Friday, November 18, 2016

BBC Question time - why did they give a platform to Ms One Percent?

I would not want to suggest that BBC Question Time should not occasionally look beyond the main political parties at people who have interesting things to say. But they do have a duty to be balanced and ought to think carefully about who they give a platform to.

Cat Boyd, who was invited to be a panellist on last night's question time, was involved in putting together a left-wing slate for the Scottish parliament elections earlier this year called RISE, which failed to elect a single candidate. And remember, this was in a PR election: in the Glasgow region where she stood about 6% of the vote would have given RISE a seat. The regional ticket which she headed only got ONE PER CENT of the vote. (Results here.)

This is an image from Twitter showing Cat Boyd, or as I shall now refer to her, Ms One Percent,  at a "Death party" where she danced in the street to celebrate when Margaret Thatcher died.

She also made herself look rather silly on QT by being severely critical of one side (it would not have mattered which) in the EU referendum and then admitting that she didn't vote.

I do not deny anyone the right to express their views, no matter how distasteful I find them. I also accept that the BBC needs to publicise a wide range of views including some that I disagree with.

But is it really appropriate for the BBC to use a licence-payers' money to provide a platform for someone whose views were not supported by more than one percent of the electorate in the area where she stood for election and whose behaviour will have been highly offensive to a much larger proportion of licence payers and voters?

If the people who run Question Time could not find someone with far more interesting and worthwhile ideas, and much more public support, than Ms One Percent to offer a place on the panel, they do not deserve their salaries.


Jim said...

I think you ask a very important question in that article, even though you did not intentionally do so.

That is of course "is it really appropriate for the BBC to use licence-payers' money?"
I cant say I agree with this outdated system, and in 2016 I dont think there is a need for a public service broadcaster, BBC should be forced to compete, who knows if that happens they may actually produce something worth watching again.

Though I do have to agree with you that the people who run Question Time do not deserve their salaries.

Chris Whiteside said...

There is a good case for moving on from the present model of funding the BBC. As you know this was recently reviewed and confirmed for another few years. I am not certain this was the right decisions.

I will make the prediction that you, I and the BBC will all outlive the corporation's present licence fee method of funding.