Thursday 13 September 2018


The BBC News Press Team is on manoeuvres this evening:

To make the pie chart easier to see you can click on the image below and it will make it larger (or, as we say on blogs: Click to enlarge!):

I've looked at such things myself (very closely) and don't doubt that it's correct.

Showing party political balance over time - party-politician-wise - is something programmes like Question Time are good at.

(How they treat those party politicians is, of course, a different matter).

So what are the Twitter responses to this BBC tweet? 

Well, guess what? Nearly all of them are from left-wing, anti-Brexit conspiratorial types, and they're mainly focusing on that grey 36% - the "other panelists". 

"I think your get out of jail free card is the 'Other Panelists'", one put it - thus summing up what most of the rest are saying.

So what could that grey group consist of?

Well, the suggested answers basically amount to: "agenda-led newspapers", "shadily-funded think tanks and lobby groups", "very right-wing people", "Brexiteers", "Tory-supporting business people", and - inevitably - Nigel Farage.

Yep, "so that'll be 36% right-wing non-party people".

(The fact that Nigel Farage falls clearly in the 2% for UKIP segment was never going to stop such people from thinking reasonably on the matter).

Oh, and don't mention "the blatant Tory presenter" and the "Brexit mob audience".


There are, thankfully, a few Twitter exceptions to this utter nonsense. Such as: 
I really think (hope) that the BBC’s PR team has got better things to do than pander to the ill-thought-through views of a few Twitter trolls. Understanding the power of saying nothing is a great strength! Your social media team needs to grow up and develop a thicker skin.
I'm tempted to say: Quite.


And all you need to do to disprove those "Twitter trolls" is to check out Wikipedia's list of Question Time guests:

Just sticking with the traditional left-right continuum, besides various hard-to-place people (like Gina Miller, Piers Morgan, Rod Liddle, Bernard Hogan-Howe, etc), and various anti-Brexit centrist types, there have been in that 36%: Owen Jones, Ash Sarkar, Will Self, Paul Mason, Ayesha Hazarika, Terry Christian, Faiza Shaheen, Helen Lewis, Sarah Churchwell (twice), Germaine Greer, Aditya Chakrabortty, Val McDermid, Dreda Say Mitchell, Yanis Varoufakis, Robert Winston, Dustin Lance Black, George the Poet and Afua Hirsch...and plenty of other who I'd identify with a left-of-centre outlook.

That list was taken from the last season (year) of the programme alone.

So I suppose I'm as guilty as the BBC in pandering to the droolings of Twitter's far-Left here. I should perhaps apply that 'Quite' earlier to myself too. They. Are. Just.Trolls.

But, saying that, I can see why the BBC wants to respond. And why it's important for blogs like this to respond too. - and.not.all.such.people.are.trolls.

And blogs like this try to focus on proper examples of bias, so we must answer such drivel too, given that the fallacious 'complaints from both sides' argument remains remarkably persuasive and risks discrediting us too.


  1. Would we be happy with a Doctor who got "complaints from both sides" - those who complain he missed their Condition A and those who complain he misdiagnosed them as having Condition A?

    What we require from a publicly funded non-commercial broadcaster is good judgement and adherence to their statutory standards. In the case of opinion panel programme, over a reasonable period I would I expect them to broadly reflect opinion in the country.

    It's questionable why QT has so many MPs on. That really skews things, because of our first past the post system. I'd like to see a proper analysis of the Conservative MPs who appear on QT. There seems quite a bias towards the left pro-EU wing of the Conservative MPs, given they are in fact a small minority, probably no more than 10% of the party. But I get the sense they appear more like 20% of the time as the Conservative rep.

  2. Newsnight Fifth Column Watch:

    Day 1 Rachel Sylvester - BHS (Boris Hater Supreme) Anti-democrat, anti-populist, pro Remain.

    Day 2 Peter Hitchens - CC (Comedy Conservative). Curiously ineffective. Seems to have given up a bit. Certainly not a populist.

    Day 3 Owen Jones - Far Left Multi Millionaire.

    Day 4 Fraser Nelson - Left Wing Conservative Anti-Populist Pro-Swedish Model but, oddly, Pro-Brexit (nominally I think).

    League Table so far:

    Liberal-Left 2
    Comedy Conservative 1
    Left Wing Conservative 1
    Populists 0
    Fascists 0

    Brexit V Remain analysis:


    One oddity I've noticed so far, both Jones and Sylvester got to talk about their OWN columns first. That privilege was denied Hitchens and Nelson. Not sure of the significance of that.


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