Sunday 21 June 2015

"And does glorifying battles of the past vanquish our dreams of a peaceful future?"

The blurb for today's Sunday Morning Live is quintessentially BBC-ish:
Sian Williams hosts the ethical debate show. Is climate change the world's biggest moral problem? And does glorifying battles of the past vanquish our dreams of a peaceful future?
That last question comes in the light of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, and makes me think that Bruce Anderson, writing in the Telegraph, may have a point when he writes that the BBC... infected by a metropolitan, politically correct groupthink, in which two assumptions are never questioned. The first is cultural relativism. The second, that British history provides grounds for shame, not pride.
...though at least Sunday Morning Live will be debating the matter with James Delingpole & Co, so it won't be politically correct BBC hand-wringing all the way.

Update: Sian Williams later extended the line of BBC thought in that blurb:
Later later a Waterloo parade takes place in central London - and event that promises more pomp and pageantry. But how relevant are such moments in history to a modern and diverse Britain? Do we now view such battles with a sense of pride or shame?
The issue was then debated with an Islamist, Dilly Hussain of the Muslim website 5Pillars (who attacked Churchill and raised the Bengal massacre, and denounced Britain's record in the Middle East. He couldn't think of anything he felt proud about in British history(and Sian did get a bit frosty with him there), as well as BBC historian Dr Kate Williams (who criticised Michael Gove and the Conservatives for wanting celebratory British history, before berating us for the Opium Wars), James Delingpole (who denounced hand-wringing and wanted more celebratory British history) and Rev Peter Owen-Jones (who denounced British history as being a history of "ruthless brutal men" and condemned the money being spent on the Waterloo celebration - and, after prompting from Sian Williams, professed to feel "deep shame" over Britain's subjugation of other people).

You won't be surprised to hear that James Delingpole was repeatedly interrupted by everyone else.

Further update: The blurb changed again later, though it didn't get any less BBC-ish:
British history: positive or negative? This week marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Critics of the celebrations say the glorification of battles of the past vanquishes our dreams of a peaceful future and does not reflect modern British values. But can we separate our sense of history from our British identity, and how much does the average Brit really care about the details of our past? 


  1. The BBC think that "Climate Change" is a moral problem. Gives the game away, really !

  2. So the BBC is going to stop gloryfing WW2 ? It should be reworded " Does gloryfing battles of the past where the BBC does not agree with the result....... ? "

    1. The third episode of the comb-over commentator's 'Boney, What a Star' gush-fest must soon be due, where we learn that waterloo was but a cunning ruse to get the Brits to mis-name a train station after a crushing victory that only sacrificed thousands in cause of hubris and vanity... worry, no... a worthy attempt at establishing democratic rights across Europe.

  3. One for the BBC ladies: "Does indulging in cosmetic surgery play into sexist assumptions about female presenters?"

    More generally:

    "Is crying wolf about climate change morally reprehensible, in as much as when there is real evidence for an environmental disaster no one is going to believe it anymore?"

    1. I read somewhere recently that Sian is already struggling to stay ahead of the sell-by date the BBC reserves for certain non-hideous non-males of a non-hideous hue.


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