Friday, 9 May 2014

On last night's Question Time episode and other thoughts

Readers, last night, many of you will have been watching Question Time on BBC1, which featured a showdown between prominent politicians of the five largest parties in Britain i.e. Labour, Liberal Democrat, Conservative, UKIP and Green. The five politicians featured were Chuka Umuna, MP for Streatham; Grant Shapps, MP for Welwyn Hatfield; Shirley Williams now Baroness Williams of Crosby; Nigel Farage MEP, and thankfully Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion.

In case you did not see it, it descended into a farce of disgraceful proportions, not only because of Nigel Farage, but also chiefly because of its host, David Dimbleby, who has given Nigel Farage 25 appearances on Question Time so far, more than anyone else.

Mr. Dimbleby's right-wing, pro-establishment stance was clearer than ever before- he let Nigel Farage have the last word for no good reason when he should have ended the debate, he interrupted Caroline many times and gratuitously when she was speaking what needed to be said the entire length of the programme, he allowed Nigel to keep interrupting other panelists when even Grant had criticised Nigel for doing so, and as often, he allowed the episode to end in a squabbling farce when it could have ended at least somewhat nicely.

In light of all this, it is very glad that next year's general election coverage will be Mr. Dimbleby's last, and the sooner he retires from the BBC and the media in general, the better. He is symbolic of what the BBC is really like (despite its false claims of impartiality)- conservative, pro-establishment and preserving of the status quo no matter how bad that status quo is for the majority of people in Britain. BBC Question Time is a good concept in all fairness, but it needs an actually impartial chair- if only Martin Bell, former BBC correspondent and  former Independent MP for Tatton, was not as old as David Dimbleby is, then the task of replacing Mr. Dimbleby would be made easier there and then. I am at least pleased that Caroline once again shone on that debate and helped position the Greens as the real alternative for this year's elections and for the British public in general.

As for green politics in of itself, I am glad papers like 'The Independent' are highlighting the fact that we are fielding our highest number of candidates ever in local elections, with 1,855, many of whom are Young Greens like myself. It is useful we are continuing to keep the Liberal Democrats in fifth place-now let us push hard enough for those extra MEPs!

Alan.

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