aerial broke years ago, have never looked back! I reply to the BBC tv tax harassment letters by telling them they would have to pay me (!) to watch their propoganda. I think they get the message, always copy or take a photo of your reply btw, just in case it goes missing in the post.

        Great article here Paul once again.

        The whole set up re Question Time, ( it should be called British Nationalist rant time) is and was last week designed for audiences mostly outside of Scotland. Those in England, it’s to create that lovely feeling of all in the same boat. Except it also encourages othering of Scotland, and especially the SNP and their members. It’s to portray Scotland as narrow and insular, racist, anti EU, and same as the Britnats in England. The Britnats are adept at othering, it’s dangerous and sinister in the extreme.

        It’s for the benefit of the Britnat state, to create their own narrative, to put people off from coming to Scotland, to live or study, to put business off moving to Scotland, just basically to portray Scotland as insular. All the while, Nicola Sturgeon First Minister of Scotland, was travelling far and wide to promote Scotland as an open outward looking country. That was largely ignored by the so called media, it’s as if the SNP don’t exist and boy do the Britnats and the elite tax dodgers in southern Eng wish they did not exist.

        Ask most people anywhere if Scotland has broadcasting powers within devolution and they will either say yes or just not know. It’s criminal really, doesn’t Wales and Northern Ireland have broadcasting powers? For Scotland to be denied this is complete proof that the brit state are very scared of the truth getting out to the people of Scotland and even the world. Hell mend them.

  4. Amanda McGinley says:

    Anyone at all that still pays the TV tax should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves

  5. […] Wee Ginger Dug BBC Question Time’s definition of balance I wasn’t planning to write a blog piece today, because Friday is the day that the […]

  6. fairliered says:

    The BBC’s idea of balance is Hitler v Stalin, or Donalda McKinnon v Josef Goebbels. I don’t know about Hitler and Stalin, but I’d sooner go for a pint with Goebbels than McKinnon. At least he was doing what he thought was best for his country, whereas McKinnon and the rest of her BBC apparatchiks are utter quislings.

  7. bringiton says:

    When the Floot Tooters from either side of the Channel (North one that is) appear on TV,then the SNP should get someone who speaks Dutch to address them (King Billy being Dutch).
    Along with their fellow Englanders,they appear to want nothing to do with foreigners which would presumably exclude King Billy and his ilk from ever setting foot on their hallowed turf.
    Weird people.

  8. Jimbo says:

    I thought you might be interested in this.
    It explains by who and how the BBCQT audience is selected.

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourbeeb/tim-holmes/is-question-time-s-audience-producer-really-fascist

  9. bedelsten says:

    Many years ago, we would look forward to the end of the 6 o’clock news and the ‘funnies’ that followed, notably the News Quiz. However, the realisation slowly dawned that the ‘funnies’ were become less and less funny and the Londoncentric attitudes were beginning to grate. After the 2015 general election at which, just to remind you, Scotland elected 56 SNP MPs out of Scotland’s 59 MPs, we cut the cord, figuratively and literally – by climbing on the roof and removing the TV aerial. Because, the day after the election when, in a normal democracy with a normal media the winner of the election would feature heavily, both the Today program and GMS led with Ian Murray (labour). So, our Friday evenings became bereft of the cultured tones of Jeremy Hardy (RIP) or Susan Calman (who, we subsequently discovered, is an ardent unionist). Some of the money saved goes towards supporting obscure bloggers, an obscure Scottish daily newspaper and a Netflix subscription. We have never regretted our actions (nor, hopefully, have the obscure bloggers).

    Joy of joys. Our Fridays are complete again with the sound of the wee ginger dug’s minder’s creaking furniture, some people having a party in the room next door, and an interesting guest or two, with Calum Baird chairing the proceedings. There is probably an art to chairing radio discussions ensuring people do not talk over each other, that the agenda is followed (or not) and, with headphones on, ensuring the correct sound balances. This is not easy and kudos and many thanks to Calum Baird for pursuing and developing this.

