Thursday, February 04, 2010


EXCLUSIVE: BBC Denies ‘Unbalanced’ Question Time Panel

The BBC today denied accusations that filling Question Time with five authoritarian egomaniacs displayed any lack of political balance. ‘Last week we had three Tories – today, three Labour people,’ a spokesperson said. ‘How much more balanced could we be? It’s not as if the Liberal Democrats have anything distinctive to contribute about tonight’s topics of Iraq and electoral reform. I’m sorry, what?

‘With Lord Falconer, Theresa May, Clare Short, George Galloway and Melanie Phillips on tonight’s panel [see our EXCLUSIVE advance photograph], the audience can be assured a full range of political colours.

Mr Dimbleby is in the chair.
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‘We reject accusations that two embittered, self-aggrandising ex-Labour MPs with minuscule public support are in some way likely to agree. Everyone knows they consider each other “splitters”.

‘In fact, Clare Short will tonight join Theresa May in representing the Conservative Party, as a cheerleader for the war who voted it through and then, when it all went pear-shaped afterwards, angrily said that it wasn’t her fault, she’d been deceived, and how could she possibly have been expected to exercise any individual judgment (something that’s a lot easier to say in the absence of any awkward Liberal Democrats).’

DISCLAIMER: The Daleks wish it to be known that they dissociate themselves from the far-right authoritarianism of Melanie Phillips and the support for genocidal maniacs offered by George Galloway.

Update: and again…

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More tired and ill and grumpy and marginally less sarcastically, just sent to BBC complaints (

I usually just sigh when you don't have a Liberal Democrat on your panel - despite there being plenty of space and Labour and the Tories being the same on so many issues. I get cross when you so frequently have more than one Tory supporter or Labour supporter on your panel - *never* more than one Lib Dem - as with last week's three Tory-supporting voices out of five. This bears no relationship to the standing of parties in opinion polls or actual votes.

But tonight's exclusion is so blatantly stupid that it takes the biscuit and, for once, I have to complain to you rather than shouting at the TV. Not one but two ex-Labour egomaniacs with very similar views and next to zero public support? And in the week where the Iraq Inquiry had its biggest panellist, you miss out the only major party to have opposed it from the start? Still more unbelievably, when proportional representation is finally a major news story, you don't think the only party that's argued for it for the best part of a century might have anything unique to say on the issue?

And finally, as your political correspondents say every day that "the starting gun has been fired" on the election, how arrogant are you to repeatedly cut out the party with support from more than a fifth of the electorate - which, if you need to count it on your fingers, is at least one panellist each week on Question Time?
What, if any, political affiliation would Dalek Caan identify with? I'm thinking something left-of-center with an emphasis on personal freedom and nonconformity,
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