Because yesterday marked 28 years to the day since the IRA bombing in Warrington which claimed the lives of two young boys, Tim Parry and Jonathan Ball. So who should the programme not have allowed anywhere near its panel on such an occasion? What would a sensible booker have done? What would Nietzsche have done?
Anyone with brain plugged in and a hole in their backside should never, but never, have invited someone on who had backed the so-called Armed Struggle, even to the extent of refusing every offer to renounce their previously espoused views. But whoever was booking panellists for Question Time wasn’t listening. They booked Claire Fox.
Claire Fox. She of the genocide deniers, those excusing the idea of imprisoned paedophiles having access to child porn, and yes, IRA backers. The BBC invited her on to the Question Time panel on the anniversary of the Warrington bombing. This turned out to be a campaign that developed not necessarily to their advantage.
Some responses to the news of Ms Fox’ presence merely hinted at the blowback to come, with “I take it the virtual audience isn't from Warrington this week then”, “Nice timing, just after the anniversary of the IRA murders in Warrington”, and one Tweeter who posted photos of the two murdered boys and asked “Remember this?” Then it got worse.
Miffy Buckley put the question more directly: “A horrible symmetry that on a day like today, one of the biggest cheerleaders of the Warrington Bombing & IRA, Claire Fox, is tonight being given the VIP treatment by the BBC, when she’ll appear on [BBC Question Time]. What on earth is the BBC thinking?” Mark Cunliffe was markedly less subtle.
“I see that [BBC Question Time] has decided to roll out the ever hate-filled evil [Claire Fox]. Strange how she never apologised for defending the IRA bombing that sadly caused the tragic loss of life for Colin's children. Traitor, now put into the House of Lords by Johnson”. Former Labour MP Jeff Rooker added “Have I got this right? On the anniversary of killing of Tim Parry the BBC puts Claire Fox on Question Time. It beggars belief and I assume if correct it is deliberate”. Why did the QT production company not realise its error?
Others were dismissive of the appearance. “#questiontime having #clairefox on, in the anniversary week of the Warrington bombing is an absolute disgrace, she’s an ignorant IRA apologist!” was one response. “In a week that marks 28 years since the Warrington bombing that killed two children, why are you hosting Claire Fox on Question Time? That is sickening and an obscenity. Where are your values? I will not watch. What an insult to the families of those 2 boys! Sick” was another. Someone fouled up. Big time.
Of course, Ms Fox could have pointed out the unfortunate coincidence herself, and declined the invitation. That she did not suggests the anniversary means little to her.
Question Time was for a time, but not for all time. At least, not with its current custodians.
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