    Meanwhile, social media tells me the nation’s (well the English nation’s) broadcaster has not improved. From a detached, though not dispassionate, point of view, there are (at least) two issues: the broadcaster’s inability to differentiate between entertainment and information, and an inability to realise impartiality is not necessarily synonymous with balance. Hence programs, such as Question Time, which could be used to calmly discuss and dissect events go for rabble rousing jingoism because it looks ‘entertaining’ and disguises the overt agenda of propaganda. The latter point fails to acknowledge that it is impossible not to have a view point. It is not possible to point the lens or microphone in one direction without deciding not to point them in some other. It is impossible when editing images or sound not to avoid making decisions on what to include and what to exclude. Denying the decisions are made is to deny reality and to deny responsibly for those decisions. This is better explained in a Bella Caledonia article, the view from nowhere so I will finish the rant and leave you with the URL
    https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2015/10/19/the-view-from-nowhere-impartiality-objectivity-bias-and-the-bbc/

  10. NConway2 says:

    Havnt left a post here before but we seem to be complaining on twitter blogs etc about BBC bias a lot but nothing changes,Fiona Hyslop appeared to be out be out of her comfort zone,she may be a senior member of the SNP but that doesn’t matter,yip im no politician i read blogs post on twitter etc,but if we play by British rules history shows that it doesn’t work,the British Governments negotiations with the EU is an up to date example, we I support the SNP and expect a professional organisation to be on there game this QT shows,in my opinion that on something like QT a MSP/MP who is at there top of there game needs to be on theses panels. I remember New Labour Alistair Campbell being a force to be reckoned with, as much as i disliked him he was effective and served a purpose the SNP could learn,we have a goal which is independence from the British state……

    • Scott H says:

      Mhairi Black has never been on Question Time. Funny that.

      • weegingerdug says:

        I’ve never been on the BBC.

        They did ask me once. It was when the Sunday Herald printed that pic of the Britnat gaggle after the huge Glasgow rally, and the BBC was looking for a pro-indy person to come on their politics show to slag off a pro-indy newspaper.

        I politely declined.

      • Cubby says:

        The BBC do the inviting I believe. The SNP do not decide who they want on a programme.

    • john burrows says:

      It can be very unnerving for anyone to sit in the midst of two hundred odd people who would probably prefer to be publicly hanging you. Most civilized folks would quail at the prospect. I admire the ladies fortitude for facing the feral hatred without fainting.

      British unionism has metastasized into something very dark and unsavory. One nation unionism and Brexit are now very much entwined.

      Fortunately, Gavin Williamson is too busy converting the navy into a ferry service, and our toy soldier army into crowd control to guard 30 odd million very pissed of English folk, who care very much about loosing their freedom of movement and EU citizenship, and are foraging for food.

      All revolutions start on bread lines.

  11. Col says:

    Two points to make here. Daft arse aside, last nights show I realised after avoiding it for so long does absolutely nothing to inform the viewer. The sheer amount of lies that went unchallenged was unbelievable. Where was Fiona Bruce to challenge the lies. I did notice at one point a strained look on her face as she obviously has someone in her ear piece telling her to move things on. She cut Fiona Hyslop off and moved things along so quickly after she tried to reply to the crazy orangeman I thought they had cut a bit of the actual program out. Is now the time to go for the BBC jugular? They’re on the back foot here, it’s long overdue is it not for a very public mass withholding of the license fee in Scotland. It really should be as unpopular as the poll tax was. They’d shit themselves as they’d be worrying England would join in for their own reasons. We may be missing a trick here. The last sad point I want to make is to say are we not paying for this bloody program from the BBC in Scotland budget?

    • Wullie 0:) says:

      Dinnae pay!!! A dinnae. The buggers hae been tae ma door awready and A pulled the drawbridge up!! They dinnae even PRETEND tae be impartial.

