No Question Time 60


I have just been watching the “debate” on BBC Question Time between six people each almost identically right wing. The differences between the panelists are almost non-existent. Not one of them objected in principle to private companies running NHS hospitals for profit, or saw any possible argument against banning a group with whose ideas you profoundly disagree. There is no doubt that many of the audience comments were well to the liberal or left side of any of the panel.

This was an entirely pointless exercise in reinforcement of the establishment line. Why do we pay for this rubbish?


60 thoughts on “No Question Time

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  • Rainborough

    We pay for this rubbish because the BBC has a total democratic deficit, and treats complainants with disdain.

  • glenn

    I gave up watching it years ago for precisely this reason. Same with the R4 ‘Any Questions?’ – you could easily provide a list of right-wing talking points to a random selection of people and have them read out. Result would be the same. The token liberal (if one is on there at all) will usually be well outnumbered and allowed to be shouted down and cut across.
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    You see the same thing in America going back many years since. CNN ‘debates’ like Crossfire have been described as akin to the left wing of the CIA debating the right wing of the CIA.
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    That’s why we get so many debates that concern the ‘handling’ of a situation (invading Iraq, socially regressive policies) rather than questioning whether such things are – in fact – wrong, unjust and immoral to their core.

  • Scouse Billy

    I have decided to abandon TV and the license “fee” altogether.
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    Out of 500 or so channels on SKY there is almost nothing I want to watch.
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    At last I can more or less get all I want via the internet.
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    Sod the BBC and its Tavistock agenda.

  • OldMark

    ‘This was an entirely pointless exercise in reinforcement of the establishment line. Why do we pay for this rubbish?’

    I agree absolutely- I turned over half way in to catch most of the repeated tribute to the wonderful Edmundo Ros on BBC4.

  • Ben

    Can’t remember the last time I watched that garbage passed as question time. The whole scam of pretend debate is like watching a rigged match, during which one already knows the outcome. Truly, an exercise in futility.
    Nice way of privatisation though, run the hospital to the ground, and then call in the private sector to make a profit and run the same ran down hospital. Nice way of paying back for the investment in elections did I say selections?
    Moral of the story; now the rest of the hospitals will fail and the same company can step in and start making a buck, as return on their investments. As CNN used to run the banners during the US selections; “the best government money can buy” apparently without any sense of Irony.

  • Iain Orr

    The reason we pay for “this rubbish” – which political “debates” on the BBC generally are – is because we watch and listen uncomplainingly. I know the BBC’s complaints system does not work [I have tried it]. Nevertheless, we need to complain more; and more constructively. Programme producers know that Lab v LibDem v Tory is a recipe for yawning. We need to tell the BBC the people whose views we want to hear. That should include those with whom we disagree violently, because we want our heroes to demolish them. I want more of Melanie Phillips and Michael Howard (unfair to put them together) but only if we can have more of Craig, Jeremy Corbyn, George Monbiot and Ben Goldacre.

  • TonyF

    It was the worst I have ever seen too. London (especially Westminster) has no interest in the North East – they can’t even raise a panel.

    The Labour spokesperson had a voice like the Computer on Red Dwarf.

  • Nextus

    I once made a well-supported complaint about a BBC news correspondent’s blatant spin in a TV report (in the pre-Gilligan era). Some weeks later I received a full statement of the subsequent investigation, which accepted the legitimacy of the complaint, but stopped short of conferring responsibility. I noticed that the correspondent soon moved from his senior position to a less prominent role. I doubt whether my complaint was the spur, but I was at least satisfied that Auntie Beeb had taken the complaint seriously.

  • Quelcrime

    Why do we pay for this rubbish?
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    Don’t. You can get it free on the radio. You can always send a donation to mathaba or something instead.
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    🙂

  • Quelcrime

    Complaining about the BBC is like complaining about the police. A waste of time.
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    http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1419851_dad-disgusted-as-cops-cleared-of-wrongdoing-after-they-used-taser-on-him-during-epileptic-fit
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    Read the comments to see what you’re up against. I can imagine what it was like in Germany in the ’30s – ‘Do we really need to break Mr Goldstein’s windows?’ ‘You’re talking rubbish! Don’t you know nothing? Shut up if you don’t know what you’re talking about!’

  • Ken

    I never watch question time, I gave up on it years ago as they never asked any real searching questions.When they have a proper debate on their of how the British government acts in its foreign policy then I might look in but I cannot ever see that happening. It is frankly middle of the road politics for the politically inept. The BBC is a let down in all its news items I feel although Panorama might sometimes do something good but not often. It seems to me that the BBC just ignore any real discussion of what the British do in the world. I have never seen a real truthful debate about the Palestine/Israeli conflict on the BBC,mostly they just have the Israeli propagandist Regev on their spouting rubbish. Never seen a real debate or even real news about the witch hunt towards Iran. The BBC is a joke. You would think they would try and redeem themselves but no they are happy to carry on churning out garbage. As for the privatisation of an NHS hospital,well that is the plan is it not? Get the people to get used to it and the BBC making it seem all normal I expect. This is just the start of the carve up and you know that the company will put profits before care,it is a disgrace and I believe that the Labour party(they should change their name as they no longer represent labour at all) were the ones who made it happen. The banning of that radical Islam group is just another attack on freedom of speech as well. If these guy want to protest against the government invading states in the middle east then they should have that right.

