LAND OF WOKE AND GLORY

Lest we forget, this is an age in which Marks & Spencer can apologise on behalf of a brown-coloured bra because its name – tobacco – offended a customer for whom it evoked the spirit of George Floyd; yup, everything is racist in 2020, even lingerie. And if you reckon colour is merely skin deep, according to an edict issued by the British Library, that’s tantamount to ‘covert white supremacy’; mind you, I know someone who used to work at the British Library, and from what she told me of her former employers, they’re not quite as enlightened as this latest opportunistic PR stunt paints them. How surprising, as the preachers of Identity Politics are usually such open-minded souls. Yes, we all know by now that more or less every public body, corporation, company and cultural institution in this country is under the Woke yolk, so I suppose the situation becoming even sillier is a natural progression; but the thing with Identity Politics is that one can never give enough inches to the mob when there are so many miles to take.

Somewhat predictably, museums are again ‘reviewing’ their contents, debating whether to return some of their overseas artefacts to their country of origin because educating the public on historic civilisations and cultures is obviously racist too; the fact that a fair share of these exhibits emanate from some of the world’s most unstable regions means many could well have gone the way of Nimrud in Iraq had they not been ‘plundered’; but, hey, at least ISIS smashing them to smithereens isn’t racist. It’s so much better not to have wicked imperialists marching in and salvaging the neglected riches of the Ancient World when one can have home-grown philistines reducing them to rubble. The British Museum has now removed the bust of its 18th century founder from public display, and the institution’s director has also stated that we the British people need to revisit our troubled history; he’s German, by the way. Topf, wasserkocher, schwarz, as they say in the fatherland.

So, as ice cream manufacturers deliver lectures on illegal immigrants and Woke celebs line-up on the shore to embrace those fleeing the deadly war-zones of mainland Europe – though probably not giving over their spare rooms – I guess we shouldn’t really be surprised that Last Night of the Proms has provoked predictable debate in this fevered, f***ed-up climate. I remember writing a post on here either last year or the year before on how much I love the Proms, but I made it clear that I’ve never been a big fan of the Last Night; it bears little relation to the rest of the festival and gives a false impression of this Great British institution to the passing viewer. Considering the heavy investment the BBC has in the Proms, the jingoistic pomp of the Last Night must stick in the Beeb’s throat, so anachronistic is it to the corporation’s worldview – like granddad gate-crashing the last course at an Islington dinner party and treating the guests to a rant about ‘darkies’.

Last year, they attempted to drape the event in the rainbow flag and even opened proceedings with a new composition actually titled ‘Woke’ (instant classic); having ticked the LGBTXYZ box on the diversity checklist, this year the BBC is clearly having a crack at racism – and what could be more racist in the current catch-all meaning of the word than the self-indulgent, flag-waving patriotic excesses of Last Night of the Proms? Culturally governed as we are by those with an inbuilt hatred of our culture, I guess a good definition of institutional racism is the Last Night. A nation repeatedly informed it needs to carry collective guilt over the crimes of its long-deceased sons and daughters surely cannot expect the climax of the Proms to evade censure. After all, this is one evening of the year being handed over to a shameless celebration of a country’s past glories via a few irrelevant old tunes; it’s hardly a nationalistic call-to-arms heralding a declaration of war. It’s as harmlessly sentimental to the British as Republican ‘Rebel’ songs are to the Irish. However, one suspects the Beeb has been itching for an excuse to oust the traditional season finale medley of ‘Land of Hope and Glory’, ‘Rule Britannia’ and ‘Jerusalem’ for quite some time, and Covid-19 appears to have provided it.

Under normal circumstances, the Proms season would be in full swing by now. For me, it’s up there with Wimbledon as a summer signpost; but, of course, these aren’t normal circumstances. Just as many of the gaps in the TV schedules caused by cancelled sporting events were filled by rerunning memorable moments from the events’ pasts, the depleted Proms of 2020 has taken a similar approach. This year’s re-jigged festival has so far consisted of a kind of ‘greatest hits’ – with a smattering of new performances to follow shortly. Not that, as both listener and viewer, I’m complaining; the standard has been as high as ever, and if I hadn’t been informed beforehand that the majority of this year’s broadcast concerts were archive ones from the past 15 years or so, I’d probably be none the wiser. However, it would seem the Last Night will be going ahead as usual, albeit in some surreal, socially-distanced shape.

