Viewers noticed something familiar about an audience member on BBC Question Time last night. He bears a shocking resemblance to a young Conservative featured in a Vice film about the Tory party conference in Manchester last year.
On last night’s Question Time, a young audience member tore into former Conservative chancellor Ken Clarke. He criticised Clarke for “telling people who voted Leave that they didn’t know what they were voting for”, before challenging a Remain-voting audience member. The video below is set to play from the young man’s interjection into the debate:
Viewers noticed that the audience member bears a remarkable resemblance to an interviewee in a Vice short called Chat Shit Get Elected: Tory Party Conference Special. In it, chief political correspondent Rants N Bants trawled the conference for the most prized specimens of Conservativism and came across the Question Time doppelgänger.
Asked which Conservative MP would have the best drugs, the young man laughed before giving a Boris-Johnson-style response:
Uh, well, I mean, you know… I don’t think there’s much drugs in the Tory party!
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
Asked who would win in a fight between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, he predicted a May victory, saying:
Jeremy Corbyn, he can’t… you know, steam stickers on a jumper.
And asked if he preferred Theresa May or Jacob Rees-Mogg, the young Conservative backed Mogg. A few months later, it appears the same young man is seated in the Question Time audience. His blue suit and tie ditched in favour of regular person camouflage. And his Boris-Johnson-style poshness dialled down significantly.
— Steven (@AlpineJoe33) March 1, 2018
Not for the first time
Viewers have become increasingly suspicious of the Question Time audience after several high-profile Tory unveilings.
On Thursday 9 November 2017, a member of the BBC Question Time audience said claims that disabled people had died due to Conservative government policy was “inflammatory rubbish”. But it turns out that the man was not particularly unbiased. He was Chris Stevens, a Conservative Party councillor from Horley.
In May of the same year, another Tory councillor was granted a question.
In fact, there have been quite a few.
# And here's allll their friends… # pic.twitter.com/oHsSDggZrP
— Steven (@AlpineJoe33) March 1, 2018
Worse, last night’s show featured the record-breaking 32nd appearance of former UKIP leader Nigel Farage. Only Ken Clarke has appeared the same number of times, but that was over a longer period of time. According to research by HuffPost UK, UKIP has appeared in a quarter of all Question Time shows since 2010. It found that:
258 regular Question Time shows since May 6 2010 shows the anti-EU party had a representative on 24% of the programmes.
The Greens, who unlike Ukip have had an MP consistently in the last seven years, only appeared on 7% of the shows.
Viewers deserve better
The BBC is right to air the popular anti-EU sentiment that UKIP represent. But granting UKIP and Farage a disproportionately loud voice on shows like Question Time has (also rightly) triggered accusations of helping foster such resentments. Especially when the corporation has simultaneously marginalised pro-EU, liberal voices from the Green Party and others.
Viewers are demanding better. And viewers deserve better.
– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.
– Read and support other independent media outlets:
Another Angry Voice, Media Diversified, Novara Media, Corporate Watch, Red Pepper, New Internationalist, Common Space, Media Lens, Bella Caledonia, Vox Political, Evolve Politics, Real Media, Reel News, STRIKE! magazine, The Bristol Cable, The Meteor, The Skwawkbox, Salford Star, The Ferret.
Featured image via screengrab/screengrab
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?