British Culture Attacked From Within

British culture sustains a heavy assault from the person charged with protecting it.

British Culture Minister Margaret Hodge caused a flurry of controversy this week as she attacked one of Britain’s biggest musical events. Hailed by its organizers, the bbc, as “the world’s greatest classical music festival,” the bbc Proms is a two-month-long series of concerts celebrating Western, including British, musical culture. The British minister for culture doesn’t like it. Hodge says the event is not inclusive enough for a multicultural society.

Some have compared this to an American politician saying that the July 4th celebrations are not inclusive enough for a multicultural society.

“The audiences for many of our greatest cultural events—I’m thinking in particular of the Proms, but it is true of many others—is still a long way from demonstrating that people from different backgrounds feel at ease in being part of this,” said Hodge.

So Britain is prepared to tolerate Muslim preachers of hate in its mosques and even its streets. It is prepared to tolerate, and even fund, polygamy. It is prepared to tolerate incest—57 percent of Pakistanis living in Britain are married to their first cousins. The archbishop of Canterbury even seems to be prepared to tolerate sharia law. All this in the name of multiculturalism and tolerance. A bit of music, though, cannot be tolerated.

The prime minister was quick to rebuke his erring minister. Downing Street released a statement praising the Proms as a “wonderful, democratic and quintessentially British institution.” Still, the fact that the minister for culture would make such a statement is revealing of what sort of culture she wants to promote.

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the 113-year-old musical celebration is the famous last night. As Reuters says, “The Last Night of the Proms each September sees hundreds of concertgoers in the hall and across the road in Hyde Park waving flags to patriotic ballads including ‘Land of Hope and Glory,’ ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Rule Britannia.’”

Britain, however, is increasingly plagued by political correctness and ashamed of its history. By attacking the Proms, Hodge is saying that Britons should be embarrassed about their past.

Britain has an inspiring history; a history that should not be forgotten. All too often Britain burns up its own heritage before the idol of political correctness and multiculturalism, while the liberals dance gleefully around the pyre. To learn more about this history, read our article “The Inspiring History Britain Should Never Forget.”