The BiasedBBC Question Time Chat may be returning!

Some excellent work by our very own Julio has produced software which seems suitable. We’ve tested it behind the scenes and now it’s time for the Public Beta trials.

You can find it here.

We would be very grateful if you could take a look. Leave any feedback in the Comments themselves and we will read them. At certain times today we’ll be replying to them real-time in the chat too.

There’s a Registration link on that page which you will need to use first. Standard disclaimers apply … we don’t know, care, check, remember or outright give a rat’s scrotum about your registration details.

Please give it a go and let us know what you think!


Breaking: Mandela Dead

This is going to make Diana’s death look like The Man Who Never Was. There’ll be at least a month of enforced national mourning, including the public stoning of anybody wearing a tie that isn’t black. A one-off tax to pay for the erection of gilded statues of the great man in every London Borough.

The BBC will disappear up their own backside. Mandela is lucky he’s going to miss it.

Question Time 16th May 2013

On the Question Time panel this week – Philip Hammond, Chris Bryant, Charles Kennedy, FT journalist Gillian Tett and television producer Peter Bazalgette.

Please join us over on the livechat server from 10:30pm UK time.

To address some of the issues from last week’s livechat we’ll be running a beta copy of their next version of the chat software. So be aware that it will solve some problems but may bring out others. Hopefully we’ll be joined by the head developer of the project, Paul, who is going to see how his software runs under real-life conditions.

Question Time LiveChat

The Question Time livechat last Thursday was quite promising. There were some teething problems as you’d expect with new software. The chat window needed refreshing for most people every now and then – more for certain people in certain browsers than others. The LogIn/Out button was also in a slightly awkward place. One or two things outside of our control too; emailed passwords stuck in spam filters for example.

To address the issues raised, this week we’re going to run a beta version of the chat software’s next update. Hopefully it will iron out some of the issues. We’re going to be joined by one of the development team who will observe the performance of the chat so if you get issues please include browser type/version and other relevant details in comments so that he can get an idea of what is going on. Remember that it is a beta release of the software so there will be both known and unknown flaws in it still. But for us it is going in the right direction and we are lucky to have the ear of their dev team at this point in the project.

Please head over there before Thursday, make sure you can log in (or create an account if necessary) and try it. If you took a look last week, it still might be worth a look at the differences. Please leave any feedback either here or over there.

See you on Thursday for Question Time!


When Impartial Experts Aren’t

If you tuned in to today’s ‘More or Less’ looking for an impartial broadcast spiced with facts then you had more chance of being run over by a yak. Radio 4 gave over the first ten minutes of the program to the subject of EU withdrawl. One of the main points we were asked to take away was an apparent validation of Clegg’s claim of 3 million job losses if we leave. Podcast

The unchallenged ‘impartial expert’ they used to assess the pros and cons of withdrawal and the accuracy of the figures was Professor Iain Begg of the LSE European Institute. The same Begg who is stridently pro-EU and sits on the advisory council of The Federal Trust for Education and Research which campaigns for the UK to be part of a federal Europe. Who wrote a paper for the LSE in 2009 stating that the economic crisis created compelling reasons for the UK to join the EU single currency [how’s that theory working out for you, eh?]

This wasn’t pointed out or his impartiality challenged as a single contributor. Of course this happens all of the time these days and this is merely another example. But as Scottish and EU referendums draw nearer we need to know more than ever who is paying the wages of the so-called “impartial experts” on our screens.



Question Time LiveChat 9th April 2013

It’s a long overdue welcome back to the Question Time LiveChat.

We’re going to try a new application instead of CoverItLive, which now charges heavily. Please try out the new software on a Test chat session here. The session for the Question Time chat this evening is here.

Question Time comes from Coventry; a city which dates from 1945.

