A new low for "neutral" BBC Question Time

We have all suspected the Beeb, with its institutionalised left-leanings, of occasionally fixing the audience, but last week’s was a tour de force for the “neutral” broadcaster

by Simon Miller on 11 March 2013 12:11

Did you see Question Time last week? If you did, you’ll know that either the vetters for the audience no longer care about subterfuge or they really don’t give a damn about political balance.

We have all suspected the Beeb, with its institutionalised left-leanings, of occasionally fixing the audience, but last week’s was a tour de force for the “neutral” broadcaster.

A woman in the audience asked Ukip’s Diane James about the party’s “disgusting” immigration policy.

So far, so what? There are many people in the country that share the view that Ukip is a party of racists and whether you agree with them or not, that’s an issue for having a multitude of voices in a democratic society.

No, the thing with this is that the woman in question is Amy Rutland.

Rutland happens to be the South-East Policy Co-ordinator for the Labour Party. She tweeted last week that her followers should not miss out on Question Time as they would “see [her] rip into that disgusting UKIP woman!".

Again, you might think, so what? Can’t activists go on Question Time? Yes, indeed they can. But surely if they were actively involved in the Eastleigh By-election, and talked with Claire Hawkins and Stephen Twigg about early years provision and secondary education concerns with students, should the BBC really provide them a platform without due notification that they are not ordinary members of the public?

Oh, and of course Stephen Twigg was the Labour MP who sat on the panel…

If you weren’t aware of who Rutland is, it is even harder now since her Linked-In account has been suspended and her Twitter account is now gated. But that’s the beauty of this here internet thing – you can get to the facts a lot quicker than relying on the BBC, who, incidentally, I have asked about the vetting policies on Question Time. I am waiting a reply.

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