Classic anti Farage tweaking via the Telegraph’s James Kirkup in a snarky piece about the forthcoming Farage/Clegg debates – Kirkup uses that pic of Farage perspiring during his UKIP conference speech alongside a standard stock photo of Clegg looking steady and serious…..par for the course, I suppose.
Young Kirkup claims that the format is nearing some sort of agreement
LBC, the radio station that hosts Mr Clegg’s weekly phone-in, will stage a debate expected to have fewer rules and restrictions than the BBC. The debate – also before a live audience – will be hosted by Nick Ferrari, a more combative broadcaster than Dimbleby, who is expected to allow more “lively” exchanges.
So far, so good….Ferrari won’t take any prisoners but, unlike anyone at the BBC (except maybe Andrew Neil) he does tend to resonate with white van drivers and their wives, a constituency that is not renowned for going starry eyed over beards and sandals.
But warning bells did start to ring in my head when I read about the TV debate
The two men will be given an hour to argue about the merits of Britain’s membership of the European Union, moderated by David Dimbleby.
Ah, Dimbleby, the Grand Panjandrum of BBC Question Time who inevitably intervenes when he feels a member of the BBCQT panel is simply not up to his own intellectual level. Pompous, smooth and trousering sackfuls of taxpayers’ money via the licence fee he is the epitome of BBC smugness, socially and culturally closer to Clegg than Farage. When you also hear that the audience will be carefully selected to demonstrate “balance” red lights should be flashing in the Farage camp because we just know the BBCQT definition of “balance” from week after week of handpicked rent-a-quote lefty androids who always seem to get chosen when Dimbleby’s eyes scour the audience for his “random” selection…..and isn’t it strange that they often seem to be allowed a few additional comments just in case the message didn’t get through.
During the 2008 and 2012 US Presidential elections the TV debates were organised and “moderated” by the big networks, all dominated by the same liberal/left viewpoint as our own BBC. The Republican establishment is now coming under increasing pressure from the Tea Party movement to demand a less Democrat friendly structure to the 2016 debates.
I certainly hope that Farage and UKIP also box very cannily with the BBC. It is an organisation that is institutionally inimical to almost everything UKIP stands for.
When you sup with the Beeb you need a very long spoon…..