Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Boris condemns the BBC's 'wetness' for gagging Britannia



Boris Johnson today condemned the BBC for 'wetness' as both Conservative and Labour politicians united to attack the corporation over its decision to drop the singing of Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory at the Last Night of the Proms after critics claimed the patriotic anthems were 'racist'. 

Speaking on a visit to a Devon shipyard, the PM said he 'could not believe' the BBC's decision to censor the much-loved anthems. 

'I think it's time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history, about our traditions, and about our culture, and we stopped this general fight of self-recrimination and wetness. I wanted to get that off my chest.' 
 

Foreign Office minister James Cleverly wrote: 'I’m black. My mum was black. I have black family. I have black friends. I have black colleagues. I have black constituents. Number of times that the Last Night of the Proms was raised with me as an issue before this BBC nonsense? Zero.'  

Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also weighed into the row, with a Labour spokesman saying the Proms was a 'staple of the British summer' and enjoying patriotic songs 'was not a barrier to examining our past and learning lessons from it'. 

BBC director-general Lord Hall - who is due to step down in September - said he backed the decision over the Proms. He told the BBC's media editor Amol Rajan: 'They've come to the right conclusion.'

Asked whether there had been a discussion about dropping songs because of their association with Britain's imperial history, Lord Hall said: 'The whole thing has been discussed by David (Pickard, the director) and his colleagues of course it has.'   
 
The national broadcaster initially considered dropping the patriotic songs after criticism of their supposed links to slavery and colonialism, but after a huge row bosses rowed back and announced they would be played instead, but not sung. They claim that the lack of an audience to sing along is behind the 'creative' decision. 

One BBC producer has even compared the lyrics to Nazis singing about gas chambers. Cat Lewis, who describes herself as executive producer of Songs of Praise, said: 'Do those Brits who believe it’s ok to sing an 18th Century song about never being enslaved, written when the UK was enslaving and killing millions of innocents, also believe it’s appropriate for neo-Nazis to shout, “We will never be forced into a gas chamber.' 

But the condemnation of the  move by the BBC was widespread.  





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