Lot of fascists on BBCQT? ‘Britain First’-supporting producer might explain it

Social media is abuzz lately with the sudden downhill trajectory of the quality of audiences on BBC’s Question Time (BBCQT) programme. Never exactly a hotbed of fair debate, it’s gone from bad to absurd with a preponderance of extreme right-wingers in the audiences resulting in horrendous discourtesy and outright abuse, especially toward female panellists such as the excellent Angela Rayner, who was disgracefully treated in Hartlepool.

UKIP, for example, has always received far more airtime – on the BBC and elsewhere – than its electoral importance merited, legitimising its racist views. But in recent months, Question Time’s audiences have often appeared to consist of a majority of small-minded xenophobes with no qualms about spouting little-England nonsense and shouting down anyone who dares dissent.

It turns out there may be a very simple explanation for that: ‘Audience producer’ Alison Pedley.

Ms Pedley’s Facebook shows her job title as “Audience Producer at BBC Question Time”:


The job of the audience producer  is to select the people who will form the audience, as this BBCQT article confirms, specifically about Ms Pedley:

Every week audience producer Alison Fuller has to select the audience

So it’s clearly a role of central importance to the type of people we see on the show each week.

For a fair and balanced approach, you would ideally want someone politically neutral in the role. So Ms Pedley’s tendency to support ‘Britain First’ (BF) online is certainly troubling, to say the least:

The second of these two BF posts are shared a number of times on her Facebook feed on different dates.

Now, you might just about give the benefit of the doubt to the average person for sharing a poppy picture near to Remembrance Day and allow that they might not know who BF are or what they represent.

But an experienced BBC producer on a political programme? It’s unthinkable.

That’s not the end of the incriminating evidence. The EDL (English Defence League) is nothing short of a neo-nazi organisation. Ms Pedley also posted directly to an event page on Facebook that is sponsored by the EDL asking for people to participate in BBCQT:


The growing perception that BBCQT has become little more than a front for promoting right-wing extremism seems to have a lot of substance to it. Criminally, when honest news has never been more needed and so-called ‘fake news’ is high on the agenda, in the context of the output of its news channel it appears that the BBC is giving up even the pretence of impartiality.

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  1. What a load of absolute rubbish – having been on BBCQT in the audience a number of times I know how the political part is selected – and it is left to the political parties to invite members to attend – however they do the invitation – and the public can attend as individuals anyway – SKWAWBOX really is declining into a nonsensical rant.

    1. Your response appears to be shown completely wrong at best by the words of BBCQT themselves, as shown in the linked post about the role of the audience producer.

  2. @KC Gordon. Having also been an audience member at BBC QT I can say that what *you* are saying is absolute rubbish. You are right that people apply as individuals but in that process you are asked to declare any political allegiance so that the producers can pick a “balanced” audience. So the audience *are* chosen by the producers, and if the producers are biased then the audience will reflect that.

    I have also been on BBC AQ (and asked a question, which didn’t happen when I was on BBC QT) which has a different way. The producers are not involved in picking the audience, although they do choose the questions asked. Another difference is that BBC AQ ask you to submit as many questions you want, so if you attend one, don’t just ask one question, ask several over a broad range of topics.

  3. Skwawkbox!You are yourselves one sided in your leftie luvvie rant here showing again what is well known that the Beeb is soo left it falls off the scale, no wonder the strong backlash is people steering right to balance this listing ship of fools.

  4. absolutely correct widen it to the two females presenters on R4,mistresses of the nasty aside example this mornings womans hour 1005 Garvey “which of course we do not have money for”in response to need for extra services, Garvey another”we will not go there” “we will not have any mention of “biological determinism”
    femail solidarity but not at any price

  5. We need to keep a sense of proportion here. I’m happy to declare myself a Socialist – that’s the kind of society I want to live in. Even so, calling the English Defence League and Britain First ‘neo-fascist’ and the like is nonsense. There are plenty of videos on YouTube about these organizations and I’ve watched a fair number of them in an effort to understand the situation.

