BBC Moves The Goalposts Again 32

The BBC have finally dredged a party line to reply to the outcry about the extraordinarily unrepresentative audience for BBC Question Time from Dundee, which included two ex Labour candidates granted questions and an astonishing number of English accents. The BBC’s extraordinary defence is that the selection was predicated on finding a 50-50 balance of remain and leave voters because of the EU referendum.

The BBC reply reads

“Thank you for contacting us about Question Time held in Dundee on 10th March 2016.

We gather some viewers were concerned that the audience was not representative of Dundee and that therefore the discussion was biased.

The programme, as with all editions of Question Time, was open to people from surrounding areas as well as those living in the city where it took place. We do aim for a wide variety of views on different subjects to be heard on Question Time. The audience included SNP, Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrats, Greens, UKIP and Scottish Socialist Party voters, reflecting political opinion across Scotland. On the question of the EU referendum the audience was balanced with equal numbers of ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ supporters and a fewer number of undecided people. The BBC is obliged to cover the debate around Europe in a balanced and impartial way at this time.

There was plenty of applause for all sides in the debate. Whoever speaks from the Question Time audience is down to the dynamic on the night; who puts their hands up, who claps loudest and so on.

This means that though the audience was balanced; viewers may have felt that those asking questions represented the view of the complete audience. This is not the case, but we appreciate you contacting us with your concern in this matter. ”

The only problem with this explanation is that it is totally different from the approach taken to the Independence referendum debates. There the broadcasters flatly refused to have a 50/50 audience and instead chose the audience according to how Scotland voted at the 2010 Westminster Election. That meant only 19.9% were SNP supporters and audiences were overwhelmingly unionist. Yet the next referendum comes along, and there is a completely different criterion for studio audience selection.

Of course we all know why the BBC does not wish to be consistent and now select by 2015 Westminster election vote… The tendentiousness of the BBC is unlimited.

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32 thoughts on “BBC Moves The Goalposts Again

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  • MerkinScot

    Usual bluster from the Beeb.
    The final straw for me was the Telegraph journo with the tartan tie.
    The Beeb clearly thinks that they can get away with it forever.

  • paul

    Boo-hooray theory: In Language Truth, and Logic, philosopher A. J. Ayer asserted that all moral or other evaluations state nothing of objective value and are simply expressions of belief, emotion, feeling, and the like. Source: UBC, Fine Arts Dept.

    Should be familiar with 80’s dundonians

  • Squonk

    Dundee Courier article

    Question Time sparks online backlash with claims show ‘did not reflect Dundee’

    Thursday night’s episode of Question time, which was filmed in Dundee, has sparked online backlash over the panel and audience make-up.

    Social media was awash with comments from viewers claiming that the BBC current afffairs show had an anti SNP and EU bias.

    Another criticism was that very few of the panellists and audience members were from the city and that the show “did not reflect Dundee”.

    And a follow-up

    Comments are open and lively at The Courier website as well.

  • Mark Golding

    Unlimited Craig – I agree. BBC Radio 4 News is increasingly warped, twisted and biased; indeed jaundiced with the narrow-mindedness of British establishment dogma that abrogates truth with a cremation of lies and propaganda. I am seething with distaste over the latest R4 convoluted montage of disinformation ‘News’ clips covering five years of unspeakable horror in Syria. From Arab Spring to Russian withdrawal, the emphasis is on mass murder, chemical attacks and cluster bombs by the Assad government accompanied by chimes of death and the toll of bell for every 50,000 Syrian deaths.

    Truly a plague of mind infecting malignancy.

  • MerkinScot

    Mr Golding, I listened to it with disgust as well.
    The ticking clock was especially distasteful.
    I was reminded of a Silesian family friend who survived Stalingrad.
    He told me that the Russians used penny clickers to rattle the German soldiers in the ruins.
    Indeed, on World at War you can hear the psy-ops announcements from the Russians accompanied by a ticking clock.
    The difference is that the Beeb is using this kinda thing against its own population.

  • fedup

    Fuck the BBC

    I second that motion!

    Although the pompous propagandists would have you believe it is a credible source of news, and I agree it is the most credible source for lies, propaganda and untruths! Fact that Hammond can stand there and lie through his teeth; “Russia is going around invading countries such a Syria”!!! It is only possible because that cretin is sure that his propaganda organisation has done an ace job in obfuscating the facts and actualities, so that the viewers won’t know their intellectual arse from their intellectual elbow.

    Truth be known we all should be paid to watch the said propaganda organ, instead of v=being forced to pay a license fee to watch it too, adding insult to injury pops into mind.

  • Chris Jones

    The answer is simple – stop paying the BBC licence fee and bunch together to form a mutual new company by the people for the people where we can send a voluntarily annual fee to instead

  • jake

    If the audience was chosen on the basis that it should be balanced on the EU question,as the BBC now claim, why Dimbelby’s surprise at the numbers when he asked for a show of hands from brexit supporters.
    (…about 11mins in on iplayer)

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “Fuck the BBC.” (Daniel, seconded by Fedup)

    Of course I cannot hope to match the profundity and insight of the above comment, but nevertheless…..

    Why is Craig so exercised by the fact that the BBC sought an audience which was roughly 50/50 on the referendum question? I should have thought that such an arrangement, in mirroring public opinion and given the importance of that referendum, was rather sensible.

    The argument that the same division was not sought for the independence debates is not really relevant, is it. Some will claim this as evidence of a conspiracy, others might feel that the BBC has learnt from past mistakes (if it was a mistake).

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “@8:06 am Piss off troll!”

    Thank you for that thoughtful contribution to the discussion, Fedup.

    Now give your grey matter a rest – I recommend at least 3 hours.

