I’m writing this letter as a license fee payer, viewer and previous audience member of the show. I’m writing because your format has become as outdated as roller skates and the gramophone.
Each week, it’s two members of the government, and a member of Blue Labour. You couldn’t squeeze a cigarette paper between their policies, so we get to yawn through an hour of these corrupted charlatans violently agreeing with each other.
Then we have someone from the mainstream media. If they’re from the right, they bemoan social liberalism while fully endorsing most of everything else. If the journalist is from the liberal section of the media, they tear a strip off some more conservative panellist, but they’re final position is “hold your nose and vote for the guy in the red tie, they’re the least worst option”.
All roads lead to the establishment, and the one economic and political idea dominating and destroying our world.
In fact, it almost seems you seek to terrify people into accepting this bullshit fait accompli, by ensuring the only permitted ‘alternative’ guests are proto-fascists like UKIP or the BNP. UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage has been a member of the QT panel 14 times since 2009, more than any other politician, and his henchwoman Diane James has taken a seat several times this year. Nigel had his 15th appearance this week – a week where we found half a million people had been kicked off their benefits, 80,000 children will be homeless this Christmas and MPs were having their energy bills paid for by the taxpayer…and once again the show ignored these issues and focused on immigration.
We have a massive and growing democratic deficit in our politics, our economics, and our media – and beloved QT, you are part of the problem. Your show fails pitifully to reflect the tension and battle of ideas taking place in the UK today.
We need a Question Time, but not this weekly pantomime of finger waving and verbal flatulence.
We need a proper Question Time, representative of the real means of political expression right now.
Protest is back, campaigning is back, community growing and sharing is back, local areas are creating their own currencies – awesome shit is going down QT, and you are missing it!
So, here are some ideas to start you off.
Each week, we have an MP/representative from the government, Labour and Greens. The fourth seat goes to the mainstream media. The fifth seat doesn’t go an actor, comedian or socialite – but to someone from the political non-establishment. In no particular order:
Sue Marsh is an excellent advocate, activist and writer. You should have her on to give voice to the fight back by disabled people up and down the country who are facing destitution due to welfare cuts.
Sod those sold out Union bosses! How about public service heroes such as fire fighter Jamie Newell, or one of the thousands of doctors, nurses and concerned people who have united to create the National Health Action Party?
There’s loads of them out there QT. Loads of intelligent, articulate, inspirational people who have ideas bigger than the tiny box presented by our parliament, our media and your show. Invite them!
Now, if I were being cynical – I might suggest that my letter is all in vain, and that your show is part of the problem; that your show serves to keep people thinking small, forming unbreakable shackles around the brains of the audience at home; that you confine their mental energies to the safe ground, this mythical centre ground, which just means the status quo.
I might suggest that it doesn’t serve the wealthy and privileged few that monopolise power within our institutions, to have the poor and exploited majority think too long or too hard about their predicament. To ask questions like – why there is such inequality in our country and the world?
But of course, that would make me the kind of overly-cynical, paranoid, conspiracy theorist sort that no one in their right mind should listen to. Wouldn’t it?
So, QT, do yourselves a favour and prove me wrong. It would make my day.
UPDATED NOV 9TH 2013 TO INCLUDE SECTION ON NIGEL FARAGE’S 15TH APPEARANCE ON BBCQT.
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