Culture War: The Remainer Proms
In a new front on the Culture War, the European Union crashes the Last Night of the Proms, with their pathetic propaganda. Elizabeth Anderson reports.
The Last Night of the Proms has long been an opportunity to celebrate Great Britain and its constituent nations. So it is surprising, and disappointing, that it has been turned into an EU rally in recent years - and in 2019, this seems to have escalated.
Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia, God Save the Queen - a rare chance to celebrate what's great about this country and our musical offering. I had the privilege to be there last night, 14th September. But no longer happy with handing out EU flags outside, the "Stop the Coup" badge-wearing EU remoaners were now roaming the corridors inside (certainly on the level of the Grand Tier, shared with the Royal Box), handing out flags to wave and flags to drape over balconies. "Free flags?" When challenged the woman I came across pouted and moved on.
What was even more bizarre though - and let's face it, it was pretty bizarre that people were seriously waving the flag of a power based in Belgium that this country has voted to leave, right over the national anthem of Great Britain - was that when a daring Leaver in the promenaders section in the arena unveiled "Brexit Now" as a large banner, they were rapidly tackled by security and escorted out. (Respect to them though for standing outside the Hall with it.) Presumably, of course, this was because they were making a political statement on BBC TV.
But wearing EU hats and EU flags, handing out the flag of what is basically a foreign power (in my view), wearing tops stating "Thank EU for the Music" (wow, I didn't know the EU funded Elgar all that time ago?), is apparently perfectly fine. Hall staff were around the area, and there were no challenges made, presumably they supported this quiet protest and free advertising - in a way they couldn't stomach a direct suggestion that it's time to enact the result of the referendum, long overdue.
More cheeringly, despite their efforts, there were large numbers of Union Jacks, English, Scottish and Welsh flags, as well as the flags of other nations showing their support. Those cost money - and still drowned out the freebie sea of blue and gold.
What is most disappointing is that we cannot just have a celebration of our nation without remoaners seeking to dilute it down, to imply that we couldn't possibly manage without the EU, and turning it into a political rally. How many people just took a flag as something to wave, without even really having a strong view? How did this impact on the business of the Union Jack flag sellers outside? "Who are your friends?" asked one middle aged woman of such a seller, pointing at the EU crowd. "They are no friends of mine," he replied.
I would argue that by hijacking a classical celebration of our country by frantically waving EU flags over the lyric "Britons never, never, never shall be slaves", they are no friends of the UK as a whole.
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