Did you watch the Newsnight programme from Boston last Tuesday night? No, probably not if you relied on the TV programme magazines or daily newspapers as there was no indication the town would feature in one of Newsnight’s EU referendum debates.
Apparently it was such a close-kept secret that not many people found out ahead of it happening. Even more strange, it was in front of an ‘invited’ audience, very few of whom I could recognise from Boston – but I certainly recognised UKIP’s Victoria Ayling, who couldn’t resist mentioning the lack of police resources in the area after her narrow defeat in the Police Commissioner election.
Labour borough councillor Paul Gleeson was interviewed on camera alongside a UKIP councillor who I had never heard of but none of the ‘experts’, apart from the Stump vicar, was from round here. And why was there no place for any of our other local councillors who you would presume have a more informed opinion on how the problem is affecting Boston and the immediate area?
Last week I had a tongue-in-cheek comment about MP Matt Warman and his views on the town. This week I think he should receive an apology from the BBC for not even being interviewed for the programme; two MPs were from Surrey and Wales.
As for the broadcast itself it seemed no more than an outlet for presenter Evan Davis to monopolise everything; just as discussions were getting interesting he immediately went on to another subject.
I don’t know how long the programme makers were in town but the introduction of Boston as a busy, bustling place certainly brought the timescale down significantly.
All the statistics were based on national figures naturally enough, but it would have been interesting to see these presented in a way that actually represented Boston.
All in all it was a programme from Boston purely because we have a high level of immigration. It was an opportunity missed to show, on film, how the town has altered significantly over the past decade and why there appears to be so much opposition to more immigration.