The BBC Proms and all that…

Well, the big day for ‘music lovers’ has come…and gone. The programme for the “largest classical music festival in the world” is out today and continues the downward trend toward some form of ‘cross-over’ music prostituting itself under the guise of ‘classical music’. There are some truly ‘classical music’ concerts, don’t get me wrong, but there is no way that the entire programme is ‘classical’ or even in some cases “music” and then there is the usual liberal dose of BBC ‘virtue signalling’…which some may call propaganda or even brainwashing. It is so sad and the abuse of Sir Henry Wood’s concept for the Proms has been hijacked and polluted by the BBC long ago. He must be turning in his grave.

I switched on BBC Radio 4 as usual this morning to listen to the over-dramatised regurgitation of the same issues as yesterday and the day before…pretending to be NEWs. Suddenly and to my amazement, I heard the dulcet tones of Billy Bragg (who I can’t abide even for a few minutes) spouting his marxist theories for the salvation of mankind. Nothing new there I thought, but as always I wondered what he was ‘selling’…a lot of the BBC output these days are in fact trailers or adverts for their forthcoming programmes. So, I was firstly dumbfounded and then horrified to hear that this was indeed a trailer, but not for a BBC programme. It was in fact for a “speech” he was giving on (marxist) economics…AT THE BANK OF ENGLAND this afternoon, in London. I almost fell off my chair…as I did when I listened to his claptrap on YouTube this afternoon, which I did in order to reassure myself of my personal assessment of this dangerous man and his ideals. I can only assume he wrote the speech…because he read it…in his opulent study in his (by most people’s measure) ‘small Marxist palace’ or, perhaps, Dacha would be a better word.

Incidentally, Billy Bragg calls himself a “musician”, so it got me thinking as to whether he would ever appear at the BBC Proms, given the direction I mentioned earlier. Given the BBC and it’s ‘leftie’ views, I guess that is highly likely.

Decline and Emin…

Well, it seems that that Labour Party continues to decline! Barry Gardiner is using Hebrew words to describe the Good Friday Agreement! An interesting mix of errors given their recent antisemitic scandals and the sensitivities about Brexit. I see that Maureen Lipman has joined the debate and may even been considering a shift to the Tories!

There seem to be a lot of calls for a new ‘centre party’ at the moment. Certainly it needs to happen now, if it is going to emerge to give it time to mature in time for the next General Election.

Things seem to be deteriorating in and around Syria. Lots of warmongering from the US. Let’s hope we don’t get sucked in again as the parties involved are very complex, possibly more so than in, say, Iraq. I guess the main issue is whether this is more about Russia than Syria?

Since the ‘attack’ in Salisbury, the issue around chemical weapons has ‘met the public eye’ once more. I have never quite understood the ‘additional emotion’ around these ‘weapons of war’, over and above, say, tanks, bombs, nuclear weapons, nail bombs etc etc. Is that ‘additional emotion’ because of the potential of/for ‘collateral damage’? I wonder also whether the use of the word “war” should be defined by (and only used when there is) a willingness to accept collateral damage as a consequence of action?

The BBC are giving a lot of profile to a so-called work of art by Tracey Emin that has been unveiled in that glory of neo-gothic architecture that is St Pancras station in London. On her own admission on the Today programme on Radio 4, it’s a clear anti-Brexit statement for arrivals in London to see when they step off their Eurostar train from France. I wonder what would happen if I asked the station authorities if I could put up a large pro-Brexit poster? Would it help if I called it ‘art’?!

Easter Saturday

Easter Saturday always seems a bit of a gap or even a let down between Good Friday and Easter Day. It a bit like January and February after the excitement of Christmas and New Year…on a much smaller scale. I guess for practicing Christians is winding down and then winding up the the main event tomorrow.

I was listening to a radio programme today and there seemed to be a view that many of the ‘divisions’ in our society are being caused by Brexit and the decision that has been taken, as against it being a consequence (effect) of the ‘divisions’ that have progressively deteriorated over decades and no one has dealt with them. It only needs a simple glance and the main issues in the referendum to realise that.

There is also the view that we should have another national referendum to look at and decide on the Brexit ‘deal’. Can you imagine what that would look like, with thousands or possibly hundreds of thousands of issues and options being sent to every voter in U.K.? It would be total chaos. Look at the simple issues presented to us in 2016 and how they were ‘misunderstood’ by so many. If there has to be a vote on the deal, the options need to be debated in Parliament and they make the decision. That what they are paid for and should have done in dealing with the EU in the first place over the past 40 years…much like the ‘divisions’ mentioned above!

I have just finished watching a series in the Walter Presents part of Channel 4, called 13 Commandments. It was good and thought-provoking and it’s such a pity that the BBC can’t make programmes like this anymore.

Alexa

My wife and I were having an enjoyable and uninterrupted supper last evening and, in the process of having a fairly active discussion about some news or other item that was on BBC iPlayer, I used a word that is not, in current parlance, ‘politically correct’.

To our surprise and I suppose shock, our Amazon ‘Alexa’ suddenly said “this is not a polite word to say”. I should point out that I had not addressed Alexa in the usual fashion, or ordered it to extract some useful information about the weather or local travel news or to listen to BBC Radio 4 or to ask it to say something funny – it just spoke to us, unannounced and uninvited into our home!

It was very funny at the time and I mentioned this later on to one of my children and their first question was…”what was the word”? I explained that it was not ‘politically correct’ and that it was, possibly, not a word they would use, so I did not share it with them. I should point out, that it is not a word I would use outside my home either.

