The BBC’s relentless drive to destroy its reputation continued with last night’s Question Time

Isabel Oakeshott on Question Time
John Shafthauer

To say BBC Question Time‘s reputation isn’t what it used to be is an understatement. On 4 October, it damaged it further by having Isabel Oakeshott as a guest.

Call her a journalist

Oakeshott was formerly a political editor of the Sunday Times and editor-at-large at the Daily Mail. She infamously wrote Call me Dave – the biography of David Cameron which included the accusation that he made privileged, Etonian love to a severed pig’s head. That produced a lot of funny memes at the time, but it didn’t win any awards for journalism. Oakeshott later admitted that the Piggate allegation was only single-sourced and that the source:

could have been slightly deranged.

Oakeshott defended her story saying:

Hang on, this isn’t Watergate. I don’t think you would have put a team of researchers on one little anecdote.

It’s also worth pointing out she wrote the book with Lord Ashcroft – a Tory donor who had a serious falling out with Cameron. This was allegedly because Ashcroft was revealed as a tax-avoiding non-dom, and Cameron backed out on plans to give him a job in the Coalition government.

Oakeshott and no smoking barrels

Question Time should have expected a backlash to Oakeshott’s appearance. The same thing happened in June – that time because of Oakeshott’s relationship to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Oakeshott accused Guardian journalist Carole Cadwalladr of “chasing unicorns” with a story showing links between Brexiteers, Russia, and Cambridge Analytica. It later turned out Oakeshott had been sitting on emails showing links between prominent Brexiteers and – you guessed it – Russian officials.

She’d had these for several months but claimed to be saving them for a book she was writing. She didn’t explain why other journalists pursuing the story were “chasing unicorns”.

But was Question Time used as a platform to question Oakeshott’s activities?

Where’s the effing questions time

People had a few complaints about Oakeshott featuring as a guest:

Unsurprisingly, Oakeshott used her platform to say some pretty outrageous things:

All’s well that Isabel

Still though, not everything Oakeshott said was bad. She did reveal that – if nothing else – a Corbyn government would be bad for the sort of people who spent the last decade benefitting from austerity:

For the many, not the few.

Get Involved!

Join The Canary if you appreciate the work we do.

Featured image via screengrab

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed

John Shafthauer