A BBC executive producer said that singing the words of the patriotic British song Rule, Britannia! is akin to neo-Nazis singing about gas chambers.
Following the BBC’s decision to remove the lyrics of the song in its Last Night of the Proms broadcast, the executive producer of the BBC’s Songs of Praise and CEO of the production company Nine Lives Media, Cat Lewis, claimed that the song’s line ‘Britons never, never, never shall be slaves’ is similar to if neo-Nazis shouted: “We will never be forced into a gas chamber”.
“Do those Brits who believe it’s ok to sing an 18th Century song about never being enslaved, written when the UK was enslaving and killing millions of innocents, also believe it’s appropriate for neo-Nazis to shout, ‘We will never be forced into a gas chamber.’ #RuleBritannia,” the BBC producer wrote on social media.
Lewis explained that she believes “slavery was Britain’s holocaust. We should apologise for it properly and yet at the moment, we have NO memorial to enslaved people in the UK. We should not celebrate slave owners.”
“We should not sing in a gloating way that Britons will never be enslaved, when we were responsible for enslaving so many. We should have anthems which celebrate what is truly great about the UK, which we can all sing and this will help unite our country,” she went on to write.
Do those Brits who believe it’s ok to sing an 18th Century song about never being enslaved, written when the UK was enslaving and killing millions of innocents, also believe it’s appropriate for neo-Nazis to shout, “We will never be forced into a gas chamber.” #RuleBritannia
— Cat Lewis (@catrionalewis) August 25, 2020
The woke screed from the BBC producer was met with furious outrage on social media, with many correcting her version of ‘history’.
“Britannia helped end slavery! This song rightly marks that,” Former Brexit Party MEP Martin Daubney declared, adding that Ms Lewis needs “a history lesson”.
Indeed, following the passage of the Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in 1807, the Royal Navy, specifically the West Africa Squadron, captured an estimated 1,600 slave trade ships, freeing some 150,000 African slaves in the process.
Between 1830 and 1865 some 1,587 British sailors lost their lives in their fight against slavery.
Lewis responded: “The song was written in 1740 & up to the end of the 18th century, millions were enslaved Martin Daubney. Yes, I’m also very proud Britain ended slavery in the 19th Century, but this song is not about that.”
Again Ms Lewis’ myopic view of British history was dispelled by Daubney, who noted that: “For 300 years Barbary Pirates from North Africa frequently plundered our shores for slaves. The Royal Navy fought back – hence in 1740 Rule Britannia roared “Britons never never never shall be slaves”.
‘Rule Britannia’ is ‘Racist Propaganda’ Says Black Studies Professor Kehinde Andrews https://t.co/XdKhyTQNIh
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 24, 2020
The outlandish attacks on British patriotism and history from the BBC producer came after the publicly-funded broadcaster announced its decision to remove the lyrics of Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory from The Last Night of the Proms, amid pressure from Black Lives Matter supporters.
Responding to the decision, Foreign Office minister James Cleverly wrote on Tuesday: ‘I’m black. My mum was black. I have black family. I have black friends. I have black colleagues. I have black constituents. Number of times that the Last Night of the Proms was raised with me as an issue before this BBC nonsense? Zero.”
The Deputy Chairwoman of the European Research Group and MP for Morley and Outwood, Andrea Jenkyns, also took aim at the “woke agenda” of the BBC.
‘The BBC’s metropolitan managers have been looking for any excuse to pursue their woke agenda,” she told the Daily Mail.
“Patriotic songs are a huge part of British culture, and coming together to enjoy them as part of events such as St George’s Day is traditional in communities around the country,” she explained.
“I totally support upholding those traditions. I’ll continue singing them, as I have for many years,” Jenkyns pronounced.
Boris Johnson Bashes the BBC: Must to Stop This ‘Cringing Embarrassment About Our History’ https://t.co/yoML8WJsiX
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 25, 2020
Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka