Saturday, 19 March 2016

Salmond not Happy about "Question Time" from Dundee

Angry Salmond: The threat of gunge is the way to liven up debate

COMRADES, it’s high time we started to question BBC Question Time. For years, the best thing about it – by far – has been Dimbleby’s wonderful collection of ridiculous ties. Beyond this point of fashion, the show is anything but enjoyable, impartial or logical. In fact, I’d go so far to say that its sole purpose for existing now is to descend every platform of social media into a weekly commentary track of resentment and misery. I have personally given up on the show in recent years, viewing it as the perfect excuse to stay in the pub until closing time on a Thursday. However, last week’s edition was purporting to be broadcast from Dundee – and thus featuring real, live Dundonians. With this being the case, I decided to dust off my television remote and listen into what one of Scotland’s great “YES!” cities had to say.
However, what I was presented with was anything but the Dundee I know and love. The programme’s audience was nothing more than a gathering of yoons, goons and people from other toons! It’s one thing for the producers of Question Time to intentionally mislead the public, but quite another to misrepresent the good people of Dundee. The panel wasn’t up to much either, with John Swinney finding himself on the receiving end of an incessant Unionist cross-examination. Labour’s Jenny Marra and Tory Ruth Davidson came across more like a bickering married couple than political opponents. Meanwhile, Willie Rennie did his best to cling to political relevancy as the show gave excessive speaking time to some loser journalist with more than a passing resemblance to Arnold Rimmer from Red Dwarf.
Given this nightmarish set-up, it was comforting to see one pro-independence member of the panel successfully navigate the Question Time minefield. Patrick Harvie was the undisputed MVP of the night, with his answers as pleasing as they were miraculously uninterrupted. To most nationalists, the SNP is still the sexiest party in politics but anyone with a soul must have a soft spot for the Greens. Certainly, Patrick’s uncompromising approach to independence – a methodology that does not feature the monarchy or an unwanted reliance on oil – is far closer to my own. In my mind, Patrick Harvie wanting freedom with a separate currency over full fiscal autonomy is a very valid and sexy opinion!
Of course, that’s not a call for anyone to jump ship based on my view. I support folk researching and voting for whichever parties best represent them – whether that be SNP, Green, Rise etc. There’s no need for infighting. Even I’ve come to regard the Greens as the Ewoks who help us take down the Empire. Moreover, they have some pretty damn sexy merchandise on the go at the moment! They even have their own beer!
Without doubt, Harvie brought a different and welcome pro-independence stance to Question Time. However, one would also have hoped that the presence of the Green Party would’ve meant that we wouldn’t have had any plants in the audience. Yet disgraced Labourite Kathy Wiles, who once compared young Yes voters to Nazis, appeared along with fellow Labour staffer Braden Davy, who tried and failed to fool the world by sporting some unconvincing Clark Kent spectacles. In typical Labour style, their performances lacked subtlety, direction or class. These rotten tactics may have worked in the years prior to the internet, but in a time when a quick Google search can expose such wrongdoings, it appears that Labour are as hell-bent on their self-destructive ways as ever. In my opinion, last week’s questionable Question Time epitomises all that is wrong with the BBC, but it also illustrates the contempt that the organisation has for Scotland. As much as I’m not of the opinion that there is some great conspiracy against the SNP, I do believe that there are lots of scheming fudricks in the media. After all, we can hardly expect the British Broadcasting Corporation to not take the side of Britain! Then again, clowning Ukip followers frequently criticise the organisation as well. Clearly, the BBC is incapable of pleasing anyone on the political spectrum of their impartiality – with nationalists and pro-Brexit politicians equally as critical of the company as each other. Which makes one wonder how an organisation could be biased towards the left and the right at the same time? Yet this is the very crime the BBC is regularly charged with.
Personally, I would be completely in favour of seeing the BBC licence fee scrapped, with the organisation monetising their iPlayer in a similar manner to that of Netflix. Failing this, I certainly think a major overhaul of Question Time is necessary if it is to remain on television. In my estimation, the contestants have it far too easy. Back in the 1990s, audiences on a variety of shows were able to gunge participants they didn’t like. I would see this option as a constructive addition to Question Time. Hell, perhaps I should start my own version of the programme called “Everyone Loves Angry”? I’d certainly make good use of the post-watershed timeslot!

Angry Salmond is a political lampooner. Follow him on Twitter @AngrySalmond and on is not the real Alex Salmond.

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