      • Kenzie says:

        It should be pointed out that anyone thinking of withdrawing from this daylight robbery called the BBC tax, you will receive a plethora of threatening letters. Bin them, they’re not worth the paper they’re written on.You will probably get a couple of visits but these “visitors” have no power of entry, or anything else. They are employees of a Private company called Capita. You don’t even have to speak to them. When they flash their ID Card (and they just love doing that – very officious and intimidating, you see…or so they seem to think), I just say “I have two things to say to you (1) yes, I have a TV set and (2) I will not answer any questions. I then close the door. It’s w nothing they can do and they know it.worth it just to see the look on their collective physog. There is absolutely nothing they can do.

        The so-called punishments the courts can mete out that they are so fond of telling you about arise because people do invite them into their homes and invariably are so intimidated that they simply “confess”.

        Remember that the collectors are just ordinary men and women doing a job. Don’t be unduly rude to them; just don’t speak to them. 🙂

        • Weechid says:

          The one who came to me was from G4S. He handed me a letter say “They must think you don’t have a TV licence or something” and started to walk away. He wasn’t in the least bit interested in whether I had a TV or not – I don’t.

        • Brian Ritchie says:

          Agreed. Unless they have a warrant they can’t enter your property, and it order to get one they need to apply to a sherriff with proof that you’re waching TV. And I don’t believe there have been ANY warrants issued in Scotland for years now.

          • Illy says:

            I thought it was warrant *and* an accompanying police officer.

            And remember that if someone turns up at your door in a police uniform: ring the local station before letting them in, just to be certain it isn’t someone in fancy dress.

          • Kenzie says:

            Watching TV is not the problem, watching live or recorded live programmes is the defining characteristic. For a Scottish Sheriff to issue a Warrant proof (suspicion is worthless) will have to be provided that you are known to watch live or recorded live programme and, unless you admit to this, it is impossible to prove.

        • morvenm2014 says:

          If you don’t want threatening letters, just sign the online declaration on the BBC website that you no longer watch or record live TV before you cancel your direct debit. They will even give you a rebate for the part of the year you missed. I did this in 2014 and, other than an online reminder every 2 years or so to re-sign, I haven’t been bothered by anybody.

          As stated above, you don’t have to let anybody into your property if you don’t want to.

          • Brian Ritchie says:

            I’ve filled in that declaration twice now. I still get the letters.

          • Contrary says:

            I sign the ‘ tv licence don’t need one ‘ declaration, and normally don’t receive threatening letters – except a few months ago I got some saying things like ‘because you haven’t responded to previous letters’,,, I hadn’t received any, so not sure how I could have either responded or not ,,, then a big pile of threats about how they would get a warrant etc. I went online and checked my declaration – only 8 months had passed, but I went ahead and did a new one anyway and the letters stopped. Very weird. I don’t watch anything live, anywhere, and don’t miss it (never watched much telly anyway, always found it irritating), so it’s all above board. Just get annoyed that some of my income taxes still go to the BBC.

    • D W SCOTT says:

      Good points Col
      ESPECIALLY THE IDEA OF A MASS PUBLIC WITHHOLDING OF THE LICENSE FEE IN SCOTLAND

    • davidbsb says:

      Absolutely agree. Civil disobedience is long overdue here.

  12. Andy MacNicol says:

    If I paid the BBC tax I would certainly be thinking about stopping doing so now. I haven’t paid it for over four years now since Indyref1 and I don’t miss it one bit. I certainly will never consider paying it again, ever.

    It isn’t just the BBC, the other channels and all the papers are just as bad. They all have an agenda which they pursue with vigour. The reporters for these media are compliant with this agenda as they know they would be unemployed if they didn’t fulfil the plans of their owners. They would struggle for stories as places at press conferences would be allocated to those who know which way to slant their reports. The agenda is unspoken but they all know the score.

