Saturday 19 September 2015

Lesbian Feminist at the Proms

Rod Liddle's latest article in the Spectator is about the BBC.  (To think he used to be the editor of the Today Programme.)

I’ll précis the intro, then give you the relevant bit ‘as it comes’. 
An American lesbian feminist who looks a bit like Sandi Toksvig was employed by the BBC to conduct the Last Night of the Proms.

“In between ‘Rule Britannia’ and ‘God Save the Queen’, Marin Alsop divested herself of a tirade of leftish internationalist banalities; not-so-veiled references to the migrants flooding here from the third world — let them in, show them love! — and lots of other vacuous drivel quite out of keeping with the tradition of the evening.”

Now for unadulterated Liddle:
“Listen, BBC. You’ve at last got rid of Clarkson, which is what you wanted all along. No more of that laddish and un-PC Top Gear. You parachute your most expensive presenters in for half an hour to the safe bits of Syria or Hungary or Serbia in order to let them emote for a couple of minutes and convince us we should open our doors to an unlimited number of what you call refugees. 
You’ve got a big four-part special coming up on BBC3 about how appallingly racist white Britain is today. On Radio 4 your presenters react with outrage when accused of being biased in favour of the European Union (despite the welter of evidence to support that point). 
You have your middle-class liberal agenda — fine, OK, we know all that and while it galls from time to time, we’ll rub along. All we ask is that you let us have the Last Night of the Proms: pomp, circumstance and patriotism, unleavened by your usual bien-pensant ill-thought-out sentiments. Can’t we just have that? No mention of refugees, vibrant diversity, vulnerable people, etc? 
Nope. The BBC hates the Last Night of the Proms. It hates it as much as it hated Jeremy Clarkson. So they bought in a foreign lesbian feminist and told her to stick it to the audience — the BBC’s licence-fee payers. Next year, if it’s still running, the conductor will be either Jihadi John or Jeremy Corbyn.”


  1. Remember when they tried to dump Rule Britannia and all that a few years back? That failed so they undermining it by another route.

    The BBC are relentlessly PC. Haven't you noticed how it is almost obligatory for female correspondents to comment on football stories on the news - despite the vast majority of women finding football dull or meaningless - whilst they also over-promote women's football (of interest to about 0.001% of the population).

  2. Rod Liddle is a nasty piece of work, even if he's largely correct on this one. However, Marin Alsop is a talented, accomplished conductor with a long history of success with British orchestras. She's as good as Andrew Davis anyway. Liddle just has to focus on her homosexuality, when her being a United Statesian ought to be enough of a slap in the face for the patriotic British audience. But no, Liddle - pretending the offensive slurs are just part of his personal idiom, and he's not really a bigot or anything, calm down, dear - has to make it more personal and take offense at her being homosexual as well.

    Aside from that, I'm shocked, shocked to discover the BBC is producing yet another series calling you a bunch of racists. Agenda? What agenda?

    1. Well, Nigel Kennedy is highly regarded by some (as a violinist) but exploiting his appearance at the Proms to make misguided political comments must have set a precedent. (I didn’t know Last Night tradition included political speeches.)

      Some of the commenters on Norman Lebrecht’s blog seemed to agree with Rod about Ms Alsop.

    2. I wasn't exactly disagreeing with Liddle's main points. I was mostly objecting to his excessive nastiness. I would agree that just having a United Statesian lead the Last Night was an insult enough. And this is her second time, so either there weren't enough complaints or the BBC just didn't care. Then piling on the Progressive agenda nonsense was just rubbing it in everyone's face.

      I didn't see a single mention in the comments on Lebrecht's blog about Alsop's homosexuality, or even her nationality. Only one real objection and that was to her talent as a conductor, which Liddle wouldn't understand anyway. Aside from that, I'm on record as not being much of a Kaufmann fan anyway.

      Of course, this is not a surprise at all considering how every year we hear another sneer from some top BBC mandarin about how it's too white, too jingoistic, etc. Never mind the creeping intrusion of non-Classical music just because the racialists want to see as many non-white faces on the screen as possible during broadcast. Never mind trying to encourage non-whites to enjoy this music, which one would have thought was part of the Proms mission in the first place. Still waiting for something like the Arditti Quartet to perform some Brian Ferneyough or the Endellion Quartet doing Haydn during Glastonbury or some hip-hop festival. Why is one right and the other wrong? Liddle is right about the BBC agenda, of course.

    3. The rostrum was draped in the rainbow flags of the LGBT movement - so it was she who was making the statement and Rod who was reacting to it.

      Having listened to her politicising of the Proms, she really is despicable - sermonising about "inequality" when everyone knows that conductors and star performers in the classical world get paid many times more than the ordinary joes and janes - the picciolo players and timpanists.


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