Thursday, February 25, 2010

No Lib Dems on Question Time - Geeks' Special #bbcqt

If you don't want the geekery and just want to complain that for the third week in four, there is no Lib Dem on Question Time, just click here. You might want to call over at Daddy Alex's first cos he'll make you laugh.

I'm sure nobody would ever be geeky enough to go to this page and analyse the 33 episodes of Question Time since 23 April last year it contains to see what nerdy facts they could extract about guests. And if they ever did that, they would never set up an Excel spreadsheeet containing the information. If they had done that, though no way would they ever want to find out that their hours of labour had been wasted because the information was easily available elsewhere. That would make them cry.

Tonight's episode will be the 4th time we've seen Peter Hain in that time. It will be the third time we've had the dubious pleasure of Nigel Farage's dulcet tones. In fact, he was also on last February - the week with all the snow - with Shami and Will Young. Four times in just over a year, for the leader of the swivel eyed fringe? Someone at the Beeb is surely having a laugh. That's not counting the week Kilroy was on and the other UKIP person just before the European elections.

Liberal Democrats were represented on every panel until Bonfire Night. In the 13 episodes including that one since, there has been no Liberal Democrat on 5 of them, including 3 of the last 4.

So, in the run up to the general election, a party which is standing in every mainland seat has been marginalised in favour of extra right wing commentators (Melanie Phillips, twice, I tell you, twice) or UKIP types who are fielding a fraction of the candidates. And we've been dumped in the weeks when the top news has been right up our street - Iraq, expenses, that sort of thing. It's starting to look like someone's got a seriously anti Lib Dem agenda.

Plaid Cymru been on 4 times, but no Liberal Democrat from the Assembly. No Jenny, No Kirsty. Freedom Central has more.

The final interesting fact to draw to your attention is that the Labour and Tory representatives are usually current front bench. In only just over half, 15 of the Liberal Democrats' 28 appearances do we have a current principal shadow cabinet member. Out of those 15, 9 are accounted for by Chris Huhne, Sarah Teather and the Almighty Vince taking 3 stints each. We actually have quite a lot of talent in our party but the range of people who are asked doesn't reflect that.One thing they do have in common is that they all live in or near London. Our Parliamentary party scatters to the 4 winds on a Thursday teatime, but maybe, just once every so often, Alistair, or Jo, or Willie, or Lorely or Steve should have an extra night in the city and do the show. Could it be that we aren't pursuing our place as vigorously as we should? Probably not, but I thought I'd just throw that out there.

Enough with this geekery - I'm off to write my customary Thursday night complaint, this time with real proper stats.

5 comments:

Paul Freeman said...

Here is my hastily penned complaint. I'll look at it tomorrow and curse myself for all the mistakes :-

For the third time in four weeks Question Time does not include a Liberal Democrat.

I've seen it reported that the Liberal Democrats are only on in proportion to the amount of votes they receive, but if that is the case why are the Conversatives on each week when they only got 33% of the vote at the last general election.

There are 5/6 seats available on the panel each week, and whilst I can understand that the Liberal Democrats cannot be on every week when you have to include Nationals, Green, UKiP, BNP(!) but I do not believe the percentage for the Liberal Democrats is fair.

I would like the following points addressed :-

1) What is the criteria for inclusion of a particular party given that no party receives 100% of the vote, yet both Labour and the Conservatives appear (nearly) 100% of the time?

2) Why do you never take into account current events when choosing the panel? Example the Iraq war inquiry (Chilcot) was a major news item yet the only party in Westminster to vote against the Iraq war was not represented.

3) Why do you not take location more into consideration when choosing the panel? As I live in Scotland, I was expecting the Edinburgh program to feature a panel to debate Scottish issues. Whilst Nicola Stugeon of the SNP featured, you included a Welsh Conservative and no members of the Scottish Liberal Democrat party (which received a similar voting percentage in 2007). You have yet to have a Green MEP on the program either.

Rob said...

"I'm sure nobody would ever be geeky enough to go to this page and analyse the 33 episodes of Question Time since 23 April last year it contains to see what nerdy facts they could extract about guests. And if they ever did that, they would never set up an Excel spreadsheeet containing the information. If they had done that, though no way would they ever want to find out that their hours of labour had been wasted because the information was easily available elsewhere. That would make them cry."

Actually I did. If all the information is available elsewhere, I haven't found it, so can you tell me. I aggregated what's available on Wikipedia with the BBC's own partial records and came up with a spreadsheet that you can see at http://act.libdems.org.uk/group/wewantjoswinsononquestiontime/forum/topics/qt-panel-composition

But it's still not complete, because one of the key issues is the allegiance of the pundits - I've been able to identify some but not all. If you can help with that, please do. I believe that if we can demonstrate a leaning towards the two dinosaur parties, and particularly the Conservatives, which the figures appear to show, we will have a strong case to take to the BBC and the BBC Trust just ahead of the election.

MekQuarrie said...

There is definitely a feeling of 'who's at the front of the roledex?' on many shows. Kelvin MacKenzie and Ian Hislop are another two of the 'usual suspects'/'bad pennies'. Nowadays, I only catch the show at the end when I'm willing 'This Week' to come on...

cynicalHighlander said...

Welcome to the Labour Broadcasting Company who set their own rules and can be as biased as they want bring on Glen Campbell who recently recieved an award on his writting the news rather than reporting the truth. Democracy UK via pravada.

James Mackenzie said...

In the interests of balance, you might also point out that despite ten years of Green MSPs elected to the Scottish Parliament none have ever appeared on the programme.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails