BBC Question Time Complaint: Bias by Self-centredness

bbc-question-time-complaintBBC Question Time on Thursday 8th September at 9pm concentrated on the UK or British Labour Party Leadership debate. Please note the term ‘UK or British’. The UK or British Labour Party leader is in a position of authority over the party in Wales and in Scotland. The Labour Party in Wales or in Scotland is not in any way independent of the UK Labour Party so this debate was of equal relevance to viewers in Scotland and Wales as it was to those in England. Why then did the host announce proudly that the audience represented a balance of supporters of the Labour, Conservative, Liberal, Green and UKIP parties only, with no apparent representation of the SNP, the third-largest party at Westminster, or Plaid Cymru?  There is no Labour party in Northern Ireland.

Remarkably, one of the questions was actually about the apparent death of the Labour Party in Scotland! Needless to say, no one was able to answer the question with the kind of insight you might expect from an SNP supporter.

Does this event simply represent another example of the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Anglo-centric mind-set? Perhaps most damaging to the BBC’s reputation in the rest of the UK, is the likelihood that this was no conspiracy, just a deeply ingrained tendency to equate England and Britain as being the same thing and to, consequently, treat licence-payers in Scotland and Wales with contempt.


7 thoughts on “BBC Question Time Complaint: Bias by Self-centredness

  1. Bryan Weir September 11, 2016 / 8:03 am

    I noticed this but frankly I am becoming so used to behaviour like this from the BBC that it no longer shocks and angers me like it once did … and that is bad! Perhaps it is BBC policy to just field all complaints of bias with platitudes and denials and make anti SNP bias the norm.


  2. johnrobertson834 September 15, 2016 / 7:38 pm

    Dear Professor Robertson

    Reference CAS-4004056-XVKW8L

    Thank you for contacting us regarding ‘Question Time’ on 8 September.

    I understand you feel there was a lack of Scottish political representation on the programme.

    I have reviewed the programme and the audience was made up mostly of Labour voters, evenly split with supporters of Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn. There were also some voters from the Conservative, Liberal and UKIP parties.

    The programme, as with all editions of Question Time, was open to people from surrounding areas as well as those living in the Oldham. We do aim for a wide variety of views on different subjects to be heard on Question Time.

    The make up of the audience varies from episode to episode and we try to achieve a balance over a reasonable period. We have a firm commitment to political balance over their series as a whole.

    I appreciate you feel that Scottish voters should have been included.

    Your feedback is important to us and your concerns have been placed on an overnight report. This document is made available to senior management and the ‘Question Time’ production team. This report can be used to inform future broadcasting and policy decisions, so please be assured that your complaint has been sent to the right people.

    Thanks again for getting in touch.

    Kind regards

    David Currie

    BBC Complaints Team

    NB This is sent from an outgoing account only which is not monitored. You cannot reply to this email address but if necessary please contact us via our webform quoting any case number we provided.


  3. Auri Hakomaa September 25, 2016 / 2:48 pm

    Abuse happening in so many ways … It is eaten as daily bread by the Great Abuser so that they see it fit and natural.
    But it is outrageous and must not and may not be tolerated by the honorable people of Scotland. Thank you John for bringing up the different forms of massmedia biasness.
    NoTolerance for abusive lies!!



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