News, Culture & Society

RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Welcome to… the Last Ever Night of the Proms 

The Notting Hill Carnival is a glorious celebration of the Caribbean heritage of generations of Londoners.

It’s one of the highlights of our cultural calendar, along with Wimbledon, Royal Ascot and the British Bog Snorkelling Championships.

So imagine if someone decided it was ‘hideously black’ and had to be shorn of its steel bands, dub DJs, jerk chicken stalls and colourful costumes, on the grounds that it not only excludes the majority white population but also all those more recent arrivals from Eastern Europe and elsewhere. 

There would rightly be an outcry.

Same goes for the Highland Games. What if Wee Burney and her Toytown Tartanistas decreed that tossing the caber and wearing a kilt fell foul of their exciting new ‘hate crime’ laws? 

In recent years, the Union flag has been outnumbered on the Last Night by those ghastly blue and yellow EU numbers, handed out at the door by recalcitrant Remainers

After all, Scots were the enthusiastic footsoldiers of the Empire and played a leading role in colonisation and the slave trade, as anyone who has seen Carry On Up The Khyber will attest.

I wouldn’t want to be the hapless Holyrood bureaucrat who had to inform a giant Archie Duncan lookalike, with a telegraph pole under his arm and six bottles of Stoori Midori liqueur on board, that his Caledonian pursuit is now a criminal offence.

Of course, none of this is going to happen. The Notting Hill Carnival and Highland Games are not on the Woke Brigade’s hit list. 

Sadly, the same can’t be said of the Last Night of the Proms, which is the latest harmless British Institution in the crosshairs. 

The BBC has come under pressure to drop Rule, Britannia and Land Of Hope And Glory from the finale of the 2020 Promenade Concerts.

Dalia Stasevska, who has the honour of being this year’s Last Night conductor, is said to be keen to ‘modernise’ the repertoire. 

Miss Stasevska, from Finland, is reported to believe that the absence of an audience is the ideal time to drag the Proms screaming and kicking into the Summer of Stupidity

Miss Stasevska, from Finland, is reported to believe that the absence of an audience is the ideal time to drag the Proms screaming and kicking into the Summer of Stupidity

The Notting Hill Carnival and Highland Games are not on the Woke Brigade’s hit list

The Notting Hill Carnival and Highland Games are not on the Woke Brigade’s hit list

Miss Stasevska, from Finland, is reported to believe that the absence of an audience is the ideal time to drag the Proms screaming and kicking into the Summer of Stupidity.

‘Dalia is a big supporter of Black Lives Matter and thinks this is the perfect moment to bring change,’ a BBC source said. 

She apparently has the support of the South African soprano Golda Schultz, who has been invited to perform as a soloist on September 12.

If they don’t fancy the traditional Last Night line-up, they don’t have to take the gig. 

There are plenty of other musicians who would be grateful for the work. 

Surely their very selection is evidence of the inclusivity of the Proms, which has bent over backwards, forwards and sideways to showcase music from around the world.

Far from being a jingoistic celebration of Little Englander nationalism, the concerts have become the very model of modern diversity. 

In recent years, the Union flag has been outnumbered on the Last Night by those ghastly blue and yellow EU numbers, handed out at the door by recalcitrant Remainers.

We’ve had to put up with ‘Refugees Welcome Here’ banners draped ostentatiously from hospitality boxes by self-obsessed show-offs, determined to signal their virtue while having no intention of inviting an asylum seeker into their own lovely homes.

Now we’re suffering a lecture about our wicked racist history from a 35-year-old from Finland, one of the whitest countries on Earth. 

Typically, her objections are steeped in ignorance about Rule, Britannia ‘celebrating’ Britain’s role in the slave trade.

Rhere are plenty of other musicians who would be grateful for the work. Surely their very selection is evidence of the inclusivity of the Proms, which has bent over backwards, forwards and sideways to showcase music from around the world

Rhere are plenty of other musicians who would be grateful for the work. Surely their very selection is evidence of the inclusivity of the Proms, which has bent over backwards, forwards and sideways to showcase music from around the world

Someone should explain to her in words of one syllable that it was the Royal Navy that ended the slave trade on the high seas.

Depressingly, the BBC lacked the backbone to resist this madness and has relegated Rule, Britannia to a bit part in the sea shanty medley. 

Land Of Hope And Glory has been shunted back from its usual starring role. And both will be orchestral versions only — no ‘offensive’ lyrics.

Those entrusted with defending our heritage have proven especially spineless in the face of the Black Lives Matter onslaught.