On the panel we have former Shadow Home Secretary, David Davis MP; Business minister, Jo Swinson MP; Shadow Education Minister, Tristram Hunt MP; the hideous Germaine Greer; and Jerry Hayes, criminal barrister and former Conservative MP. Don’t let that fool you – self confessed “on the independent left of the Conservative Party” he was described as Ken Livingstone’s favourite Tory and said that he couldn’t be a Blairite because New Labour wasn’t right-wing enough.

We’ll kick off at 10:30 over here so please make sure you’ve created an account and had a practice if you want to here.

Return of the Question Time LiveChat

Firstly, my apologies for this having taken as long as it has.

For those who don’t know the history, the QuestionTime LiveChats were run using CoverItLive. They decided to bring in a new charging scheme which caught us (and many others, including Guido) in its net, so we dropped it.

Having tried out a variety of alternatives; some free, some with a small cost, we think we’ve found one that’s not too bad.

There is a trial version installed over on another server called so that if we break it when we’re testing, the main site is not affected.

Even if you haven’t taken part in the LiveChats before, we’d be grateful if you could head over there for a few minutes, create an account on that machine (option at the bottom of each sidebar) and give it a go please?

Please leave any comments in the LiveChat session over there. I’ll leave it active for a few days to give everyone a chance to play.

Thanks in advance


The Flanders Mare

Stephanie Flanders, has notoriously has slept with both Ed Milliband and Ed Balls. She is “nauseated” by Conservatives. So she is ideal as the Economics Editor of the BBC then.

“In his speech Cameron talks about the NHS but can they tell us how many of the Cabinet have private health insurance?!”

So Stephanie … do you?

We know you send your two children to public schools so it’s not as though being a hypocrite is out of character….

EDIT: It appears that Flanders has stealth edited her post to shift the comment on to an unverifiable “viewer contribution” hence two screenshots of the same post showing different text. Nice. And can’t be checked of course.

At least on Biased-BBC we document our edits.

Prime Minister’s Questions 12th September 2012

Today Biased-BBC will be hosting a LiveChat for Prime Ministers Questions at 12 noon UK time.

There are two reasons for this. Firstly, although CoverItLive were always commercial at the medium to top volume of their market they have decided to charge everyone now, regardless of size.

Their concession is a sliding scale of charges, but it would still impose a financial burden on the site and we decided to look for an open source version as a replacement.

We will test the proposed solution today.

The second reason is that we think that the server load issues that have may have been at least mostly resolved. This will be a test of the server too. If it dies during the event then it will show that I still have more work to do alongside the hosting company. Please do not be completely surprised if there are problems.

Although this software doesn’t look as polished as CoverItLive there are a vast amount of extra things we can configure behind the scenes. Your input would be fantastic.

Guests can contribute anonymously but will have unique numbers assigned. I’ve turned the Country flag option on for a bit of colour. I think I’ll leave the ability to change your name turned on this time. But there’s a lot in this app. It allows private side chatrooms for example running parallel with the public discussion. That’ll be off this time around.

I’d like to thank David (@DVATW), Billy Bowden (@OnTablets), Max Farquar (@maxfarquar) and David Mosque (@DavidMosque) for their help testing this and for their advice.

Prime Minister’s Questions 12th Sept 2012

Prime Minister’s Questions 12th Sept 2012

It’s been obvious that that server Biased-BBC is hosted on has been suffering over the last few weeks and for that I can only apologise. I’ve been working behind the scenes with the hosting company day and night.

Right now *fingers crossed* the change they have made to the mysql database configuration might have fixed… no … I’m not even going to tempt fate by typing it.

We are heading back into Question Time territory.

CoverItLive decided to put their system on to a changed commercial structure that would have meant we’d be paying (understandable, yes, I can’t argue with that) so I’ve found a new application which does the same sort of thing yet much cheaper.

My thanks to David Mosque (@DavidMosque) and Billy Bowden (@Ontablets) for helping me test it a few months ago.

I want to test it with a larger audience though with greater server load.

