Watch Aaron Bastani pinpoint the moment BBC Question Time died

Aaron Bastani next to 17 January's Question Time panel

On 24 January, Novara Media co-founder Aaron Bastani pinpointed the moment BBC Question Time died.


During an extensive takedown of the show’s bias, Bastani analysed the uncontrollable grinning of Conservative minister Rory Stewart:

Read on...

As Bastani notes, it’s easy to see why Stewart is so happy. Host Fiona Bruce and right-wing journalist Isabel Oakeshott seemed too busy attacking panellist Diane Abbott to even remotely hold the government to account.

Bastani said:

Look at the size of the guy’s smile. This is a government that has had 32 resignations since June 2017, the first defeat of a government on a finance bill for 40 years, biggest defeat of a government ever, and he’s laughing… If you want an image as to why this show in no way embodies impartiality or accuracy, look at Rory Stewart’s face!

Meanwhile, the backlash from the 17 January edition over the show’s bias against Abbott isn’t letting up. In fact, the pressure forced the show’s new host to issue an on-air clarification while chairing the following episode. Although, Bruce stopped short of apologising and admitting that she was peddling falsehoods about polling data.

The Tory minister can’t believe his luck

In his video analysis, Bastani also points out how frequently Stewart is let off the hook:

During the episode, Abbott was explaining why Jeremy Corbyn wanted May to rule out a no-deal Brexit:

If we come out with no-deal and no transition period, all sorts of security and policing arrangements will fall.

Then the shadow home secretary accused the government of having too much business for the time frame:

We have a government minister here. Maybe he can tell us how the government is going to get through 12 separate bills between now and the end of March?

Instead of questioning the government herself, presenter Bruce actually shielded Stewart from having to answer:

Let’s not get into that level of detail.

“A systemic bias” against progressives

All things considered, it’s hard not to agree with Bastani’s conclusion:

It’s pretty clear that Fiona Bruce failed dramatically in her responsibilities as chair… We see throughout the 50 minutes… a systemic bias against socialist voices. Diane Abbott isn’t taken seriously by… much of the media establishment for a number of reasons. Firstly, she’s a Black woman. Secondly, she comes from a working class background. Thirdly, she isn’t scared of them. And fourthly, she’s a socialist. You put all of this together and you have a woman who the media establishment wants to lambast and undermine and demean at every opportunity.

BBC Question Time is consistently biased against any progressive challenge to the status-quo. But Bruce’s behaviour towards Abbott may be the final nail in the coffin for the show.

You can watch Bastani’s full analysis here:

Featured image via Novara Media/ YouTube

Get involved

  • You can complain to Ofcom about the BBC‘s treatment of Diane Abbott here.

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?

The Canary Support us