  • fedup

    Ba’al the translator is overworked and is not getting a good enough connection, but Finland would do OK I suppose, they have special police cells for that kind of specimen.

  • fedup

    Under a bridge, I believe.

    ROFL Ba’al that laugh hit the very spot thanks.

    BTW have you heard Hammond in parliament on the subject of the “no bombing zone” in Syria floated by one of the con backbenchers?

    He was lamenting the fact that Syrians have a very good air defence system and it will be very difficult to set it up!!!

    It is pretty clear that these “plutocrats” have not had enough of carnage and killing. Evidently these vampires cannot start a day at the end of which there is no blood letting and no innocents killed.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    Speaking of Syria and bombing and so on….. would you have any insights or comments to share with us on the apparent intention of Russia to withdraw (most of) its troops from Syria?

    What could such a move signify, in your opinion? Do you think it indicates a change in Russian support for Assad personally? Medium-term consequences?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Id be inclined not to ascribe to malice that which is fully explained by stupidity, Fedup. And it would take some very clever and subtle thinking to sort out the Syrian mess to anyone’s satisfaction. Hammond is merely demonstrating his utter incompetence, even if he is acting purely in the interests of UK business.

    I think we can take it that the Russians have left in place – maybe Syrian-badged – enough equipment and people to have a reasonable chance of keeping Assad afloat for now. But if you are proposing that Syrian-defended areas should be used as safe havens, the immediate objection from Assad would be that he’s not about to encourage bases for infiltration of what the Russians managed to grab back for him. Much the same applies to the Western interests, with heavy emphasis on Turkey’s legitimate concerns regarding its own border. If I’ve missed your point, sorry – explain it further for me.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    Oh, I see Ba’al has done some of your homework for you.

    Pity, really, I was rather looking forward for some profound insights from you.

    Perhaps another time, eh?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    And now get back down to doing an honest day’s work.

    We’re all in it together, you know, and everyone has to pull his/her weight.

  • fedup

    Hammond is merely demonstrating his utter incompetence, even if he is acting purely in the interests of UK business.

    Very true Ba’al, thinking around this kind of self inflicted problem is way out of the league of Hammond and his cronies.

    if you are proposing that Syrian-defended areas should be used as safe havens,

    No Ba’al I was not suggesting any such areas/idea, I may not have conveyed it correctly, it was one of the pusillanimous con_servative backbenchers who was mooting this notion!

    As you have rightly pointed out the gains which the Syrians have made in comprehensively pushing back the various reactionary al qaeda and daesh elements will not take lightly to the prospect of anyone interfering in their country more than what they already have.

    If you recollect I went on record that Erdogan in his rush to set up his own Ottoman empire will end up with a smaller Turkey. As he was busy emulating our own “war time leader” one Anthony Miranda Lynton bLiar making hay out of the strife in Syria is now faced with huge problems of his own in Turkey. In fact parts of Diyarbakır and Cizre are looking more and more similar to the current war ravaged Syria.

    Going missing in the media reports are the fact that Putin had first informed Bashar Assad of his intention to draw down Russian force levels, as the current armistice is kind of holding and the al qaeda and daesh are no longer presenting the levels of threat as before. Fact that Hammond et al are pretty miffed about this move and are spinning the news as to their own ends is only to hide the levels of incompetence that has beset the operations of the US et al in the area, that have failed to achieve their objective that they had set to achieve in such a short period of time so effectively as Putin did.

    The chaff flying around is masking the tectonic shifts that are occurring in the mideast. For the first time al saud pederasts have put out tenders for loans of 4 to 12 billions dollars, and are busy implementing all manner of cuts having stretched themselves so thin, based on their dreams of securing a new century of al saud in the mideast that has come to backfire and bite them on the butt.

    It is highly amusing to read the various Arab sources and the scorn that is getting heaped upon the US for the “letting down” of the “best friends” of US. The charade came to an abrupt halt after the huffing and puffing of al saud to send in ground troops (Pakistani forces really) and the Pakistani refusal to comply with such suicidal enterprise.

    I would be interested in your assessments


    @12:50 pm Piss off troll!

    @1:19 pm Piss off troll!

    @1:21 pm Piss off troll!

  • Ba'al Zevul

    In fact parts of Diyarbakır and Cizre are looking more and more similar to the current war ravaged Syria.

    Sadly true. Still it diverts mainstream Turkish opinion from Erdoğan’s Islamist aspirations and his betrayal of the secular state, which was working fairly well until he arrived. I have a high regard for Turks in general*, and it’s sad to see them dragged down by a dictator who isn’t a tenth of the statesman Atatürk was.

    That said, the Turkish-Kurdish issue is probably as beyond permanent solution as the re-emergent Northern Ireland one. As long as there are Kalashnikovs and lads with a grudge to fire them, it will continue. Bad luck, Şanlıurfa, etc.

    *I realise I’m not in the majority here

  • nevermind, mental health is a burning issue

    The BBc hasn;t got a clue what football or goalposts are, they like to assist and pamper paedophiles instead.

    They also know who walked with whom 30 years ago, who had affiliations or were actively campaigning PIE.

    The BBC has assisted criminals and indulged them to carry on because they were celebrities. For that reason alone, not even talking of their bias to sucker the politicians/establishment, whatever they ‘d done, the BBC should be broken up, local radio and TV should be taken over by local people with ideas to make it more accountable to us all, enabled to speak the news as it happens, regardless of the symbiotic monkeys they carry on their backs, they will get a banana and be sent back to whatever MI they’d come from.

  • Joan Coverley

    The BBC. A disgrace. Nick Robinson, Andrew Neil, Laura Kuenssberg, Dimbleby. And that’s just the start. I despair.

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