I watched tonight's edition because UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, was on the programme; and I wasn't the only one who thought that he was effetively sidelined.
UKIP hadn't been on Question Time for 8 months, whereas in the same time, Peter Hain had been on four times, Ming Campbell four times, the token ethnic lady from the Tories was on again and again, a historian was on 4 times, there were 8 Daily Mail journalists on, and the same faces popping up again and again. The producer on QT said that they were 'booked up until Christmas' but after an angry phone call from the party, a reluctant Jenny Parks, who used to produce a sunday TV programme which UKIP were never invited on, said there was space for Nigel Farage this evening. Interestingly, they had not confirmed the panel for this evening until earlier today.
I hear that the producer refused to speak to him all evening and Dimbleby himself was very off hand, when previously he had been pleasant. I was not the only one to notice the was that Nigel was very much slighted by the BBC in what they clearly wanted to be a party political broadcast by the Labour Party. Why else would they have two Brown supporters on, including the nasty Paul Myners who donates money to the man who robs your old age and of course is a trustee of the Smith Institute.
Paul Myners is also, of course, "Chair of the Guardian Media Group, publisher of The Guardian and The Observer newspapers". And he was heartily pro-government: well, what a fucking surprise. And let's just say that I do not intend to take any lessons in political integrity from anyone who is a Trustee of
One thing that I did notice, amongst all the discussion over NuLabour's donation problems [snigger], was that Dimbleby absolutely refused to discuss the issue of state funding of political parties; oh, he allowed a couple of comments from both guests and audience members who were in favour of it, but refused to brook any real discussion—except, eventually, when it was forced by Farage. Even then it was a desultry affair, especially as Farage was anti- and pointed out that the other parties—no matter how much Alan Duncan may have protested his own personal disavowal—were very much pro-the taxpayer propping up their ailing finances.
Why should Dimbleby want to gloss over the arguments against state-funding? Could it be because the Beeb is... er... state-funded? As the old saying goes, I think we should be told.
But the rest of it? Sarah Teather came across as a boring, clueless arse, barely able to comprehend what was going on. She looks like she should be a Little Miss, although her greatest resemblance is as a dowdier Tara Fitzgerald, especially in the latter's role as the slightly buck-toothed and (initially) po-faced priest's wife in Sirens; I wonder if Sarah is as sexually-charged as Estella turns out to be...?
Alan Duncan was, in general, sound and actually rather impressive on the Oxford Union free speech issue; he did at least say that he would take part in a debate with Irving and Griffin.
This was in sharp contrast to Caroline Flint—her rat-trap mouth surely makes her one of the ugliest women in politics, by the way—who spent an awful lot of time blethering stridently about the importance of free speech and who then said she wouldn't take part in a debate with the terrible two; hardly surprising, really, that a NuLabour minister should feel themselves inadequately mentally and idealoically equipped to deal with Griffin and Irving. In the main, she came across as a total bitch who would not shut the fuck up, even when she had nothing to say; something that made Dimbleby's fawning praise and thanks for her "being the only Labour minister to stick their head above the parapet" even more revoltingly servile.
And that's all that there is to say; a typical BBC programme, with an overpaid and underworked presenter fawning pathetically at the feet of the government. I nearly threw the TV out of the window, only I couldn't guarantee that it'd hit anyone worthwhile.