Thursday, 7 June 2012

It's All About Balance


This week there has been quite a stooshie about tonight's Question Time which is due to be broadcast from Inverness.

The SNP MSP Kenny Gibson made a formal complaint about the imbalance of the panel, with two supporters of independence and three guests from the No campaign.  Originally Johann Lamont and Michael Forsyth were to be joined by Melanie Phillips, the Daily Mail columnist.

The BBC's reason for including Ms Phillips was because the programme discussed UK issues.

This is the first Question Time since the launch of the Yes campaign and the announcement that Alistair Darling will head the No campaign. Flying a London-based journalist to Inverness to represent the UK is lamentable although predictable.

Couldn't they have engaged the services of that prominent journalist frae Dundee if they were desperate to provide a UK view?  I believe Mr Cochrane resides in or around London.

But Kenny Gibson's complaint has not gone unnoticed by those of influence at the BBC.  Ms Phillips is to be replaced by Charles Kennedy who will join Nicola Sturgeon, Alan Cumming, Michael Forsyth and Johann Lamont.  This will be Ms Lamont's first appearance on QT and it will be interesting to see how she performs.

The panel balance is now reasonably fair but it would have been even fairer if someone from the 'undecided' camp had been included.  Lesley Riddoch is one who would fit the bill but there are plenty others who may welcome the opportunity to challenge both sides.

The show starts at 10.35pm on BBC 1.

Update:  Nicola Sturgeon has withdrawn and will be replaced by Alex Neil and Melanie Phillips will appear. Thanks to Grogipher for keeping an eye on Twitter.

17 comments:

Grogipher said...

I think that originally they had announced three "no" politicians, one offensively "no" journalist and one "yes" actor..

I believe that Ms Phillips is still to appear, and that there will be six on the panel? The BBC have just tweeted:

https://twitter.com/#!/bbcquestiontime

. @charles_kennedy ; @JohannLamont ; Lord Forsyth; @Alancumming ; @MelanieLatest & @AlexNeilSNP are our panel tonight #bbcqt

subrosa said...

Thanks Grogipher. It's changing by the hour. Ms Phillips must have stamped her feet. A visit here won't do her any harm. Might just broaden her knowledge.

JRB said...

It’s All About Balance - surely that is an oxymoron when talking about the BBC.

Dioclese said...

Good to see that the BBC continues to operate in it's usual totally unbiased way...

RMcGeddon said...

It will still be massively biased against independence.
The audience will be pro Unionist and Dimblebore is pro the Union and will interrupt the independence supporters every time they try to speak.
Plus Dimblebore will cover for Mrs Krankie when she gets confused. Forgetting the instructions she was given by London etc.
Are you going to have an open 'chatathon' SR.
It would help to reduce our blood pressure ;)

Jman On Sunday said...

With all the changes you have to ask How do headless chickens balance?

Anon said...

Melanie, friend of Mossad?

- Aangirfan.

Allan said...

That'll be the same Ms Phillips that was a cheerleader for the former head of School inspectors Chris Woodhead...

All Seeing Eye said...

Not sure whether you mean that in a good or a bad way, Allan?

subrosa said...

Glad you noticed me attempt at satire JRB.

subrosa said...

As always Dioclese, as always.

subrosa said...

Yes RM an open chatathon is organised. Do join. That'll make two of us. :)

subrosa said...

Pass Jman.

subrosa said...

She does write rather a lot about them Aangirfan.

subrosa said...

Was she Allan. I wonder why ...

Jo G said...

I'm still giggling every time I think of Johann's new name. Jimmy Krankie. You're a terrible man RMcG!

subrosa said...

I wince at that Jo - don't giggle. I mean how could anyone... ;)

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