However it got me thinking and especially in the light of recent events concerning our apparent naivety about data harvesting via Facebook and other related issues. There is no way I ‘woke Alexa up’, as one does, so, I am left with the worrying thought that someone is listening to what is being said in my home, despite the supposed requirement to ‘open up’ this particular access to the internet.

Having heard what I said, then digested it, then formed an opinion (presumably based on that of Amazon people) and then responded with a ‘rap on my knuckles’ for saying it, where else has my ‘politically incorrect’ word gone now and what may happen as a consequence? This is all very interesting or perhaps even worrying, that the ‘privacy of my own home’ is not as sacrosanct or as under my control as I thought!

Antisemitism

Undoubtedly, antisemitism seems to be the issue of the day. Why is that?

It all seems to have come to a head because of the actions (or in this case inaction) of Jeremy Corbyn and the image that was, even to a blind man, antisemitic.

It’s amazing to me that in a country that has a Judeo-Christian heritage going back for many centuries and particularly following the atrocities of World War II (not to mention the treatment of the Jews by many European civilisations), that there are still people who have a problem with the Jews…and Israel.

To start with, Israel is a small democratic country that is entirely surrounded by many other countries with massively larger populations that have sworn to destroy it and, as a consequence, go to some considerable lengths to defend its own values and a (albeit relatively new) space on this planet. There seem to be too many people (and even Jews) spouting their views on Israel on the BBC and elsewhere, who have surprisingly limited knowledge and understanding about Israel.

Now we have the Jews. What have they ever done to offend or impose their way of life or values on anyone in the U.K. or elsewhere? In most cases, we dont even know they are Jews sitting next to us on the bus, or or the train. If only this could all be said of other religions that are ‘alien’ to our historic values and ideals and ‘wear their beliefs on their sleeves’.

I for one, certainly don’t understand and I don’t know anyone who knows anyone… … …who is antisemitic.

The issue that has brought this to a head for Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party, may have been blown out of proportion, but he did do and say what he did in 2012 in relation to ‘that image’ and his unwillingness to provide an adequate rebuff to the accusations of antisemitism against him and the Labour Party, that are rife at the moment, probably says more about more about Palestine and his support for that, than any antisemitic stance. I was especially interested to see that the BBC showed ‘that image’ openly on a number of their programmes and wondered what would have happened (and what the reaction would have been in certain quarters) if there had been something similar shown, for example, about Islam or LGBT issues – I will leave you to decide!

It will be interesting to see what happens outside Parliament this evening when the Jewish community, who have patently had enough, gather to meet and stand their ground. I, for one, am with them all 100%…

The ‘democratic media’

Over recent years, I have noticed a significant increase in TV and radio programmes that have a ‘message’ for us. Whether it is The Archers (currently ‘pushing’ health, excessive drinking and ‘gay parenting’) or, say, Below The Surface (about the kidnapping of Danish citizens for ransom and ‘highlighting’ PTSD in the Danish army)…incidentally, the latter was postponed by the BBC last night, apparently out of respect to the events in France, despite continuing with programmes such as Troy, which featured far more potentially upsetting issues. Both these programmes are broadcast via the BBC (BBC Four and BBC Radio 4) and there are many many more examples from this monopoly media organisation which is funded by us. I find it very difficult to find any programme (especially from The BBC) that does not have one or more of these subliminal (or usually much more obvious) ‘messages’ that are often about minority issues. Try watching from now on with this particular ‘critical eye’.

Before anyone points out that, for example, The Archers has always done this, that is to some limited extent true, however, not on this scale and certainly not within the much wider flooding of our lives from all channels and all media providers. In any case, in the past, it has been more about ‘education’ than ‘brainwashing’.

Other issues are the disproportionate (to the population) airing of certain themes and scenarios. For example it is difficult to find anything that does not have some ‘arabic’ content or connection these days. Even programmes set in places far removed from the Middle East, have some sub-plot in or connected to an arabic country, communities or individuals, one recent example being 13 Commandments.

So my question is, who decides to ‘brainwash’ us with this ‘propaganda’ (especially within the BBC) and on what basis is there any democratic control or accountability? If our democratic government decided to put out a ‘public information broadcast’, then that is very different.

Europe and free speech…

What an amazing and courageous act by the French police officer in Trèbes this week. The word ‘hero’ is used so widely the days that it often looses its real meanin…however in this case, it seems highly appropriate. In one sense people may feel that the terrorist is dead and ‘got what he deserved’, however the problem with this and other islamic-related terrorism which we all face, is that death for them is a good outcome as they are – in their ‘16th century way of thinking’ – martyrs. I am not sure how ‘western society’ can and will reconcile this, in term of justice and perhaps any retribution or ‘moral revenge’ that is needed by the societies affected.

According to William Randolph Hearst, “Freedom of speech is not only the boon but the basis of democracy – not only the gift but the guarantee of liberty and security – not only the privilege but the protection of a free people”. This is interesting and, of course, is largely true. However the line between what is and what isn’t free speech seems blurred or rather too flexible these days in a time of changing and perhaps declining, values. Recent examples of free speech from its ‘home’ at speakers corner in London, would indicate that what was reasonable and acceptable, no longer seems so and must be controlled, but by whom? In the recent case, clearly by the police acting according to government policy and a rather overblown nanny state? The parameters of the ‘realm’ of what is and what is not ‘acceptable’, are now moving ever closer to (or being driven towards) our own private lives and homes and begin to resemble scenarios predicted in 1984 by George Orwell.

In the light of the events in Trèbes, we need to look carefully at the differences between ‘free action’ and free speech, as the consequences of both are becoming – or being driven – much closer.