Prime Minister Boris Johnson lashed out at the BBC over its decision to remove the lyrics of Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory from its broadcast of the Last Night of the Proms, calling for an end to the constant “self-recrimination and wetness”.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said that “they (presumably his political advisors) are trying to restrain me from saying this, but if it is correct — which I can’t really believe that it is, that the BBC is saying that they will not sing the words of Land Of Hope And Glory or Rule, Britannia! as they traditionally do at the end of The Last Night of The Proms.”
“I think it’s time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history, about our traditions, and about our culture, and we stopped this general bought of self-recrimination and wetness,” Johnson proclaimed.
“I wanted to get that off my chest,” the PM added.
On Monday night, the BBC announced that it would indeed be scrapping the lyrics of the patriotic songs in its Last Night broadcast, after pressure from Black Lives Matter supporters, including from the 35-year-old Ukrainian-Finnish conductor of this year’s ceremonies, Dalia Stasevska, who reportedly is a “big supporter of Black Lives Matter”.
'I think it's time we stop this general bout of self-recrimination and wetness'@BorisJohnson gives his view on the row over over the playing of Rule Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory in the Last Night of the Proms https://t.co/bzG12p0QUV pic.twitter.com/eXhEpH3V0L
— ITV News Politics (@ITVNewsPolitics) August 25, 2020
The statement from Mr Johnson was met with glib praise from the leader of the Brexit Party, Nigel Farage, who wrote on social media: “Hooray, at last, the PM has said something.”
Earlier on Tuesday, in an interview with talkRadio’s Mike Graham, Mr Farage said that there is a group of Remainer elements accross British establishments, including the BBC, that he claims have “a shared hatred and loathing of what this country is, what it stands for, what it’s always stood for.”
Mr Farage claimed that “there is a link here between those who were the most ardent supporters of Remain, almost allying with a Marxist cause, which is to destroy our national identity, to make us ashamed of who we are, so that the great Marxist revolution can come we can all finish up having one-world government.”
“If that sounds like an exaggeration just have a look at the website of what the Black Lives Matter movement actually stands for,” Farage explained.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 25, 2020
Speaking on the decision to remove the lyrics from Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory, Mr Farage beseeched everyone to remember that the songs are “actually are about liberty, they’re about us fighting off European tyranny.”
“Let’s just remember, shall we, it was this country that was the first not just to abolish slavery not just to abolish the slave trade but to spend nearly half a century through the royal navy driving slavery out when many of our neighbours wish to continue with the trade,” Farage said.
The leading Eurosceptic also went on to say that he felt, Rule, Britannia‘s supposedly ‘racist’ line about “Britons never, never, never shall be slaves” was a very “inspiring theme” for the Brexit movement.
Stick two fingers up to the BBC and sing Rule, Britannia! pic.twitter.com/weNWCErGg8
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) August 25, 2020
In response to the BBC’s decision to not sing the patriotic songs on the Last Night of the Proms, a spokesperson for the Labour Party said: “The pomp and pageantry of the Last Night of the Proms is a staple of British summer.”
“The running order is a matter for the organisers and the BBC, but enjoying patriotic songs does not – and should not – present a barrier to examining our past and learning lessons from it.”
The former chairman of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips, said that he believes the move to remove the lyrics was a result of the largely white management of the left-leaning public broadcaster panicking on issues of race.
“The real problem the corporation has is that it is always in a panic about race, and one of the reasons it is always in a panic is that it has no confidence, and the principal reason it has no confidence . . . is that there is no ethnic diversity at the top of its decision-making tree,” he told Times Radio.
“What you have is rooms full of white men panicking that someone is going to think they are racist,” Phillips concluded.
‘Rule Britannia’ is ‘Racist Propaganda’ Says Black Studies Professor Kehinde Andrews https://t.co/XdKhyTQNIh
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 24, 2020
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