I don’t know about anyone else (well actually I do, ‘cos there were numerous tweets during last week’s QT asking whether JSP was pissed) but I found Janet Street Porter’s performance on Question Time last Thursday slightly bizarre. I was interested to see then that she has a piece in today’s Daily Mail where she talks about her appearance on the programme.

The article itself is about as as muddled as her responses were on Thursday, with her on the one hand complaining about the programme being male dominated, especially with regard to the panellists, and on the other complaining because on Thursday March 11th, during International Women’s week, QT will be having an all female audience.

Street Porter evidently sees this decision as some kind of affront, and argues that there’s no need to treat women as a special case. She also asks “Why should women ask different questions to men? After all, women aren’t one big homogenous group. They are old, young, single, straight, married and bisexual, rich and poor.”

Yes they are, but to be honest I haven’t actually seen anyone suggest that the all women audience will be asking different questions. Maybe the point is that women are more likely to stick their hands up and actually participate in the debate if the environment is a little less macho. Or maybe, and I realise this might disappoint the frothing right-wingers like Ian Dale who think the all women audience idea is just some kind of pc gaaawn mad gimmick, maybe the BBC just wanted to find a way to mark International Women’s Week, and this seemed like a fairly uncontroversial way to do it.

If that is the case the Beeb apparently misjudged it – type “Question Time all women audience” into Google for instance and up pops this article: BBC accused of political correctness over all women version of Question Time.

Oh but hang on, look again, it’s another one from the Mail…

The TV Editor who’s credited with writing the piece states: “The broadcaster is facing accusations of political correctness after announcing details of the special episode on this week’s show.” but fails to mention who exactly is doing the accusing. S/he goes on to say: “Others have questioned whether women should be treated as a special interest group.”

What others? ‘Cos so far the only ones I can see making these accusations or questioning the Beeb’s decision are the Daily Mail itself, Ian Dale (who writes for the Mail occasionally, or at least used to – not sure they’ll want him back after the Tom Watson unpleasantness), and Janet Street Porter, who also writes for the Mail. Oh yes, and some hilariously sexist and homophobic commenters on the Digital Spy forum,who actually link back to the original Mail article.

Check the dates on the various pieces however, and it becomes clear who the Mail’s TV Ed is referring to. Dale’s piece went up on Friday 26th Feb, and the Mail started talking about their mysterious nameless complainants on Saturday 27th. And at this point the words mutual and masturbation spring to mind for some reason…

But anyway, as is always the case in the Mail, the comments are a treat to behold. Here’s James from Brighton for example:

“Parliament is a curiously male-dominated institution.

I dont see any laws which stop females being elected, I just see all female lists because females are not good enough to be elected except by fraud.”

And someone calling themself Me, who’s posted this nugget all the way from Australia:

“That’s called “special privilege”, and it’s the hall-mark of the Feminist.”

The best one though is from Humphrey PSmith from Shropshire, who says:

“The only reason why woman are not as routinely featured on Question Time is because they can’t cut it.

Typically, men always do a much better job than women in any field you care to mention.”


Meanwhile, in other who-really-gives-a-shit-about-these-bloody-people-apart-from-the-Daily-Mail news, someone forgot to tell the Mail’s photo caption writer to read the article first. So while Angella Johnson is careful to point out that it’s Grant Bovey who’s being declared bankrupt and absolutely not Anthea Turner:

“Not that the couple, married for ten years next August, are exactly on skid row. Yes, Grant is, in his eyes at least, broke. But, as he is anxious to point out, this has nothing to do with Anthea. Indeed, she is completely solvent, having never been a director in her husband’s companies.”

…..the caption says otherwise:

“Home sweet home: The couple’s £6million home in Surrey, which is owned by Anthea and unaffected by her bankruptcy”

Oh dear.