I sent the email below to the following BBC Question Time people. I hope others do the same.
David Dimbleby, presenter, [email protected]
Gavin Allen, Executive Editor for BBC, gavin.al[email protected]
Rob Hopkin, Director, [email protected]
Edward Havard, Editor, [email protected]
I watched with great interest the recent edition of Question Time from Wootton Bassett, concerning Afghanistan (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/question_time).
As you will know opinion polls consistently show the majority of the British population do not support the British mission in Afghanistan. For example, on 15 November 2009 an Independent on Sunday poll found 71% of respondents agreed British troops should begin a phased withdrawal, "the aim being the end of combat operations within a year or so". (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-the-only-way-forward-1820849.html). Similarly an 8 November 2009 BBC Politics Show/COMRES survey found 63% respondents believed "All British forces should be withdrawn from Afghanistan as quickly as possible" (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8348942.stm).
However, showing just how out of touch BBC Question Time really is you chose to have just one anti-war voice – Respect’s Salma Yaqoob – on a panel of six people. The other five guests strongly supported the British occupation of Afghanistan, albeit with some reservations/criticisms. When the overwhelmingly majority of the British public oppose our presence in Afghanistan, how on earth do you justifiy having just one anti-war voice on a panel of six?
Your pro-establishment bias was so obvious, Paddy Ashdown noted about Salma Yaqoob that "the view she represents is probably held by a very large number of people in this country, maybe even – according to the opinion polls – a majority." Isn’t this is a complete failure of the BBC’s aim to be a public service in Britain?