    If you listen to what they say for themselves (and not as their enemies like to portray them), they are actually perfectly reasonable, ordinary people who are worried about the way society is going. They are not ‘racist’ or ‘extremist’ or any of the other labels that ill-informed people throw at them. Can anyone actually provide a quote from any of these organizations that is racist? For the most part, they are defending the same values we fought two World Wars to protect. The fact is, people shout them down with labels without listening to them.

    Let’s keep cool heads and respect free speech and democracy. Political arguments don’t fall neatly into ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ with one side all good and the other pure evil. The ‘other side’ might just have a point now and again if we listen. Let’s listen and learn from each other.

    1. Why should Briatin be First exactly? Are we claiming to be some form of superior being…because we are clearly not. Who are we defending England from, upper class twits are the threat how about having a go at them? The world is facing a very clear and present danger which threatens life as we know it like nothing else that has occured to mankind. Small minded parochialism is just about the last thing needed right now, you are talking “Up the ladder and pull it up after you” mentality, or as we used to call it, “I’m alright Jack”, and that isnt socialism or anything like it.
      We live in a world run by Spin Doctors, lobbyists and think tanks and Ms Pedley fits right in there with the entire neoliberal community, never missing an excuse to distribute their message at the expense of the truth

    2. Here’s what BF founder Jim Dowson had to say about the leader of BF (who happens to be an ex-BNP councilor):

      “No matter how many times I told [Paul Golding] I did not want decent Muslims intimidated, he just continued doing it … I have come to the conclusion that no matter how hard I tried, you cannot escape from the fact that the group is being overrun with racists and extremists”

      From the BF website:

      “The word “racism” was invented by a communist mass murderer, Leon Trotsky, to silence European opposition to “multi-culturalism”, so we do not recognise the validity of this made-up word.”

      Firstly, this appears to be a lie. Secondly, all words are “made up”, so what the hell are they gibbering about? Sounds like a bunch of racists trying pathetically to excuse their racism and dismiss their critics without engaging in a proper argument about it to me.

      Jim Dowson himself is on film picketing a gay wedding, and is linked with anti-women’s rights groups and reportedly attends rallies at abortion clinics.

      A couple of BF policies:

      Ban the media from using the word “racism” (wonder why they’d want to do that)

      Ban Islam

      Sound racist and extremist-y enough for you?

      As for the EDL… You seen their Twitter? It’s almost purely links to cherry-picked articles about Muslims who’ve committed awful crimes (with a few moaning about immigrants and refugees thrown in for good measure). It’s blatantly completely Islamophobic.

  6. I was shocked at the amount of racism on last week’s QT. The balance on that programme has been steadily getting worse and now it has become farcical in my view.

  7. Paul James. You’ve given examples of what people are saying other people have said or done. What has Paul Golding (leader of BF) actually SAID that marks him as a racist? I don’t know that they are anti-gay and anti-women’s rights but, if so, they are no worse than the average Tory. It’s why I’m a Socialist (a fair, just and equal society). None of this proves that EDL and BF are racist organizations. The words ‘islamophobic’ and ‘racist’ are so misused now they might as well be banned (or be allowed to fall into disuse) for all the good they do. Pejorative labels don’t win arguments. Mostly they are only used to stifle debate and blacken the characters of people you disagree with. That is why they would ban the word (I’m taking your word for it that they want to). IMO, banning words doesn’t achieve anything.

    You say a BF policy is to ‘Ban Islam’ (they want to ban islam in the UK). Before condemning this let’s look at what Islam actually is. Firstly, it is not a ‘race’ and so criticizing it is not ‘racism’. Secondly, it is an ideology and therefore open to criticism. It is anti-democratic, misogynistic, homophobic, sadistic, wants world domination and is against everything we fought two World Wars to defeat. It is incompatible with everything we (in the West) call civilized.

    Anyone daring to object to their favoured (above criticism) status is vilified by the Left, the Police and the Courts. Whatever you think of Jayda Fransen (deputy leader of BF) and her Tory-like policies (bring back grammar schools etc? No thanks!) her recent trial was a farce and a travesty of justice and must have recruited more members to BF than anything else. Banning Islam is as sensible as banning fascism or any other anti-democratic ideology whose adherents want to destroy us. Until we do ban Islam, the Socialist society I want to live in isn’t even possible because intolerant, creeping shariah would kill it. If individual muslims are willing to renounce shariah in favour of British law that would be fine and there wouldn’t be a problem but most refuse to do that. Their ideology forbids it.