So please join us for PMQ’s next Wednesday 12th for a trial of the new system.

If it breaks … if the server dies … if we can’t properly moderate the spam that we usually bin off … sorry. This is a trial and we’re just going to give it a go.

Your help in the test would not only be appreciated but will be an important part of keeping this site on the cutting edge of fighting BBC bias.

Please join us here for a livechat next Wednesday during Prime Minister’s Questions!

Question Time LiveChat 7th July 2012

Question Time tonight comes from Derby.

On the panel we have Conservative MP Louise Mensch, Energy and “climate change” Secretary Ed Davey MP, former postman and occasional home secretary Alan Johnson MP, Sunday Times and Independent columnist Dominic Lawson, and John Lydon, former lead singer of the Sex Pistols and founder of the band Public Image Ltd.

This Week will follow, and we have the standard lineup of Andrew Neil with Michael Portillo, plus Alastair Campbell. Lucky us.

This is the last Question Time of the season and also possibly the last one we host here using CoverItLive who have decided to start charging. We think (fingers crosssed) that David Mosque has enough ‘credit’ left in his test account to run this tonight.

However we are still trying to source an alternative. Any suggestions – please let us know!

You are very welcome to join us once again. Please play nicely.

QuestionTime LiveChat 28th June 2012

Question Time tonight comes for the first time from a foreign country – Lutonistan.

On the panel we have transport secretary Justine Greening MP, shadow Olympics minister Tessa Jowell MP, secretary-shagger Paddy Ashdown, Tony Robinson (the irritating broadcaster one, not the EDL one) and the businessman Terry Smith, chief executive of the City brokerage Tullett Prebon.

This Week will follow, and we have the standard lineup of Andrew Neil with Michael Portillo, plus the failed postman Alan Johnson

This may be the last LiveChat for a while. CoverItLive has decided to charge for the service and it isn’t going to be cheap for the blog to subscribe for the number of participants we have. TheEye is urgently looking for something similar as a replacement but is so far drawing a blank. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas?

You are very welcome to join us once again. Please play nicely.

Question Time LiveChat 21st June 2012

Question Time tonight comes from West Bromwich – and specifically from the new £77 million Sandwell College.

On the panel are Justice Secretary Ken Clarke, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, general secretary of the Unite trade union Len McCluskey, economist Ruth Lea and Midlands Business Woman of the year Julie White.

Although by ‘Business Woman of the Year’ we mean in 2011, limited to the Midlands, a title made up by something called Vitalise, she “bought the company from her father” and “is a champion for women“. Not sounding promising but it would be great to be pleasantly surprised.

This Week will follow, and we have the standard lineup of Andrew Neil with Michael Portillo, plus the failed postman Alan Johnson

You are very welcome to join us. Please play nicely though.

Question Time LiveChat 14th June 2012

Question Time tonight comes from Stockton-on-Tees. This market town is Europe’s largest producer of huge chavvy earrings, amphetamines and inca hats. It has an exceptionally low unemployment rate for the North East of only 73%.

On the panel we have Housing Minister Grant Shapps MP, television executive and former Director General of the BBC Greg Dyke, President of the Liberal Democrats and serial stirrer Tim Farron MP, Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens, and Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry MP.

Quiz question – when was the last time that we had a coalition loyalist LibDem on QT? They have been usual suspect troublemakers for months now. Deliberate? You decide…

David Vance is currently en vacances dans la belle France but his rules about politeness during the LiveChat still apply (TheEye has a sicknote from his mother and is exempt from that rule). Please respect David’s wishes and in return we will respect your free-flowing banter and satire.

There will be no This Week this week. The trivial affairs of the country and the world are replaced by the much more important football highlights.

Update: the ever-splendid Billy Bowden [blog here and twitter @ontablets] has pointed out that This Week has strolled randomly across to BBC2. Good spot and my appreciation.

You are very welcome to join us. Please play nicely though.