by Martin Odoni

FOREWORD: Sorry for the shortage of articles recently. I have joined the staff at The Word newspaper, and among other activities, it has taken up a lot of my time. But I have decided to provide the following excerpt from an article I have written for the (at the time-of-writing) present issue.

The BBC is removing imperialist lyrics from performances of Rule! Britannia and Land Of Hope & Glory at its chest-banging musical event, Last Night Of The Proms, for Coronavirus-related reasons. What seems a minor gesture has faced ear-splitting outrage from the sorts of chest-bangers who never realise that this subject is not worth the powder-and-shot. Right wingers, more patriotic than mindful, complained loudly on social media with bellyaches about ‘political correctness’, ‘cultural Marxism’ and leftist ‘hatred of the UK’. The usual tedious clichés of ultra-sensitive tough-types.

Andrew Neil Tweet

Andrew Neil actually dares to suggest that British slave-trading was a bulwark against the slave trade.

A sad storm-in-an-egg-cup. These same people largely seem completely relaxed about the new recession, and the chaotic Government response to the Covid-19 pandemic. A song gets them angry? Sadder still, the objection stems from a false assumption; there have been no moves or demands from the left, or from the semi-mythical ‘Woke Crowd,’ to get any traditional songs re-written for the Proms. The BBC itself made this decision – hardly a left-wing organisation. (What left-wing organisation would have Tory Party card-carrier Nick Robinson and neo-aristocrat Laura Kuenssberg, among others, as their main political reporters?)

Online dog-whistler for this knee-jerk jingoism is, yes, Nigel Farage, MP for the constituency of Failed-To-Get-Elected-Seven-Times. He tweeted…

To read the rest of this article, please read issue 43, page 27, of The Word newspaper.