I have already noted that I did not appear on Newsnight last night, despite getting as far as the Green Room. And I have noted why.
As a consequence I wrote a blog saying what I might have tried to get across on air. The only reason for doing that when I did was that I’d tweeted that I believed I was appearing and so felt an obligation to follow up. I was not trying to show up Newsnight, or necessarily criticise them. That’s despite the fact that their track record would suggest they must do this to someone every night. Instead I was simply getting my thoughts on record.
To my surprise my tweets, and that blog post, got quite surprisingly noticed on social media. About 1,000 new Twitter followers have resulted. Most seem to be angry with the BBC.
On a day when Steve Bannon was given an unopposed free ride for fifteen minutes on the Today programme the inability to put another lone voice in air was noted, especially when the right were not present because they’d pulled out.
And the perceived imbalance of the BBC in general was also referred to.
And, I am pleased to say, some noted what I actually wrote.
What I take from this is something deeper. I was frustrated of course. In fairness, I think the BBC producer was as well. She was very apologetic. I think they had tried to get someone to debate with me when Arthur Laffer pulled out. But the fact that they could not continue without the right being present, when they appear to have very many fewer qualms about the left not being represented, is telling. And it has been noticed.
The BBC really does need to consider what balance means. I do not deny I am left leaning. But it is very apparent that I am willing to criticise any and all political parties when I think it appropriate. To suggest I am party political is hard, I would suggest. I rather suspect some in Labour would agree.
Is it so hard in that case for a singular opinion to be aired, especially when I had made clear what my line would be in advance?
I think not.
Maybe I reveal my bias.