    I recommend that people put the names Pat Condell, David wood, Paul Weston (and a host of others) into the YouTube search engine for rational arguments against tolerating islam. It is not a ‘phobia’ to fear what hates you and wants to destroy you. From a personal perspective, why should I have any respect or tolerance for a blood-thirsty ideology that thinks I’m unclean (amongst other things)?

    1. Marge, I’d just like to suggest that you replace ‘Islam’ in this comment with ‘Judaism’ (leaving aside your opinion about the merits and aims of either religion) and see whether you’d still feel comfortable posting it.

      As for the idea that BF/EDL are not racist organisations – just wow.

    2. Right. So the leader of Britain First isn’t quite thick enough to go along to the national media and start being openly racist. It’s just the people he associates with who say that he is. And okay. Let’s split hairs if we must. Islamophobia isn’t technically racism, it’s religious intolerance. It’s still bigotry, though, and it’s every bit as bad, so be pedantic if you must, but it doesn’t really help your case. Obviously you’re keen to go the religious bigotry route, too, and judge billions of people that you know only one thing about. Some of us realise that religious people don’t always follow religious scripture to the absolute letter, or else Christians would all be racist, homophobic, misogynistic nightmares, with all sorts of weird opinions about who should be stoned to death and who should be forced to marry their rapist. I’ve met a few Christians and, luckily, it turns out that very few of them advocate following those particular directives from God. In the same way, I’ve met a few British Muslims, too, and guess what? They’ve been perfectly normal, pleasant people who wish no harm on anyone.

      “But BF opposes Islam itself, not individual Muslims!” Well, that’s very clever while they’re endlessly tweeting their cherry-picked articles about Muslim criminals, and their dumbass supporters, convinced by these articles that Muslims must all be evil, go around abusing and attacking innocent people in the street, at their homes, in their places of worship, in their places of work… BF is a Christian organisation. It’s a good job that Christianity never spawned aggressive, murderous terrorist groups of ideologues, or BF could end up looking like a bunch of hypocritical bigots trying to stir up religious tension.

      So… It appears that you’ve been listening to BF and their sort, rather than doing proper research into what the Qur’an actually says. Here’s a guy who actually bothered to read the Qur’an, and who couldn’t find a thing in there about world domination, or killing unbelievers. A helpful Muslim points out the passages from the Qur’an that these misconceptions tend to come from: https://www.quora.com/Where-if-anywhere-in-the-Quran-does-it-say-that-non-believers-must-be-killed-In-what-context So, it turns out that when you listen to what religious bigots have to say, you get told the same variety of spurious, de-contextualised garbage that racist bigots spout to convince people that their hated race of choice is evil. When will people learn? You chastise me for offering somebody else’s quote as evidence that Paul Golding is racist instead of providing evidence from the source in question, then you blithely go throwing names of people critical of Islam at me in place of evidence from the source in question yourself. I guess I’m right in assuming that you’ve never actually read the Qur’an yourself, yes?

      And, of course, let’s add in some stuff about halal meat. That’s right! BF are animal-rights activists! Except that for some reason they only give a cr*p about Islamic animal abuse. Never mind that conditions for battery farmed chickens are utterly barbaric because that’s good, old, lawful, British animal abuse. They don’t really care about people upholding the law, either. Never mind that the British upper class happily breaks the law to chase foxes to exhaustion across the countryside and then tear them to bits with packs of dogs – BF don’t care about that. But when a Muslim is nasty to animals, suddenly it’s the most incredibly important and mortifying travesty imaginable. Gimme a break!

      Pejorative labels aren’t supposed to win arguments. What the hell sort of word is supposed to win an entire argument all on its own? The purpose of words like ‘racism’ is the same as that of any other word: to convey meaning. The word racism conveys meaning, and it’s a damn necessary one to be able to convey. Lots of words can be misused and weaponised – that doesn’t justify banning it. As I’ve shown, Britain First is pretty handy at misrepresenting facts in order to manipulate debate. Maybe they should be banned from using the word ‘Islam’, eh?

