Any Questions: it’s not just BBC Question Time that’s the problem

We’ve covered before the habit of BBC Question Time of dropping a Liberal Democrat from the panel (three times in four weeks most recently) and also of loading up the panel with a far from politically balanced set of non-Parliamentarians.

But it’s not only Question Time where that’s a problem. BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? has a similar habit: the superficial balance is actually undone by a far from balanced set of non-Parliamentarians.

Let’s have a look at the make-up of the Any Questions? panels so far this year:

Number of Conservative Parliamentarians / candidates: 5
Number of Labour Parliamentarians / candidates: 5
Number of Lib Dem Parliamentarians / ex-candidates: 4

That 5:5:4 ratio is debatable but given its the ratio used to allocate party political broadcasts, it’s not awful. But then look at the other panellists. They’ve included Polly Toynbee, Amanda Platell and Kelvin Mackenzie: all of whom have been very open and explicit about their partisan views. But there’s not once been an open pro-Liberal Democrat amongst the other panellists. So whilst when you count Parliamentarians, the panel looks balanced, it’s a rather different picture when you take into account the political affiliations of all the panellists.

Not so good, BBC.

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  • Foregone Conclusion 28th Feb '10 - 1:19pm

    That’s rather odd, spiderplant. I’ve got a ticket to be in the audience for Any Questions?, and they wanted to know if I was a candidate in local or Parliamentary elections, but this was after I had received my ticket and so purely so they could vet my question. It should really work on the same principle, but clearly not.

  • One of my friends has already received a reply to his complaint regarding last week’s panel. Guess what, it was the same bland reply we all received 2 weeks ago. It seems the BBC is so arrogant that it believes we don’t communicate with each other, or perhaps we deserve to be treated as idiots because we actually object to their obvious bias.

  • I agree it looks as thought the Beeb are hypnotised like the press by the 2 horse race. I think their main sin is to double up by having blatently tory/labour non-parliamentarians. Like having Michael Heseltine and a tory shadow. Or Roy Hattersley and a labour minister.
    I used to resent this but have realised lately that non-coverage doesn’t seem to affect our poll ratings; like this week, it has been wall to wall tory/labour on Daily Politics,Andrew Marr; The Politics Show, QuestionTime, Any Questions, but it doesn’t seem to have adversely affected our poll ratings, in fact we are a point or so up.
    Also, if there is no LD on, I don’t watch the programme and perhaps this is the most effective form of protest. Boycott .

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