    The truth is out there but many people are just too lazy to seek it out. They prefer their news to be spoonfed to them so they can pontificate down at the pub, or at work, and appear knowledgeable to their friends. The older generation are more prone to this as they still think that if it’s on the BBC, or the front page of the Express, then it must be true. Sometimes I despair as I listen to some know-it-all dispensing the morning headlines to those around them. I don’t even argue any more. An old-fashioned look and a shake of the head usually has a belittling effect on the more aware of that breed.

  13. Ken Clark says:

    Beautifully put, Paul, as always. Your eloquence never ceases to amaze.

    The question the British state avoids is, “Why is there a growing demand for Scottish independence?” “What is wrong with things as they are?” It is beyond their comprehension.

    In 2014, Richard Madeley, standing in for Matthew Wright, complained, “We send them all our taxes, why do they hate us.” An all too typical chronic lack of self awareness, coupled with astonishing ignorance.

    The EU are getting a taste of what the English establishment truly represent. London’s regular displays of arrogant stupidity during the past two years can only reinforce Scotland’s cause.

    • FM says:

      Madeley also mentioned clocks changing for our benefit. We are wasting our time entertaining these people. We are dancing to their tune and it has to stop.

  14. Wullie 0:) says:

    That’s why A refuse to fund them!!! Awready had them at ma door ,but there’s nae way they’re gettin ma siller fir them to peddle this p###!!!

  15. Stellar, Paul.
    I am beside myself with rage.
    I’m sure Glenn and Toodle Oo The Noo and Brewer and Jackie and Sally were happy that their new ‘freelance’ colleague, Billy the Bigot was front and centre defending their ‘precious union’.
    I have suggested elsewhere that the SNP and Greens and all Yes Organisations simply refuse to take part.
    Send a Haggis to occupy the chair, and let the rabid Yoons scream at a lump of offal that Scotland’s too poor toot wee too stupid and will need the Mighty English to continue to subsidise us when the world turns its back on the Mighty British Empire.
    There is no doubt that the programme was a fascist Brit Nat set up; humiliate the Nationalists. Belittle independence, slaughter Fiona Hyslop; meanwhile that other Fiona sneered her way through the whole tawdry ‘Show Trial’.
    May was right! There is no appetite in Scotland for a second Referendum!
    You saw it first on Question Time.
    The Scots want to drift off into poverty and penury as the willing slaves of England.
    Aye, right.
    I implore anyone representing Self Determination to refuse to appear on their broadcasts, or provide copy for the Dead Tree Scrolls.
    Hyslop was butchered by the BBC.
    Just tell them to fuck off.
    We’ll present the case for Self Determination through our own outlets.

    Never again.
    I am beside myself with rage that this is allowed to happen in my country.

  16. Millsy says:

    I have written complaint after complaint to the BBC – it’s like farting against thunder !
    You can’t get a straightforward answer to any query ; it takes weeks for them to get back ( despite their own rules which require speedy response ) and in the end they close off all communication , regardless of whether they have satisfied you or not , by saying we can no longer continue this dialogue .
    Or in popular parlance – F*ck off !

    • next time they ask for a pro Scotland guest, send a haggis.
      I’d pay money to watch Brewer interviewing a lump of offal.
      Strike that: he does that every week.

    • Independent Woman says:

      I whole-heartedly agree with everything you say. I am a serial complainer to the BBC. Their replies are invariably bland, dismissive and devoid of meaning in the context of the original complaint. I go on complaining because my complaint at least makes somebody spend 10 seconds of their time sending the reply. That is 10 seconds of their time not spent minting fresh lies about Scotland.

    • David McCann says:

      Having complained regularly to the BBC and got the usual reply, I reckon a better place to complain is Newswatch https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qjrk2 as it seems to me you have abetter chance of being heard.

  17. As you suggest in your post, Paul, there are questions to be asked about the purpose of QT. For a start, what’s the point of moving the programme round the country if the audience and the questions don’t reflect the political issues in that area? The BBC might as well keep the presenter in London and bus in the panel and the audience. Especially since it seems to be the same audience they have every week.

  18. FM says:

    It is the State Broadcaster. Nothing has changed.

