. Can anyone explain why Dame Shirley Williams is so omnipresent on the BBC’s main political debating programmes? I note she has been on this week’s “Any Questions” and she was on “Question Time” but a few weeks ago. Have the Lib-Dem’s got no-one else to put up for these programmes? Personally I am sickened by the fawning reception that she is given by BBC hosts when she does appear and it makes me think that politically, the BBC and the far-leftism of the Lib-Dem’s are synched soul-mates, which may explain why Williams gets such disproportionate prominence.

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24 Responses to SHIRL THE PEARL

  1. PaulS says:

    I don’t mind Shirl the Whirl. At least she has some experience of working in a cabinet and has been a professor at Harvard.

    Most of the other Lib Dems have done nothing of note.

    It’s that Teather woman I wish they’d keep off the airwaves.


  2. Progressive_Avenger says:

    Melanie Phillips is another who gets trotted out all the time, when they need a right-wing hack…


  3. Pete says:

    I think there’s a bit of ‘what should have been’ about Shirley Williams’ continued appeal to the BBC. There was a time when Mrs Williams was touted as a possible first woman Prime Minister, and the BBC and other ‘liberal’ media outlets were convinced that a woman PM would be just what they and the country needed. Then Mrs Thatcher was elected.


  4. Martin says:

    The fact is the BBC has a little circle of “luvvies” that get wheeled out for a soundbite (like the vile Chakrabarti of Liberty).

    The BBC should have a rule that once you’ve been on a panel, you can’t appear for 12 months.


  5. random says:

    That’s Shirley “if you don’t vote SDP Britain will be a third world country by 1990” Williams? She’s nuts. She’s always been nuts. What authority does anything she says have?


  6. Pete says:

    Martin says

    ‘The BBC should have a rule that once you’ve been on a panel, you can’t appear for 12 months.’

    No, the BBC should have a rule that it sells its stuff to willing customers only, something that is easily possible in the new digital age, and something that other prestige and respected brands have been dealing with for all time. And the BBC is a prestige and respected brand, isn’t it?


  7. Martin says:

    Pete: Well yes we’d all agree with that (except the limp writed Guardian readers who think the BBC is “great value”)


  8. Peter says:

    Of course Shirley Williams,or Baroness Williams as she is sometime known is a fovourite of the BBC,she is their own flesh and blood. Privately educated born of privilege mother of the comprehensive school,what isn’t there to like for the leftist beeboid?


  9. libertus says:

    How often have they wheeled out Tony Benn in the last 10 years – a man consistently wrong about everything for at least 30 years and given ample space on the BBC to propagate his tired cliches?


  10. Robin says:

    Detecting and dealing with BBC bias isn’t about banning opinions that others don’t agree with. The real question is exactly how often does Shirley Williams appear, compared with, say, Virginia Bottomley, or other similar Conservative figures of ex-Cabinet rank? Before anyone can attack the BBC in this area with any degree of authority, actual figures are needed. Impressions won’t do. I used to work on BBC Question Time, among other programmes, in Sir Robin Day’s time, and a very careful balancing process was followed. My guess is that the same process is followed today. The real issue now is whether the BBC’s classification of certain figures is accurate. My own analysis shows that many figures with left-liberal views (that the BBC tends to acccept as a default norm) are treated as ‘neutral’ (eg Chakrabati). That’s the real problem.

    I hate Shirely Williams and all she stands for, especially her empty-headed EU-fanaticism. But I will defend her right to speak her opinions to the death.


  11. Tomski says:

    “and a very careful balancing process was followed”

    Care to elaborate on exactly what that process was?


  12. thud says:

    Shirl is a class act..always delivers,never forgets her lines and pretty good with an improvised duet….what a girl…how could the beeb not book her.


  13. Robin says:


    A rigorious weekly meeting at which the previous week’s contributors and next edition’s prospective bookings were rigorously reviewed. In those days some of the Lime Grove current affairs editors had right of centre views and were not afraid to express them. But it was the end of an era.


  14. backwoodsman says:

    The concern must be, a) as has rightly been pointed out, that the beeboids have a coterie of lamentable luvvie loosers, like williams, benn, even kinnock (! ), who they wheel out far more regularly than they do sane right of centre contributors.
    b) They then compound the offense by skillfully presenting the views of these clowns as the default mainstream view. So, an utter c*nt such as benn, who thought east germany was a good idea, has his views legitemised. Or kinnock, who with his family , has stolen millions from tax payers, courtesy of the EU pork barrel, is treated as a legitimate statesman, rather than the criminal he is.


  15. Bob says:

    QT should always make sure that Dame Shirly is matched against Chris Hitchens. Now that’s entertainment!
    The last time that happened she spent most of the hour back-peddaling on her earlier comments.
    He showed her up for what she is, so much so that I guess she would probably refuse to appear with him again.


  16. mister scruff says:

    ” Bob | 13.04.08 – 3:14 pm ”

    are you sure it was Chris , and not his brother Peter? pretty sure it was Peter Hitchens who tore chunks out of her.

    Good old Shirl the Whirl – completely fucked up the English education system for an entire generation, for which we are paying the price nowadays. And of course, she takes no blame and nobody blames her in the BBC…


  17. Paul Marks says:

    Lord Williams was even trotted out when the late Speaker of the Houses of Commons died. Almost needlessly to say, the lady did not mention the late Speaker’s warnings against the power of the European Union.

    And on the B.B.C. debate shows that the post mentions S. Williams complaine about how power was centralized in Britain – but offered not one word of complaint about the vast powers of the E.U. (for example, some 80% of all new regulations are, of course, due to E.U. influence).

    S. Williams is treated with such fawning respect by the B.B.C. people because she shares their anti British ideology.


  18. Cameron says:

    Why is it that failed politicons always get the red carpet treatment from al-beeb?

    Watch question time,most weeks we are talking serious muppets on there with the gallant mel phillips getting a look in every now and then [and shouted at by someone usually who are screaming about america blah blah blah illegal war etc].

    The bigger the failed polition,the more the audience seems to applaud. Eevn the camera men have applauded such defeatist chestnuts as britains single currencey no go – remember that “debate?”

    This BEEB is getting even more dangerous day by day.
    Please,kinnock – they love him as well. And tony benn who always talks monumental horse shit. Wonder if theyd have maggie on?


  19. Bob says:

    “mister scruff | 13.04.08 – 11:41 pm”

    It was definitely Chris Hitchens.
    I saved it on DVD.
    It was the one where Chris and Peter were both on the panel together.
    Boris was there too, sitting next to Peter.


  20. Bob says:

    “mister scruff | 13.04.08 – 11:41 pm”

    Found it on u-tube, have a look:

    It’s a classic.


  21. Anonymous says:

    Bob | 15.04.08 – 11:04 am

    Christopher Hitchens hates islamo-fascists. Almost as much he hates being called Chris.


  22. sutekh says:

    mister scruff:

    Good old Shirl the Whirl
    I think it was the late Dave Allen who once pointed out that an anagram of Shirley Williams is “I whirl aimlessly”.

    Very apt.


  23. eeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk says:

    whose a singer pearls a singer

    sing the sash me father wore


  24. Nearly Oxfordian says:

    MP a ‘right-wing hack’? Perhaps it would be a good idea if you actually read what she writes – and engaged your brain?

    Of course SW gets to be on the BBC so much, being a shrill antisemite.