BBC host slammed for asking the most stupid question of this election

Emma Barnett
Kerry-anne Mendoza

BBC host Emma Barnett is being slammed for asking the most stupid question of the general election. And in an election where the media has failed voters so abysmally, that’s quite an achievement.

Nationalised sausages

During a BBC Question Time special on 9 December, Labour shadow education secretary Angela Rayner addressed the climate crisis. Given the existential threat to life on earth, it’s perhaps the most pressing issue around the globe. Decades of work by scientists and activists is culminating in the mass movements surrounding Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion. And urgent cooperation is required to prevent the crisis deepening.

Global carbon emissions must drop by 45% by 2030 to prevent the average temperature rising 1.5 degrees higher than pre-industrial measures, according to the IPCC. Kelly Levin of the World Resources Institute describes what would happen over the next decade if we fail:

What we know is that unabated climate change will really transform our world into something that is unrecognizable

Rayner was able to discuss Labour’s Green New Deal to tackle the crisis, described as one of the most radical programmes in the world. For the first time, one of the UK’s two main parties is offering a more comprehensive environmental programme than the Green party.

But Barnett interrupted with a question she felt was more urgent, asking Rayner:

Would you nationalise sausages?

Beyond a joke

During an election in which the BBC has served as a PR service for the Conservative Party, this was a new low. Question Time was once considered the flagship political programme in Britain. But in recent years, it’s become more like a late night edition of Jeremy Kyle. And yet somehow, Barnett made it worse. Viewers could scarcely believe what they were seeing.

And it’s the second time in as many weeks that Barnett has come under fire. During an interview with Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Barnett had her infamous ‘will no one think of the poor billionaires?’ moment. In a conversation about the UK’s gross inequality, Barnett seemed more concerned about those at the top of the wealth pyramid.

Boris Johnson is already implying he’ll gut the BBC if he wins December 12. And after its woeful behaviour during this election, the BBC will have a tough time finding allies willing to fight for it. Either way, it seems licence fee payers would appreciate less Emma Barnett.

Featured image via BBC iPlayer

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