  19. diabloandco says:

    Perfect Paul – I would dearly love to see you on the BBBC .That’s not likely to happen since they are unlikely to welcome you and I gave up watching the ordure they broadcast many moons ago.

  20. Fillofficer says:

    & to make matters worse, the production is paid from the Scottish BBC budget every week.
    So they really are trolling us at every opportunity.
    It will never change.
    We must

  21. Keith Roberts says:

    Trial run for the new Jockland channel Debate Night on the day before, and guess who was there, rehearsing the same script…

  22. Grafter says:

    Stop paying the BBC TV Tax. Be selective go on Utube. Use your TV as a monitor. Educate yourself and stop complaining about this corrupt organisation.

  23. markrussell20085017 says:

    I note Peter Curran’s youtube channel is down once again. Anyone know why?

  24. East Neuker says:

    Grafter, you’re missing the point. The fact that you and I don’t watch or believe the BBC does not stop lots of other more credulous souls believing their outright propaganda, and therefore being resistant to the idea of independence because of their lies. THAT is what we need to complain about in the loudest possible way, so don’t tell me or anyone else to stop complaining about this lying, corrupt and sinister propaganda arm of the deep British establishment.

  25. Irene Duncan says:

    The man in orange on Question Time:
    As disturbing as this man’s rant and selection was, the imbalance in the invited audience was equally disturbing. Very anti SNP and independence and not representative of Motherwell or of Scotland.
    If this is a deliberate construct then it also indicates a bias in support of Brexit as seen in other QT episodes.
    I’m shocked at the bias and at their underestimation of the ability of viewers to see through their deception.
    Do they think we’re daft? No we are not. Not here. I’m raging! 😡

  26. Cubby says:

    A lot of outrage now about the BBC. Pity more didn’t turn up to the demo outside Propaganda Quay last year. The BBC have always been state propaganda broadcasters. They are just less subtle about it now.

    Sadly some independence supporters still seem to live in hope that some elements (e.g. Daily Record) of the MSM will suddenly start supporting independence or at least be a bit more neutral. It ain’t gonna happen. British Nationalists to their core.

  27. Col says:

    Nothing short of a campaign of non payment against the BBC poll tax will stop them rubbing our faces. They’ve not changed so clearly we need to. We either fight them or shut the hell up and stop complaining.
    If no one can be bothered showing up at BBC demos nothing will change. Starting a national campaign is our only option but it takes organisation and time. I wish I had the time and means myself but I don’t.
    I have however managed to haul my ass to most of the demos, the last one I had high hopes for but was very disappointing because of the low numbers there. They must have been laughing at us.
    There was the biggest one years ago where I managed to talk a no friend into attending who then became a yes supporter that day which I was shocked at because I wasn’t pushing him particularly hard. I think a few things fell into place for him that day. Seeing lots of joyous Scots, English and more at the demo and rally expressing their concerns peacefully with music, speaking, banners and the like was amazing. People realise the implications of having a broadcaster behaving in such a way. It goes against all democratic principles for a public broadcaster funded by everyone to be used by one group for their own purposes.
    We need to start calling it the BBC poll tax, it carries with it carries with it negative connotations and is a tactic they use on us almost daily. If we could get a big enough campaign going in Scotland we could reach out to our democratic friends in England too. The BBC is increasingly seen as the tory party broadcaster these days. We may have more friends waiting to join us than we would realise. If it turned into a UK campaign they would really brick it.

    • Cubby says:

      The BBC poll tax it is.

    • robert harrison says:

      Don’t be so reliant on the englanders they talk the talk but walking the walk I’ve never seen them do that since they ousted thacther I certainly have never been able to count on them in my experience when the time came better if we are doing this ourselves.

  28. C avery says:

    What really irks me is that the Yoons like Mitchell base their Britishness on a complete misunderstanding of history. Mitchell apparently rates Cromwell as the greatest British protestant. The problem with that is that Cromwell was English not British; was Anglican and was opposed in equal measure to Catholicism and Presbyterianism and was quite happy to send Scottish Presbyterians to the Carribean as indentured people after he succesfully invaded Scotland. The Anglican settlement in Ireland left Catholics and Presbyterians as second class citizens beholden to the English Crown.

