Monday, February 03, 2014

How to get on to BBC's Question Time (panel member or audience)

Because of its notorious anti-Israel obsession (read, for example, about Melanie Philips' most recent experience) I stopped watching BBC's Question Time several years ago. But I ended up listening to it (as opposed to watching it) on 30 January. And it was depressing because there was completely uniform acceptance (by the panel and the audience) of an extreme leftist narrative on every single issue (and, incidentally, for once Israel was not mentioned). Given that the panel always includes one 'Conservative' you might think I am exaggerating - until I tell you that the 'Conservative' was Ken Clarke MP (who I think may have disagreed with some of the more ludicrous views expressed but was too laid back to bother saying so). I understand the other panelists were shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry MP, Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott, comedian and feminist activist Kate Smurthwaite, and director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs Mark Littlewood.

To give an example of their mindset,  one of the questions was about the recent decision by the UK Government to give yet another £600million for Syrian aid and to allow the immediate entry of Syrian refugees to the UK. The panel were in total agreement that not only was all of this obviously the right thing to do, but that it was a scandal that the UK was not doing much more. But one lone person in the audience dared to say something like "why are we giving all this massive support to Syrians when there are millions of old people suffering hardship in the UK and many affected by the floods who are getting no government support".  The answer (I think from Emily Thornberry) to thunderous and sustained applause was: “Because, unlike the people in the UK,  the Syrians did not choose to be the victims of a terrible civil war”.  Analysing the stupidity of that statement deserves  a blog posting all of its own (at some point in the future I will write one about it).

There was much more insanity along those lines, but both of the women on the panel (I was listening but not watching) sounded exactly like Camilla (a brilliant spoof of a left-wing politico) with every utterance more ludicrous than the previous way and each being greeted by even louder applause. The men on the panel simply agreed with everything they said. In fact, based on what I heard there is NO alternative voice allowed. So, based only on comments from one program, I think it is safe to assume that if you want to appear on Question Time - either as a panel member or audience member it is mandatory for you to believe all of the following:

  • Global warming/Climate change is by far and away the most important problem mankind has ever confronted and all the world's wealthy countries must use all their money to combat it. The floods in Somerset are proof that climate change is now about to completely destroy the world - and it is all entirely man made. Not a single scientist disagrees, but a tiny number of insane 'climate deniers' are 'in control of things' and stopping any progress.
  • Second in importance to climate change is the need to allow unlimited millions of refugees - especially from troubled Muslim nations - into the UK and they must be given unlimited funds forever and we must under no circumstances attempt any kind of background check on any one of them as this is 'Islamaphobic'. Doing this will be fantastic for the UK economy because all Muslims are peace loving with an incredible work ethic.
  • Third in importance to combating climate change and solving all the world's refugee problems by ourselves is how to confront the evil fascists of UKIP.
  • It is a crime to be rich, but fortunately 'taxing the rich' will solve every economic problem.
  • Giving unlimited money to people on the doll, immigrants etc will lead to massive economic growth for the UK as it will give them 'spending power'.
  • Foreign terrorists convicted in the UK must never be deported
  • The world is so interconnected and everybody is really so similar that we have an obligation to help every country in the world where there is conflict and poverty because doing so will lead to an improvement in the world economy. In fact, the British economy can only improve by giving all our money to poor nations because that will make them richer and they will then spend their money boosting our economy.  In any case all that poverty and conflict is the fault of the rich Western nations and that is why it is our responsibility to solve it.

And, of course, you will be very pleased to known that one of next week's guests is none other than George Galloway; so to get on the program you will also need to add the obligatory beliefs about the Middle East and Israel (see full list here and here).

If all that was not bizarre and depressing enough, following Question Time was the Andrew Neil programme where he and his guests essentially repeated everything that was agreed on Question Time (and Andrew Neil is also supposed to be a 'conservative').  There was, however, one dissenting voice: a Syrian woman interviewed by Andrew Neil who said the Syrian refugees should go to Arab countries not the UK because their culture and language was the same whereas it was completely alien to the UK. Andrew Neil literally laughed at her saying that we must not allow the Syrians to go to Arab countries because they would be repressed. He said that wealthy Arab countries like Saudi Arabia were out of the question because 'the women would be forced to cover up' (and 'we' in the UK must not allow that to happen!!!!!), while the 'other Arab countries are too poor or overcrowded'. Apparently there are no such countries called UAE, Qatar, Bahrein etc.

For an alternative spin on this post please see here.


Daphne Anson said...

The weird Green Left mindset is seen at a glance in this policy document. I never cease to be amazed at the strange flirtations of a party containing so many avowed feminists; mass immigration can surely be opposed on environmental grounds alone, England being now the most overcrowded country in Europe, having overtaken Holland:

Confronting antisemitism and Israel hatred said...

It's not just the environmental grounds on which the green/left mindset on immigration is incompatiable with their supposed beliefs. On the one hand they argue that our economies cannot be sustained long term without mass immigration because of the decreasing western birthrate. Yet, by the same argument, by encouraging such immigration they are dooming the long-term prospects of the 'poor' countries the immigrants' come from. Surely the greens/leftists should be arguing the immigrants should return to their home countries to help those countries' economies (especially as those countries will get the benefit of the western education etc).

Donisthorpe boot boy. said...

Unfortunate photo, if that's Kelvin Macenzie on the left then I cannot see him agreeing with the statement. A true friend of Israel and the Jewish people.

Confronting antisemitism and Israel hatred said...

Donisthorpe boot boy:

Good spot. I have now replaced Macenzie with Galloway.

Donisthorpe boot boy. said...

Nice one. Wouldn't it be fantastic to sort our problems in the real world so easy.
I'm new to your blog ( via Daphne ). Wishing you well.