|The fox that set the #FBPEs flapping and squawking today|
The BBC's Editor of Live Political Programmes, one Rob Burley (have I mentioned him before?), has been busy again this afternoon:
Rob Burley: (1) On the Brexit Party and why they have more MEPs on Politics Live than other parties: The BP polled first in the European elections in May with over 30% of the vote. They enjoyed considerable electoral support and 29 MEPs and as a new party have yet to fight a Gen election.
(2) Under the electoral system they may well not get any or many MPs when they do stand in Gen Election (see UKIP) but they did win significant support in May and are polling at 13% or so still. Politics Live is a Westminster based show and relies on MPs.
(3) ) So for those parties with a significant number of MPs, they will be our first port of call. But the Brexit Party got 5.2m votes in May, so they will come on from time to time because of their electoral support. but that will inevitably mean we draw on MEPs not MPs.
(4) I understand the argument that some make, that we should hear more from MEPs in general, but this is a separate argument as to whether, given their support and the nature of their politicians, we should draw largely on BP'S 29 MEPs.
Jorvik #RevoleArt50,#RemainerNow: Did other residents of 55 TUFTON STREET also perform well over the last 3 years Rob because they have been on there more times than any Liberal Democrat?
Rob Burley: Let me know the names of the 55 Tufton St "residents" who have been on Politics Live? The closest you will get is the IEA (you can look up address) who have been on a handful times. They've not been on anything like as often as the Lib Dems, let alone more.
Alexander Louis Sallons: What about Green MEPs, Rob? We went from 3 to 7 and I don't think we've had any of them on PL since May?
Rob Burley: Not the case. We have had Molly Scott Cato but, obvs, also Caroline Lucas as well as others like Sian Berry.
Alexander Louis Sallons: So that's one Green MEP since May. Don't get me wrong I'm not a conspiracy nut. But one Green MEP compared to all the Brexit MEPs that seem to be on. You'll never get a balanced argument about how the EU works/operates if you only ever bring on MEPs who are from the Brexit Party.
Rob Burley: Different argument about whether we should have more MEPs on - from all parties - rather than MPs from those with them and MEPs from those without. That's fair enough but I can't argue all aspects right here. I'm just explaining why BP have MEPs on more.
Alexander Louis Sallons: Because they're the biggest party and they won the Euros, that's fair enough, I can understand that. But there are 39 ProEU MEPs. Most MPs won't be able to provide the same perspective of the EU that an MEP can, most will only be able to provide a UK only view.
Craig - I can see Alexander's point about the paucity of MEPs from across the full range of parties. It might be interesting to expand the range of guests - though, as Rob pointed out, as far as the Greens go they also get invites for non-UK/non-EU parliamentary figures like Sian Berry.
Briefcase Michael: For the sake of transparency Jo Coburn should have told viewers that James Harding is the former Head of BBC News, and before that Editor of The Times.
Rob Burley: For the sake of transparency, he was introduced as being from Tortoise, then Jo Coburn told viewers he used to work at the BBC and, in that discussion, he mentioned he'd previously worked for the Times.
Orla #EngineOfHope #GTTO (to Briefcase Michael): Absolutely. It looks like ex-BBC politics dept at Tortoise Media have a weekly seat on Politics Live. We see you Rob Burley.
Rob Burley: "We see you" . . .Tortoise have been on the show a grand total of twice in a show that's been running five shows a week since September 2018. Is that a weekly seat?
Orla #EngineOfHope #GTTO: Twice in the last month. Tortoise staff all seem to be ex-BBC news & politics, so far. Again BBC promoting its own singular Tory bias. Its the only way they can win elections. Look at the rotating door between BBC - #CCHQ - No10. Go well :)
Craig - Orla, you won't be suprised to here, is a self-proclaimed 'Corbyn outrider'.
Burley's views on political representation on Politics Live is defensible especially as it has a strong Westminster focus. But:ReplyDelete
1. I don't think that justifies the way they so often have 3 or 4 Remainers on to discuss Brexit-related issues on various programmes. There should be more of a 50-50 balance for those discussions.
2. Question Time is a general discussion programme. I think it's political balance should more strongly reflect the political balance as measured in the polls. So something like one in three of political guests should be from the Conservative Party, one in 8 from TBP, and 1 in 25 from the Green Party.
So for any 25 guests you have maybe:
5 Lib Dems
1 Plaid Cymru
Of course the BBC further tweak things by having non-Conservatives like Soubry, Grieve and Clarke on every two mins. That's another distorting practice.
3. Why do the BBC, generally so keen on the EU and always stressing its vital contribution to our country's well being, never show any interest in the EU Parliament? Of course, it would probably be the death knell for its politics programmes - but that just confirms how little people feel part of the EU. But I think there is a more sinister explanation: I think the BBC doesn't want the populace to think about the EU...it wants to boil the frog, so the less the frog thinks about being boiled (ie the ever closer union), the better.
4. The idea of balance being determined by popularity is fair enough. But why doesn't Burley apply that to the media. Why does a tiny media outfit like Novara Media get so many invites, so we are forever having to stomach the unlovely sight of Ash Sarkar's smug features? Media appearances should also reflect the importance of journals and websites in our life.