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

Isabel Oakeshott on Question Time
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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.

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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.

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