Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has hailed the BBC’s U-turn on banning the lyrics to “Rule, Britannia!” and “Land of Hope and Glory”, saying that the “woke crowd” that pushed for the words to be censored in the first place were a “vociferous minority”.
After suspected pressure from Black Lives Matter supporters with the broadcaster, it was rumoured that the BBC would cut the songs, and in August it was reported that it would be performing the favourite patriotic pieces at the Last Night of the Proms on September 12th, but only as instrumentals.
Following a public outcry and campaigns from prominent figures such as actor Laurence Fox, BBC Proms announced that a choir would accompany the pieces after all. The statement came the day after Tim Davie took over as the BBC’s director-general, and vowed that the broadcaster would have to reform, suggesting that Davie had forced the decision.
In response, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the United Kingdom was “going through an orgy of national embarrassment” and that it was “crazy” to “censor” the country’s traditions and history.
“It’s absolutely absurd, and I think we should speak out loud and proud for the UK and our history,” Johnson said, according to The Sun.
Nigel Farage is pleased with the BBC Proms U-turn: "The woke crowd that wants us to live our lives according to their horrible illiberal code are nothing more than a vociferous minority".
— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) September 2, 2020
A poll last week revealed that just 16 per cent of Britons agreed with the BBC cancelling the lyrics of the two songs, and just five per cent with the original proposal to cut them altogether — showing how profoundly out-of-step the broadcaster is with the general public.
“The British public wanted the words sung,” Mr Farage told James Whale on talkRADIO on Wednesday. “What it meant is that the woke crowd that wants us to live our lives according to their horrible, illiberal codes are nothing more than a vociferous minority.”
Mr Farage continued: “We’ve reached the moment now where people are saying, ‘Enough. We’ve had enough of being told we should wear sackcloth and ashes, be ashamed of ourselves, want to hide our history. Our history is our history. We can’t change it, but compared to many other countries, we’ve got rather a good history.'”
An insider had told The Times this week that the BBC’s new director-general wants more variety of opinion in comedy output, as the broadcaster disproportionately satirises conservatives, Brexiteers, and Donald Trump. Reports also claimed Davie might hire more right-wing comedians and even in the long run cull the most far-leftist comedy shows.
“I’m all for free speech… but there’s a big difference between disagreeing with somebody, objecting to somebody, and actually inciting violence. Yet the BBC took no action whatsoever. If they do get rid of all the left-wing comedians, that’d be great, but I’ll believe it when I see it,” Farage said.
Farage Slams BBC, Sky for Portraying UK as ‘Cesspit of Bigots and Racists’ https://t.co/4MhVx9dY8X
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 18, 2020