    • Cubby says:

      This guy like a lot of the no surrender mob are just ignorant bigots. Some people say that the problem in Scotland is the number of English immigrants in Scotland. The real problem is people in Scotland like Mitchell who are wannabe English(British).

  29. astytaylor says:

    The BBC sinking to new depths there, right enough.
    If you were a BBC employee, at what stage would your conscience get the better of you?
    Or do you just keep collecting the salary, and smiling?
    Pure, biased, drivel.
    The BBC is beyond a joke.
    More and more people know that.
    I just wish that Sally or Jackie would tear up their script, live on Mis-reporting Scotland, apologize to the nation, and storm off the set.
    We’d love you forever, ladies.

  30. susan says:

    I don’t pay the licence fee and I told them why in my letter to them. As for folk turning up at my door, none so far but they won’t be getting past the doorstep without a valid police warrant. Sod them all!

    • Kenzie says:

      Before a Sheriff would consider a Warrant, Susan, he would demand proof that you were watching Recorded Live or Live programmes and unless you confessed to this before another witness, this could never be proved.

  31. The bias of the BBC against Scotland is as crass as Jerry Springer in QT. My recent experience has led be to believe that this policy is extremely subtle and so deeply ingrained that individual BBC journalists have actual ideological minders. I have described the experience at my blog. The short version is that my story was not run despite much research and enthusiasm from the journalist who wanted to run it. Her excuses were thin; she seemed also to accept without question my suggestion that the BBC would never link my blog at its site, never give its anti establishment undercurrent any publicly. Read the full story here: http://duncanspence.blog/2019/02/01/the-establishment-the-cradle-and-the-grave/

  32. Akash Mahmud says:

    Stop paying the BBC TV Tax. Be selective go on Utube. Use your TV as a monitor. Educate yourself and stop complaining about this corrupt organisation.

  33. alasdair smith says:

    Heres the response I got to my complaint about Question time audience selection from BBC.

    “Many thanks for getting in touch with us recently about the edition of Question Time from Motherwell broadcast on 7th February 2019.

    We were naturally concerned to learn that you were unhappy about the programme’s audience.

    Having received a range of feedback on this issue, keeping in mind pressures on our TV Licence fee resources this response seeks to address the key points raised. That said, we apologise in advance if your complaint has not been specifically addressed here, but we raised the main concerns with the programme team.

    We’d explain that Question Time receives tens of thousands of audience applications per year, and from those we welcome over 5,000 members of the public every year to our recordings and we are grateful for such a high level of interest.

    Audience selection is a significant undertaking and the process of selection is afforded the highest priority by the Question Time team. As such, we cannot agree with suggestions that the programme from Motherwell was not representative of a range of views.

    Our system for selection includes asking a detailed series of questions, sometimes by phone, whereby every potential audience member is spoken to individually. Data supplied by potential audience members is also routinely cross referenced and verified, and we regularly seek guidance on best practice in this area.

    Whilst we acknowledge that you may also have an opinion on one individual audience member, given the strict rules on Data Protection we’d clarify that we are not routinely able to talk about individual cases. We have taken the opportunity on this specific occasion to have clarified that an individual who attended this edition of the programme has previously supplied inaccurate information.

    Although there are no hard and fast rules about how many times someone can appear in a Question Time audience, we want to allow as many people as possible the chance to be part of the programme so we would not normally allocate a seat to someone if they had appeared recently. We continually review our systems and processes in this area.

    Many thanks once again for taking the time to get in touch with us. We welcome and greatly appreciate all audience feedback on our programmes, and it can help us shape future decisions. Please be assured that yours has been logged and circulated to senior executives across the BBC and the issues raised have been discussed directly with the Question Time team.

    Kind Regards

    BBC Complaints Team”

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