  8. Anyone with any knowledge of the history of British Fascism know that BF are firmly part of that tradition.

  9. I wouldn’t feel comfortable posting wrong information about anyone’s beliefs. I hope I would always have the courage to speak the truth though.

    Are you really saying Judaism has an agenda for replacing democratic systems with an oppressive ideology? I thought it was based on the Torah. In any event, its adherents are fully integrated into British society and make a huge contribution to it. Generally speaking (and as far as I know) Judaism is as harmless as any other religion (the activities of the Israeli Government are a separate debate). Only Islam requires its followers to kill non-believers for the sake of it and to establish a new world order (or global caliphate).

    It makes no sense to make a straight comparison of Judaism with Islam in this regard.

    An objection that applies to the followers of both these religions, is their requirement for the ritual killing of farm animals (halal and kosher meat). No animal should undergo such suffering in the name of ‘religion’ or ‘culture’ regardless of whose religion or culture it is. For mainstream society, it is illegal. No religion should be above criticism or the law. Am I a ‘racist’ for objecting to animal cruelty and wanting one law for all? What happens when labels like ‘racism’ are no longer enough? Why do I fear I may be killed for criticizing Islam but not Judaism?

    I’m sorry to labour the point, but ‘wow’ is not a substitute for reasoned argument either. Where is the evidence for saying BF/EDL are racist? I’m looking for direct quotes from the people who run these organizations. I don’t think there are any.

  10. We should all be supporting britin first soon there will be no homes for the british people as the goverment is letting in to meany of thees people when i look out my window i just dont no anyone in the houseing scheme were i grew up even on the buses they dont even get up to give a old person a set and most of the crime wots going on is down to thees people i see a lot of trouble comeing

    1. Cannot agree with you Marc, its People First….all People, not just from 1 place, or one colour. When you look out your window you see aall nations mixed up, but most of the ones who are in the UK right now are legitimate and have the necessary papers. When your country decides to Bomb people in Iraq, Kurdistan, and Syria, and leave tens of thousands homelesss, you cannot complain when they come knocking on your door for a roof over their heads. It IS unfortunate that successive British governments have kept pushing the whole Immigration question under the carpet. That is basically because British politicians are cowards through and through.
      In Holland there is a really excellent programme to help immigrants get into society, and it is spread all over the whole country not all in one or two cities. There is a centre very near me that has several hundred asylum seekers go through it, and the village only has a population of 10,000.
      It is something the Dutch can be very proud of….and they are.

      1. The Dutch have their equivalent to BF and EDL which are growing exponentially. People do not want to lose their own culture, heritage etc to something that is alien to anything they have ever known. Government propaganda is quite shameless in the way it ignores this.

      2. The Dutch have Geert Wilders, a man of little substance and few seats in the 1st Chamber. He gets far more publicity than he deserves, and was very loud about passing a law to make hate speeches banned in the media a while ago, which the Government did pass. This year he mad a speech in parliament saying that all Moroccans were criminals and should be deported (effectively), whereupon he was hauled up before the beak and fined $5000 under the very rule he helped to get inaugurated( A true measure of the mans skill and intellect) He is now saying he will not pay so he may be spending Xmas in nick with St Nick.
        Fighting your argument by diverting attention to something else is hardly honest. I brought the Netherlands into the discussion as an example of how things could be very much better in the UK, not to detract from your argument. I could also have said that Brits are not to good at blending in with the scenery either, the Spanish and French experience of the British who seem to think that by shouting, they are excused the inconvenience of learning another language is a classic.
        The EU is being blamed for Britains cultural make up, and it is the British government you need to turn to. If the EU was so dictatorial and bureaucratic they wouldnt have allowed Britain or Italy to even have a referendum concerning their own internal politics. Hey ho…too late now, the damage is done.

      3. Hi Tony,

        You mentioned Holland with the implication it’s the land of multicultural milk and honey. Someone was bound to point out the reality of the the Dutch situation. So I didn’t divert attention away from anything you said, but added to it to give balance. Geert Wilders is actually a brave man to stand up for what he believes in under the circumstances.

        I certainly don’t blame the EU for the mess our national government has made of the country and voted to ‘Remain’ for what it’s worth. People were so beset by false information, downright lies and their unaddressed fear of islam, I’m not surprised we got the result we did.

