So, I settled down last evening to watch “Question Time” that flagship BBC programme for political debate. It was the usual uneven mix, with three leftists and two right of liberal panelists. We had the ubiquitous Lib-Dem Baroness Shirley Williams, a BBC favourite, who has now attained sainthood and whose every banal utterance is treated with due solemnity. Then there was Mr Bean look-a-like Labour Minister Ed Miliband. To balance we had David Davis from the Conservatives and Nigel Farage from the UKIP. I thought this provided a form of balance between right and left in terms of the political representatives but what is to be made of the sneering Marcus Brigstock, the alleged comedian, who made up the panel of five?
Naturally he was reflexively left wing but he quite clearly made an utter fool of himself when he declared that since he could not understand the Lisbon treaty, he felt the electorate was therefore not in a position to pass judgement on it via a referendum. It’s as if he did not understand the implication of his own words! Why does the BBC insist on stacking panels with this banal “Student Grant” type of left wing comedian? They add nothing to the quality of the debate and most of them just regurgitate whatever it is they have scanned in the opinion columns of the Guardian. Political debate should not be just for politicians, but the BBC’s odd idea that it must provide space for these clowns is equally unacceptable. I continue to think David Dimbleby an excellent chairman but this programme never achieves it full potential because it insists on being unbalanced in its guest list.