Impartiality, QT, and the BBC

Posted on February 24, 2020

I tend to play cricket on Thursday nights, so I don’t generally have the misfortune of stumbling upon BBC Question Time. Even without that, I have tended to avoid it after it turned into a bear pit last year when Diane Abbott was on the show.

I am pretty much ambivalent when it comes to Diane Abbott. She is obviously a thousand times more intelligent than those who, without prompting, angrily request you don’t get them started on her. However, I still don’t get inspired by her as a politician.  

That doesn’t justify what Fiona Bruce did when winding up a QT audience and taunting the beleaguered Abbott for, I presume, populist viewing figures. It was the end of my long association with what was once a political debate.

The Misfortune of Seeing a Fascist

I have a minor injury, so I haven’t played cricket for a couple weeks. This meant that last Thursday, I was unfortunate enough to catch the start of QT. What on earth were the BBC thinking of when they planted someone who they knew was a fascist, on the show? Not only that, they allowed her racist rant to go uninterrupted.

This wasn’t an error on live TV (QT is pre-recorded then transmitted when finished) so the researchers knew what they were doing. What were they thinking of?

I can only imagine that because the BBC has been under siege lately, it chucked this maniac on to the show to prove it respected the views of the extreme right. The problem with extreme right opinion is that it rarely contains the truth. This woman was a case in point, as any basic fact checker will tell you.


Typically, the BBC have come out of this as losers. Moderates (known as the hard left in 2020) are utterly and justifiably appalled. Right-wing groups have accused the BBC of putting her up to be bullied and parodied (bless her, the poor little fascist).

In my opinion, the BBC is an excellent service that has got itself into a pickle with regards to impartiality. It finds itself getting battered from the far left and right, fending off accusations of being partisan. Because of power, money and bullying, it does seem to have shifted to the right at times.

What the BBC should focus on, are the positives of getting criticism from both sides of the political argument. This means they are getting something right (excuse the pun). Instead they are getting themselves drawn into dealing in outrage and in turn making idiots of themselves.

Murdoch & Co

For those of you who are falling for all the stick the BBC are getting, be careful about what you wish for. The likes of Murdoch and Bannon would love to see the BBC taken out, leaving Channel 4 as the only news offering that is impartial.

From a selfish point of view, I am a regular listener of Radio 4, 5 and 6 as well as utilising BBC website, iPlayer and excellent Podcasts. As someone who works from home, I would miss it badly, because I use it so much. The License fee is an absolute bargain from my point of view.

I fear that by getting drawn into dabbling with political groups rather than concentrating on impartiality, the BBC is digging its own grave. If they feel they have to push an extreme political viewpoint through, rather than being lambasted if they don’t, impartiality is dead.

And that’s just how Murdoch and his mob want it.

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