  11. I reply to Paul James’ comment above of 06-12-16 timed at 3:05am.

    Hello again, Paul. Thanks for taking the time to reply to my earlier comment and providing a link. I’d like to clarify my position, if I may, and clear up any misunderstanding. I’ll deal with your points in the order you’ve written them.

    Firstly, people like Jim Dowson may well be calling Paul Golding a racist to discredit him. This sort of thing happens to people in public life – from Royalty to Corbyn. It doesn’t mean it’s true. If you stand up for what you believe in, or speak out, you just do make enemies.

    You say with regard ‘racism’ and ‘islamophobia’ that ‘it’s still bigotry’. Yes it is. The problem is they are used as labels to stigmatize innocent people who criticize islam and to silence them. That’s what I object to. Criticizing islam is not bigotry in itself and so it is not ‘islamophobia’. I am simply identifying a threat to our freedoms and am not particularly interested in religion as such (islam has the appearance of a political system anyway, IMO).

    You don’t help your argument by misrepresenting Christianity. Jesus Christ did not advocate any of the things you list and actively prevented stonings (John 8:7). The Old Testament is Jewish history for the most part and Jesus overturned the worst excesses of it (Matthew 5:21-48). Even if Christianity were as bad as you say, it doesn’t justify the gorey excesses of Islam. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    I’m please the British muslims you’ve met have been perfectly ‘normal’ and ‘pleasant’. I assume from this that you are a man? The muslims I’ve met not only refused to shake hands but turned their backs on me and wouldn’t speak. Someone later explained they thought I might be ‘unclean’. In other words they feared female menstruation and made a value judgement about it based on guess work. This is not only backward but outrageous. What if I treated them like this on the basis of some prejudice about their shoe size or eye colour or some other biological characteristic they couldn’t help? I think you would explode, Paul. 🙂

    You say Britain First (BF) attack people in the street, in their homes etc. They video their activities. They can be seen handing out literature and reasoning with people who attack them. Places of worship (like mosques) are public spaces – in theory anyone can go in (but probably wouldn’t dare!). They did call on Anjem Choudry (famous hate preacher) to ask questions at his home but were ignored. One of them shouted for him to answer the door, which he didn’t do, so they leafleted his street. That is reasonable, legal protest. If someone who promotes hatred and terrorism is annoyed by that then, frankly, I don’t mind a bit.

    The link you provide gives both sides of the argument, which is good. For someone like me who just looks at the logic of an argument with no particular axe to grind either way, the view that postulates that Islam is a violent religion, is more compelling. You talk of ‘garbage that racist bigots spout to convince people that their hated race of choice is evil.’ You are muddling cause and effect here. Firstly, you mention ‘race’ again when the discussion is about a religion (there is an important distinction). Secondly, if you mean me in particular, I don’t start from a point of hating anyone. I have simply looked at one of our major religions with an open mind and found it to be dangerous and incompatible with my own traditional values, and so I reject it. This is reasonable and more and more people are doing the same as information about it spreads. BF does that.

    You say I threw the names of people who are critical of Islam at you in place of evidence etc. If that’s how it came across then i expressed myself badly. The reason I chose the names I did is because they do ‘face-to-camera’ videos (no grisly film of beheadings etc) and quote chapter and verse from the Koran to support their arguments which I am unable to do. David Wood, for example, has studied the Koran for over 20 years and so is well-placed to defend the arguments. You don’t say Jim Dowson produced evidence against Paul Golding in the same way,

    You are right to be disgusted by home-grown British animal abuse. There are plenty of people out there fighting the abuses you list. How does this catalogue of cruelty justify letting Islam and Judaism break the welfare laws that govern the slaughter of farm animals? Ritual killing is illegal for the rest of society. How does adding to cruelty justify cruelty? Sorry but this argument doesn’t make sense.

    I could go on but have already written an over-long post. I don’t know how long we have before being ‘timed out’ on this website. Perhaps we could agree to disagree and thanks for the debate. 🙂

  12. That explains everything how many times I applied to be selected to be in QT audience I lost count. Maybe my views are opposite to Ms Fuller.

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