  • Daniel

    This pretty much sums up my thoughts every time over the last few years I’ve switched on thinking ‘maybe, just maybe, this week will be different.’

    The only time I enjoy it (or get anything from it) is when it’s in Liverpool, Scotland, Wales etc. or when they have Will Self on there. Watching Self spiral down the rabbit hole of depression as the program progresses is the most truth you’ll ever get from a Question Time panelist (with a few honourable exceptions).

  • Canspeccy

    “Why do we pay for this rubbish?”
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    Because the state requires you to. Obviously.
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    And why does the state require you to pay for it?
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    Because the state requires a broadcast channel for propaganda, obviously.
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    So let’s be clear. What are you objecting to?
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    The existence of a state propaganda channel, or just that the propaganda isn’t far enough to the left for your liking?

  • John Goss

    Did you notice too how they all wore poppies of various sizes? Dress them the same, like soldiers, they don’t question, just comply. I have not seen one personality who has made a protest by, say, wearing a white poppy. It’s red poppycock!

  • Tournesol

    We had a quick look at the panel last night and decided to give it a miss. I always try and watch, hoping it will be different or that at least they will have someone like Will Self or any other voice of dissent. I guess hope is why we keep paying for it. It’s been getting worse – and Dimbleby is starting to really annoy me.

  • mary

    BREAKING. Cynthia McKinney offered Justice Department protection after assassination threat

    by Wayne Madsen

    Global Research, November 10, 2011
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    Former Representative and 2008 Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney was offered “victim witness” special protection by the FBI after the indictment of four men in northern Georgia for plotting to kill McKinney, Attorney General Eric Holder, and, according to FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Brian Lamkin of the bureau’s Atlanta office, President Barack Obama.
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    Frederick W. Thomas, 73, and Dan Roberts, 67, were charged in the U.S. District Court in Gainesville, Georgia with conspiracy to buy explosives and possession of a silencer, while Samuel Crimp, 68, and Ray Adams were charged with conspiracy to manufacture and disperse the deadly toxin ricin. Federal law enforcement officials seized 52 weapons, including assault rifles, and 30,000 rounds of ammunition, including special sniper rounds, from Thomas’s Toccoa, Georgia home.
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    Lamkin called McKinney at her mother’s home in Georgia on November 9 and informed her that she was on the target list for the four arrested men, along with Obama and Holder. A Department of Justice official offered to provide special “victim witness” protection to McKinney, who, unlike Obama and Holder, does not have special security assigned to her.
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    McKinney said that while she is not afraid of the four Georgia men arrested in the alleged assassination plot, she remains concerned that the FBI that had on its payroll a hate radio host who announced to his listenership in 2006 that McKinney should be lynched on her way to vote. The radio host, Hal Turner, was found guilty in 2010 of making threats against three federal judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and was sentenced to 33 months in prison. It was also discovered in 2008 that Turner, who often called into the WABC-AM New York radio programs of Bob Grant and Sean Hannity, was a paid FBI informant.
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    McKinney said in reaction to the offer of protection services by the Justice Department, “the government agency that was paying the shock jock to threaten me rings to inform me that I now qualify for victim witness services.” McKinney added that the arrest of the four white extremists in north Georgia comes at a time when she has been reaching out to white conservatives. She said, “Recently, I have been reaching out to conservative white individuals and organizations for dialogue and I will continue to do so. The people I’ve been reaching out to are hearing my message and it is getting through: if you and I fail to talk about our problems, we will never resolve them and the same old culprits who have skillfully divided us on the false basis of race will continue to steal opportunity from both of us. Let’s at least talk to each other and keep our eyes together on the ones stealing the people blind.”
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    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27582
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    A woman with more courage than most of us. She has been on Free Gaza boats and was on the Dignity that the Israeli navy rammed in December 2009. In July 2009 she was captured and imprisoned by the Israelis after they boarded The Spirit of Humanity.
    {http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/07/02/cynthia-mckinney-remains-imprisoned-israel-gaza-bound-boat-seized/}

  • mary

    Last week’s QT was more lively with contributions from Benjamin Zephaniah. Also the one on 13th Oct when Dr Phil Hammond metaphorically slaughtered Lansley on the NHS reforms. Sometimes too the audience is alive to what concerns us all and you can sense their anger and frustration. Generally dire as you say. Dimblebore should be pensioned off.
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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006t1q9 = their archive

  • mary

    John Goss – yes everything and everyone is covered in the blood red poppies. Mary Ann Sieghart said last night on Sky News, when reviewing the papers, that she thought the whole remembrance thing had gone too far and that instead of wearing a poppy being a matter of choice, it was now obligatory everywhere. In the TV studios you have to wear one – there is no choice.

