I’ve already taken up more than enough time commenting on the BBC Radio Nottingham Ashfield hustings, with an all-women audience, members of which asked questions mostly on women’s issues. But another anti-male element in the event occurred to me yesterday when watching Sunday Politics – here. There’s a lengthy discussion between the candidates in Northampton North, starting at 39:56. The order of candidates, from left to right, is UKIP, Lib Dem, Labour, Green, Conservative.
On ballot papers, the candidates are listed in the alphabetical order of the candidates. I’ll be second on the ballot paper in Ashfield.
I give you this background to point out another thing about the Ashfield hustings. A female BBC employee told me, with a smirk, that the production team had decided to place the candidates in party alphabetical order. The BBC published this image on their website:
From the left are Helen Harrison (C), myself, Gloria De Piero (L), then the Lib Dem and UKIP candidates. It occurred to me why they took this bizarre decision on the ordering sequence. It was so that I’d be challenged by a female interviewer, surrounded on my left and right by female candidates, whilst facing an (15-strong) all-female audience. It was clearly a cynical attempt – albeit ill-fated – to rattle me yet further.
I hope these are the last words I write on the matter, and I thank all those who’ve shown support, including those who’ve complained to the BBC. I wish them well, though past experience tells us that complaining about gender bias on the BBC never results in even an apology, let alone an opportunity to have airtime to provide balance.