Initially, it was announced that the Last Night sing-along would be dropped, presumably because there’d be no chinless wonders packing the Albert Hall to sing-along. I wasn’t too bothered because I’m not especially keen on it, anyway. Then, following the expected outcry from the likes of the Telegraph and the Mail, the BBC said it would keep the medley, but only in the form of an instrumental version; again, I wasn’t too bothered because I think it works better as a purely instrumental piece, anyway. But I just knew the absence of an audience wasn’t the reason behind the decision. It would appear the scheduled conductor for the Last Night, who happens to be Finnish, had expressed his belief the event could do with a facelift – something to do with that renowned patron of classical music, George Floyd, I think.

At one time, opposition to such a move by the Beeb would be limited to the anticipated editorials from the Right side of Fleet Street; but in the internet age, everyone can have their say; and, as we all know, it doesn’t take much time to galvanise angry folk online. Promoted by the man who is the antichrist to the Woke brigade, actor Laurence Fox, a mischievous campaign was swiftly instigated to embarrass the Beeb by putting Vera Lynn at the top of what today passes for the charts; the song sung by Dame Vera was, of course, her version of ‘Land of Hope and Glory’, and the response has seen the recently-departed National Treasure take over the entire top ten in Amazon’s best-selling songs. The Amazon music chart may or not be the actual top ten in 2020 – I’ve no idea; but along with an online petition signed by tens of thousands demanding the BBC reinstate the missing lyrics of the Last Night medley, the public reaction has highlighted once again the gaping chasm between those who pay the licence fee and those who impose it.

Considering there are calls from some quarters on both sides of the Atlantic to establish ‘all-black’ universities – segregated education based on skin colour; wonder why nobody’s ever thought of that before? – it’s no surprise the Identitarian obsessions of academia have spilled over into the workplaces that many graduates of the leading universities are steered towards. The arts and cultural institutions are overrun with them, with the BBC being perhaps the most visible example to Joe Public in that it is subsidised by the bigoted masses. If the Beeb wants to diminish its standing even further by indulging in another narcissistic bout of self-flagellation, let it; but the patience of its paymasters can only be stretched so many times before it snaps completely.

© The Editor

4 thoughts on “LAND OF WOKE AND GLORY

  1. It’s important to remember that tunes like ‘Rule Britannia’ have nothing whatsoever to do with the imperial past and thus the apparent need now to suck up to all self-offended minorities wherever they may be. Its origin, in the early 1700’s was really about reinforcing the concept of Union against the Jacobite Rebellions north of the border.

    Similar sentiments are evident in the long-suppressed verse of the National Anthem, the one which went . . . . .
    Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
    May by thy mighty aid,
    Victory bring.
    May he sedition hush,
    and like a torrent rush,
    Rebellious Scots to crush,
    God save the King.

    Of course, in these days when the BBC News Channel gives itself over every lunchtime to the new equivalent of the ‘White Heather Club’, with the terminally irrelevant Nicola Krankie punching way above her trivial weight, maybe it’s no surprise that they would want to distract us from the more local truth of such popular patriotic ditties.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I seem to remember once reading that the melody of ‘God Save the King/Queen’ was French in origin. Perhaps it was a deliberate wind-up aimed at Louis XIV, to nick an ode to him and reclaim it as a British anthem. And I guess its post-Culloden imposition on the Union rankled with some Scots – amazing how long selective memory can be…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. the scheduled conductor for the Last Night, who happens to be Finnish, had expressed his belief the event could do with a facelift

    Surely you can’t possibly imagine that a white male conductor would be suitable to take charge of such a prestigious occasion?

    Dalia Stasevska is most definitely female, although regrettably she is as pale as most Ukrainian-born Finns….

    Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.