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    At the 11th hour today, the 11th November, I will stand to remember those who died in our defense but will not remember the wars of aggression.
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    A good piece by David Halpin on Remembrance and Hypocrisy triggered by the appearance of Blair at the Cenotaph in 2005.
    http://dhalpin.infoaction.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=21&Itemid=2

  • John Goss

    Mary, I will be showing my respect too. But respect should be a personal choice, not something foisted upon one.

  • bert

    See recording here:
    youtube.com/watch?v=S5KLlC8bRt4
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    for an example of where a genuine caller with a point got through to Jonathan Dimbleby on ‘Any Questions?’.
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    Listen to Dimbleby wh’affle… !

  • ingo

    I have been in the audience of the Dimbleby double acts for a few times, one time it was obvious that something wa snot right. Once at Magdalen street Norwich, I left the audience to go to the bog, we were already sitting ready for the programme to roll and pasing a door, slightly open and lit, I heard muffled noises, so I stopped and had a peek from outside without opening the door further. Inside were the panel members siffting through the questions and ascerting their right to ‘do this or that question’ with each other.
    Should have put them on the spot there and then, but its not live, anything untowards is cut out.

    The moment Question Time would go live with no editing possible, the programme would become political, not to talk of being a target for people to disrupt it. Twenty people, one after the other, could stop this predictable sharade in its tracks. Thing is they try and sift through the audience these days as well, political parties bus in their supporters and you would have to apply weeks before.

    If two consequetive programms had to be axed for ‘crowd trouble’, with activists being slated with the usual barrages and self pity the BBC is so good at, news material, these two Dimblepolit barons would make sure of that.

    Were is the programme that give control over questions to the audience, were is the programme were presenters remove those questioned if they do not provide an honest answer, just tell them to leave? It is called ‘you decide’, a new politcal forum that does cut the mustard from the grain.

  • Iain Orr

    Mary – don’t the wars of aggression also need to be remembered? But better for that to be on a different date and with its own symbol. Any suggestions? 17 March is the day in 2003 when the US led invasion of Iraq started (and when Robin Cook resigned as Leader of the House of Commons) – but it has already been hi-jacked by St Patrick. What about sunset on the day when the patent for cluster bombs was taken out? In fact there’s a wide choice of dates – see http://tinyurl.com/d5jm42v . The symbol could be a skull or a tombstone.

  • mike cobley

    Here’s something that’ll make your jaw drop – Question Time is not made by the BBC, but by Mentorn, now a brand of the production company Tinopolis. Tinopolis is owned by its senior management and “Vitruvian Partners is a European private equity firm focusing on leveraged buyout and growth capital investments in middle-market companies.” (according to wikipedia).

    The piper has been paid, and the tune has been called.

  • Craig W

    Mike – does this mean that Dimbleby is not a BBC employee? If he is not a BBC employee, he does not have to give the appearance of being politically neutral – though that is a contractural obligation observed these days as much in the breach as in the adherance.

  • arsalan

    It is all part and parcel of the Zionist Neo-con takeover of the UK.
    In the beginning of the Iraq war the BBC were emasculated and castrated for report things the Labour government didn’t want reporting.

    Reporting was Americanised. And now they have gone all the way.

  • Steve

    I detest Question Time and always have. The panellists are solely there for the purpose of self-promotion – absolutely nothing else. “Look at me, how wonderful am I? And, though you might disagree with this one given the reference to the banning of a group with which we disagree, look at how wonderfully liberal and tolerant I am. Look at all you despicable intolerant racists out there. Me, me, me, me, me …..”

    Unfortunately, and here’s the double-edged sword, they’re afraid of truly open debate and to say what they really think because there are people waiting in the wings such as the media and other political commentators waiting for an opportunity to call them every name under the sun and destroy their careers at the very earliest opportunity. A possible reason why we can’t have open debate in this country??

    Thoughts?

  • Arsalan

    They have Americanised the Universities with their fees, and are now Americanising the NHS.
    I’m sure they will tell us we are financially better off when the hospitals start charging for treatment in the same way they told kiddies they are financially better off when they tripled tuition fees.
    In the same way they say Iraqs are better off now they have exterminated a large percentage of their population and Afghans are better off now when American backed war lords rampage the country taking what ever they desire.
    This is the mind set that claims Uzbekistan has no Human rights issues, and Israel is a democracy.
    Which claims the White settlers in Palestine are indigenous while the natives who have always lived their are nothing.

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