BBC Radio Nottingham – anti-male bias

I had a call last Friday from Ray Barry, our candidate in Broxtowe. He was justifiably angry at not having been informed that a BBC Radio Nottingham debate with the Broxtowe candidates was taking place, and by the time he learned about it, it had already taken place.

The non-invitation of Ray to the debate is typical of the relentless anti-male bias shown by the BBC in many areas over many years. Last year we complained about a Newsnight piece about domestic violence which showed only female victims and only male perpetrators. We wrote a complaint outlining how the piece had violated 54 of the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines, and the complaint was rejected.

For some weeks I’ve had in my diary a BBC Radio Nottingham debate with the other candidates in Ashfield, which will be broadcast live tomorrow, 23 April, 18:00 – 19:00. I had heard nothing about the proposed venue or format, so was surprised by something Ray told me about the event. I emailed my senior (male) contact at BBC Radio Nottingham the following:

(Name redacted), good morning. Has a venue been decided for this debate? I heard on the grapevine that the theme is to be ‘What will your party do for women voters?’ which I can scarcely believe, given all parties (other than J4MB) focus on representing the interests of women (and girls), and none give a damn about the interests of men (and boys) – hence the 20 areas in our manifesto in which the state assaults the human rights of men and boys, while assaulting the human rights of women and girls in none.

He replied:

Here are the details for next week.

DATE: Thursday 23rd APRIL, 2015

VENUE: Festival Hall, Hodgkinson Road, Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottingham NG17 7DJ

TIME: Arrive by 5.30pm. On air live 6.05 until 7pm.

PANEL: Five candidates standing in Ashfield have been invited to attend.

AUDIENCE: There will be an audience and they will be invited to ask questions to the panel. Unlike the Broxtowe and Sherwood hustings this audience will be smaller and will have been vetted by the BBC to ensure there is no political bias.

SUBJECTS: This is a CONSTITUENCY debate. We want to talk about issues affecting Ashfield. However, this does not mean we’ll be ignoring national issues like immigration. There will be questions about women voters but equally there’ll be plenty of time given to subjects like health (with reference to King’s Mill hospital) and other areas.

Many thanks again and looking forward to seeing you next Thursday.

I replied:

Thanks . No question(s) about male voters, in the interests of balance?

He replied:

The format we’re going for is a more informal form of hustings.

The audience will be made up of 12 women voters who will have gone through a vetting process (my colleague will shortly be sending you details of how you can nominate people you’d like to attend).

The first part of the evening will be on why women’s votes could be so important at this election. But it will not take up the whole of the evening. We want to talk about King’s Mill hospital and regenerating places like Kirkby and Sutton.

I replied:

(Name redacted), this is even worse. No male voters in the audience? Will the people I can nominate have to be women too? This is a deep insult to half the voters, the half ignored by all political parties (with the exception of J4MB) and the mainstream media. It’s a complete farce.

Will there be an opportunity to make a speech, even a short one, at some point?

He replied:

It is going to be an audience of women so you’d have to nominate women.

It will be a live debate broadcast on BBC Radio Nottingham between 6 and 7pm on Thursday 23rd April.

Before the debate begins each candidate will have the opportunity for an opening statement – no more than one minute. The position of when you make your statement will be decided by picking names from a hat. At the end there’ll be an opportunity for a closing statement, again one minute in duration, the order will be the reverse of those of the opening statement.

His (female) colleague then emailed me the following:

Thank you for agreeing to take part in the BBC Radio Nottingham debate in Ashfield. You have an opportunity to put some potential audience members forward to attend the event. This debate will be different is style to most, the audience will consist of about 12 women. We want to hear from women from all ages and walks of life, to find out what really matters to them. Topics might include the economy, NHS and Education.

In accordance with BBC national guidelines regarding due impartiality each audience member must be vetted. Details and the vetting form are below could you send on to potential audience members. The choice of who you invite is down to you, but they need to be ‘rank and file supporters’ (normal voters) rather than campaigners or party activists.

Once the form is returned to me and if they are successful I will send out a ticket.

I replied with the following, and didn’t get a response from her.

(Name redacted), thank you. This premise of the programme is outrageous, but I shall still attend. You write:

“The choice of who you invite is down to you…”.

No, it’s not. You’ve excluded one entire gender from the audience.

You write:

“BBC Radio Nottingham is giving the women of Ashfield the opportunity to be part of a live political debate.”

Put another way:

“BBC Radio Nottingham is not giving the men of Ashfield the opportunity to be part of a live political debate.”

I invite you to listen to the programme from 18:00 – 19:00 tomorrow. It should be possible to listen to it ‘live’ over the internet. A link to the station is here, simply click on ‘LISTEN LIVE’. Regardless of the cynical format of the show, I shall not be silenced with respect to issues affecting men and boys.

13 thoughts on “BBC Radio Nottingham – anti-male bias

  1. I actually think this whole scenario, which is truly remarkable, has probably done you a favour. However, you still need to rub a few things in….

    ….please do your job, Mike, no holds barred, we’re relying on you (no pressure) quick-fire, rapid factual statements ranging right across the scope of subjects, not tolerating rude interruptions, lies or shaming tactics and if you do, hit them right back with a reverse equivalent to get the message across. I hope you are given space to talk ad get your points across. Good luck!

  2. Fourteen women and two men (I don’t know who the presenter will be). I doubt either the Lib Dem or UKIP candidates will say anything to ruffle feminist feathers.

  3. PS: Does it really take sixteen women to take on one man? So much for ‘women can do anything men can do’.

  4. Having seen Mike, on video, versus four women, I’m not surprised they feel they need four female panellists and twelve carefully selected females in the audience.

    That’s all they can do. When men refuse to be cowed by feminist attacks all they can do is try to rig the game by setting their own rules and weight the dice. They’re on the back foot and frightened.

  5. What would happen if they had planned a men only debate and men only audience and not the corresponding debate like the one above for women? Protests and matches by the fem brigade. The BBC has nailed its colours again.

    All the other parties have already offered bribes for women voters. More money for creating female dominated jobs in NHS and pay rises for civil service. They could easier do the same for men like capital projects in education, building new schools for more construction jobs. Instead it will be for pay rises for mainly female teachers which is virtually an old fashioned “closed shop” . Feminist DV crime bill by the Tories. No need for any debate by the women then. Any of the parties will deliver all of the above.

    For men……..I have seen nothing by any national party.

    I am sure you will rise above the provocation and calmly point out that there is no corresponding debate for men and that it is now men that are being denied a reason to vote in all other areas of the country because no party cares about them any more. As women voters they should care about their sons having no future and their daughters less chance of a family.

  6. absolutely beggars belief!…….you literally couldnt make this up!….i would love to know if there are similar women-only hustings elsewhere in the country or whether (as i suspect) this is a deliberate provocation because YOU are running in this area

  7. This is an unbelievable insult to men.

    I think your presence alone will make the debate interesting.

    Good luck


  8. The opening and closing statement order is interesting. I smell a stitch-up in the offing. Presumably you can find some sympathetic women to nominate? What’s the betting they don’t pass the vetting.

    Expecting a lot of what you’ve faced before, so quite a few ‘Lying Feminist of the Month’ and ‘Whiny Feminist of the Month’ awards to hand out afterwards.

    Good luck Mike. I like forward to listening to the ‘discussion’ on YouTube.

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