Highlanders and Billy Boys
The failure of BBC to review or respond to the criticisms of their ‘flagship’ programme is not strange – it makes perfect sense – because this isn’t a current affairs or a news programme it’s an entertainment spectacle.
How else can you explain the repeat appearances of Orange Order and UKIP supporting Billy Mitchell, who has appeared on at least four occasions as well as radio shows?
The only other explanation is that:
A) the “Audience Producer” is peddling her own political views
B) they are deliberately creating and cultivating “controversy” to provoke the show and the spectacle
[note A and B are not mutually exclusive].
Back in 2016 Bella exposed the reality behind the BBC Question Time audience manipulation. Back then we wrote that:
“… a new angle has emerged with the news that when BBC Question Time was broadcast from Sutton Coldfield in September it was at the behest of one local Councillor Paul Long.
No big story there.
But the local newspaper Coldfield Observer revealed:
“Sutton Coldfield town councillor Paul Long (Sutton Vesey) was instrumental in persuading programme producers to come to the town, on the back of it forming the UK’s largest parish council. Cllr Long said: “Back in November I had the idea of seeing if BBC Question Time could come to the Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield to mark the formation of the UK’s largest town council. “Fortunately, I knew the audience producer, Alison Fuller-Pedley, and she was very keen to see what she could do.”
So BBC QT’s producer has UKIP connections?
No biggie. Large proportions of England voted UKIP.
Must just have been a coincidence.
You can just imagine an SNP or a Green councillor doing the same, can’t you?
And there’s no problem with having to listen to views you completely disagree with, even if they come from the mouths of bigots and racists.
People have the right to be bigots or racists.
But Alison Fuller Pedley – as we pointed out back then – liked Britain First material in 2016. This goes way behind “stirring things up” for the sake of fake controversy.
It was Pedley who dug out the “passionate Highlander” in 2014:
But it gets worse.
It now turns out that the same producer is being employed by Mentorn to work on the new Scottish version of Question Time.
An email from Fuller, and passed to Bella, was sent to applicants from the new BBC Scotland “Debate Night” pilot recorded at Napier University on the 6th February.
The letter read: “This will be an important programme on the new channel, where members of the public can question politicians and other people in public life in Scotland about the issues they most care about. It will be similar to Question Time but specifically for a Scottish audience.”
“You, as part of our audience, will set the agenda and the aim is the show will be fun, informative and get to the heart of what matters to people across the country.”
The letter is signed …
Full House Audience Management
On behalf of the BBC and Mentorn Glasgow
This is a very serious challenge for the BBC and for BBC Scotland. In an era of fake news, in which credibility for public broadcasting and news is massively undermined in the aftermath of the Scottish referendum, in the wake of Cambridge Analytica and Brexit revelations and in the context of the wider disenchantment and cynicism with tv news.
If BBC Scotland is to transcend these problems they must demonstrate transparency and fresh-thinking, not replicate the broken dysfunctional and widely discredited programmes and staffing of the UK BBC. We are in the midst of an unprecedented political and constitutional crisis – and the media have played a major role in steering us there.