Sunday 23 August 2020

The Sunday Times: "Rule Britannia faces axe in BBC’s ‘Black Lives Matter Proms'"

The wide-awake Dalia Stasevska

From the huge tidal wave of extremely hostile criticism already sweeping over them for merely "agonising" over the question, the BBC would be very wise not to allow a 'woke' Finnish conductor to have her way and cancel Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory from The Last Night of the Proms. 

As Sunder Katwala observed earlier today: 

  • There is clear evidence this is generally unpopular. [A YouGov poll last month found that 69% wanted the Last Night to continue to include these songs, 11% wanted it to no longer include these songs, with 20% saying they didn't know].
  • It has not been called for by anti-racism campaigners. It is projected onto them by a small number of well-wishers [such as this conductor, and doubtless some voices within the BBC].
  • Most ethnic minority Britons will probably see the row as a big distraction from anti-racism campaigns.
What would be the point of causing yet more divisive cultural polarisation in the hope that 1/10 people would approve of your decision while angering 7/10 people? 

The BBC would have to have a death wish to go ahead with dropping them. It probably would be the last straw for a lot of people. 

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