pwa wrote:Not sure how you do that, though. I'm sure the BEEB are trying to create an audience that reflects a "cross section" of opinion as it exists out there in the real world. Some of that will reflect your opinion, or mine, and some won't, because that is what is out there. Audiences are made up of mouthy people, because those are the people who put themselves forward. Ordinary people don't have the time or the inclination. You want "radical" and not "boring"? So not ordinary people? What's the point in that? Who will watch mouthy, radical activists, who tend to be egocentric anyway? Just another way of being divorced from reality.
The Dimbleby role is one for someone who can welcome all shades of opinion in a relaxed manner (which he does well), and I expect there are others who can do it.
Question Time is a useful format because it exposes strands of opinion to a booing and cheering audience and allows us to test ideas current at the moment. Nobody will like every opinion voiced, and that isn't the intention. But without it we have what? PMQs?
"Mouthy types" seems a bit hard said.
There remain in this country people who are passionate about politics, the environment, social justice, and even cycling!
They go to such an event to participate and promote, in a small way, their cause?
The "ordinary people" you speak of are in some ways more dangerous to our society than the passionate and the radical!
For they will be led to, and follow anything, that gives them a quiet life. Money mostly, I guess, but in terms of a dynamic participating democracy a disaster. Soft putty in the hands of the powerful.
I would guess in any given programme less than 5% (maybe 10?) of the audience say anything anyway!
That the audience is hand picked is no surprise, how much more interesting if it was on a first come first served basis!!! No alcohol to be consumed actually during transmission though!
As to "ideas current at the moment" for myself, that is the programme's biggest weakness.
Much of the content is of the "here today gone tomorrow", type, topical inconsequential stuff, straight out of the day's papers.
Really big complex stuff like "What percentage of the food on your plate is totally fossil fuel dependent" is never aired.
So yes, Dimbleby is sauve and relaxed, but he has become rather too "easy", I think, for such times where criminality is steadily rising and our society becomes ever more disturbed and unequal.