Revisionism is the order of the day, as the Far-Left Year Zero crowd run rampant through our institutions, tearing down statues, renaming primary schools with even the most tenuous links to slavery, and ‘decolonising’ university curriculums.

The National Trust, which exists to protect and promote our history, now prefers to airbrush the past and replace real castles with bouncy castles and ancient tapestries with fatuous touch-screen ‘experiences’ tailored to the snowflake generation.

If this Covid insanity ever passes, next year’s Promenade Concerts will almost inevitably be ‘re-purposed’ for the Age of Stupid. They could call it the Last Ever Night of the Proms!

There’ll be a ban on Union flags, and the Promenaders will be fighting for elbow room with BLM activists in stab vests and balaclavas, waving clenched fist banners, singing along to drill rap versions of old favourites.

Altogether now:

Land of racists and fascists

Home of the BNP

How we all despise thee

It’s time to take the knee . . .

Having tried and failed to recruit millennials, the Army has decided to go green in a last vain attempt to attract the Greta Thunberg fan club. 

They are commissioning a new fleet of enviro-friendly vehicles designed to appeal to potential squaddies concerned about ‘climate change’. 

What’s going to happen when their tanks run out of juice half-way up the Tora Bora mountains and there’s not a recharging point outside of Kabul? 

They’ll no doubt have green ammo to defend themselves, although plastic bullets are a non-starter, obviously. 

Maybe they can just point their rifles at the enemy and shout, Dad’s Army-style: Bang-two-three!

Be honest, have you ever heard of Gillian Keegan? Me neither, until now. 

Apparently, she’s the Tory MP for Chichester and junior minister at the Department for Education, jointly responsible for ‘post-16 strategy’ in England.

Yet during the recent chaos over exam results, she was missing in action. 

While thousands of students were in turmoil over their algorithm-based grades, Gilly was living it up in the French Alps.

Look, I don’t deny the woman has a right to go on holiday, but surely boasting about having such a great time when the system for which she is responsible was in meltdown could be considered somewhat insensitive

Look, I don’t deny the woman has a right to go on holiday, but surely boasting about having such a great time when the system for which she is responsible was in meltdown could be considered somewhat insensitive

We only know this because she couldn’t resist posting snaps of her holiday in Courchevel on the internet.

There she was in hashtag heaven, Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee, hiking, riding bikes and ‘wild swimming’ — what the rest of us call, er, swimming. 

She stuck up a photo of the pizzas she had for dinner, from ‘the fabulous #blackpearl pizzeria’ next to her chalet — or, rather, her #happyplace.

Keegan even managed to joke about having to quarantine for 14 days on her return to Britain.

Look, I don’t deny the woman has a right to go on holiday, but surely boasting about having such a great time when the system for which she is responsible was in meltdown could be considered somewhat insensitive.

More to the point, we wouldn’t even have known about it had she not chosen to flaunt her holiday snaps online. 

Williamson’s 44 and he’s obviously addicted to social media, too. What’s the matter with these people? When are they ever going to grow up?

Williamson’s 44 and he’s obviously addicted to social media, too. What’s the matter with these people? When are they ever going to grow up?

Nor would we have been aware that her boss, Gavin Williamson, aka Private Pike, had ‘liked’ her photos. 

It’s not as if she’s the kind of soppy kid you’d expect to live her life on Instagram, whatever that is. She’s 52, for heaven’s sake, not 15.

Mind you, Williamson’s 44 and he’s obviously addicted to social media, too. What’s the matter with these people? When are they ever going to grow up? 

Is it any wonder that the education department is such a shambles when those in charge behave like daft teenagers?

My guess is that come the next reshuffle, she won’t be in such a #happyplace any more.

Dishi Rishi

Rohan Sindwhani in Line of Duty

A Mail reader reminded me that before he became Chancellor, Dishi Rishi (left) played bent police commissioner Rohan Sindwhani (right) in Series 5 of Line Of Duty . . .

With TV running out of new material because of corona-virus, most of us have been rewatching old favourites. 

I’ve seen every episode of The Sweeney, Minder, Inspector Morse, Endeavour, Lewis, A Touch Of Frost, New Tricks, Hill Street Blues and the early series of The Bill, when Tosh and Burnside were still in it. 

To paraphrase Parky, you meet a better class of copper down Memory Lane.

I’ve also been revisiting Line Of Duty, as has Mail reader Keith Dennis, who reminded me that before he became Chancellor, Dishi Rishi played bent police commissioner Rohan Sindwhani in Series 5 . . .

Extinction Rebellion is planning a series of protests in September, designed to make London a no-go area for traffic. 

Sorry to disappoint them, but Mayor Genghis Khan has beaten them to it. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk