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Top Tory Sir Robbie Gibb Launches TV Rival To 'Wake Up Wet BBC'


A former Downing Street advisor is behind a secret new project to set up an “impartial” television news channel that can rival the troubled BBC, The Mail reported on Sunday.

Sir Robbie Gibb, who was the BBC Senior Manager at No. 10 prior to his appointment as Theresa May's Communications Director, is a pioneer in fundraising for GB News.

The 24-hour station, which is slated to start early next year, is said to benefit from growing dissatisfaction with the BBC. Sources describe it as an antidote to the Woke, Wet Corporation.

The BBC has been rocked by a series of controversies over its politically correct agenda, which culminated in public outrage over its decision last week to play Land Of Hope And Glory and Rule Britannia without their patriotic lyrics on the Last Night Of The Proms .

Sir Robbie Gibb, who was the BBC Senior Manager at No. 10 prior to his appointment as Theresa May's Communications Director, is a pioneer in fundraising for GB News

A poll released yesterday found that 59 percent of those polled think the BBC's decision was wrong, and two-thirds of voters wanted the license fee removed.

Pressure on the BBC will continue to mount with the development of a second competing news channel from Rupert Murdoch's News UK company, which will likely be streamed online in a manner similar to Netflix.

Sir Robbie's channel will use standard digital platforms such as Freeview and has already been licensed by the Ofcom broadcaster.

The competing projects should ensure a tumultuous start to the tenure of the BBC's new Director General Tim Davie, who takes up his position on Tuesday.

Pressure on the BBC will continue to mount with the development of a second competing news channel from Rupert Murdoch's News UK company, which will likely be streamed online in a manner similar to Netflix

The only pro-Brexit Tory at the BBC now wants to overthrow them

Before Sir Robbie Gibb switched careers to become Theresa May's # 10 communications director, he was the most elusive creature: a pro-conservative, pro-Brexit BBC executive.

He spent his two decades at the corporation, where he rose to head the BBC Westminster, with stints in the middle of Eurosceptic Tory politics.

In the 1990s, Gibb was a die-hard Brexiteer down, long before it became fashionable. He networked with the Maastricht rebels when John Major's Premiership came to an end, chatting with freelance marketers at the Thatcherite Adam Smith Institute.

In 2001, he joined Michael Portillo's failed leadership campaign and viewed him as the Tory Party's "great Eurosceptic hope".

As a campaigner recalled, "Robbie is bald and middle-aged now, but then he got the glitter in his eye. He really cared. It wasn't just political games.

Gibb made his jump to Downing Street after Ms. May's disastrous 2017 election, fearing the loss of her Commons majority would jeopardize the Brexit project. he wanted to get it across the line.

Gibb, 56, whose brother Nick is the school secretary at the center of the A-Level debacle, got so involved that he spent his evenings touring Tory associations to convince them to sign the deal support. Colleagues recall his "anger" at what he viewed as the BBC's institutionalized pro-Brussels bias.

The Wakefield-raised Leeds United supporter, who studies economics and public administration at the University of London, has two grown daughters with Ms. Liz, a teacher.

Today he works as a "global strategic communications advisor" and leads a consortium to save the Jewish chronicle from liquidation.

He is socially liberal and his brother, who is gay, allegedly asked him to tell his older mother about his sexuality if she said something "she might regret it".

Ms. May rode Gibb to knight in 2019 for trying to keep Brexit – and her Premiership – on the streets.

Sir Robbie has stayed close to BBC presenter Andrew Neil and has vacationed at his home in the south of France. Mr Neil, whose Rottweiler interview style has fallen out of favor with the BBC, now heads Sir Robbie's wish list for the new channel.

On Friday, his predecessor, Lord Hall of Birkenhead, insisted that the BBC was not a "Woke Corporation".

He said the lyrics had been removed from the patriotic songs of Last Night Of The Proms because it would not be possible to live up to them without an audience at the Royal Albert Hall.

Lord Hall added that he and Mr Davie had jointly approved the move to play orchestral versions, which he called "the right creative decision".

Sir Robbie's venture comes amid mounting tensions between No. 10 and the BBC. Downing Street says the company is only speaking to a "pro-remain metropolitan bubble" and Boris Johnson accuses the BBC of "being ashamed of our history".

The government regularly boycotts flagship news broadcasts like Radio 4's Today, while Downing Street is also considering accelerating its plans to decriminalize the non-payment of the £ 157.50 per year license fee

Last night, a source close to GB News said: "The channel is going to be a really impartial news source unlike the woke up wet BBC. It will provide the facts, not the opinion disguised as news.

"Everyone who works for GB News will be fully committed to quality journalism, factual reporting and impartiality."

Broadcasters like Andrew Neil – whose show was suspended by the BBC last month – and Julia Hartley-Brewer are said to have been approached about working for both channels.

A TV insider said: "Andrew will resume talks with the BBC next week. You must realize that he is not lacking in options.

& # 39; He is in talks with other broadcasters including GB News and News UK. Andrew would prefer to stay with the BBC.

& # 39; But the BBC has to find the right offer and the right schedule. It's about respect. I don't think it's a surprise that he feels like he's being treated with disrespect. "

David Rhodes, former executive director of Murdoch's Fox News in the US, runs the News UK project from its London base under the auspices of Rebekah Brooks.

Sources close to the project try to deny that it is supposed to be a British version of right-wing Fox News and instead compare it to a "TV version of TalkRadio, TalkSport and Times Radio," all of which are already part of the UK news stable.

Sources close to GB News also wish to distance themselves from Fox News and allegations that Nigel Farage would be involved.

Sir Robbie, 56, believed to have helped raise "tens of millions of pounds" for his new venture, believes the anger over the BBC has created a niche in the market for "quality journalism".

Earlier this month, Sir Robbie, whose brother Nick is School Secretary, criticized BBC Newsnight Political Editor Lewis Goodall for writing an article for the New Statesman entitled "Failed. How government ineptitude produced a lost generation ”.

Andrew Neil - whose broadcast was suspended by the BBC last month - is said to have been approached about working on both channels

Julia Hartley-Brewer is also said to have been approached

Broadcasters like Andrew Neil – whose show was suspended by the BBC last month – and Julia Hartley-Brewer are said to have been approached about working for both channels

Sir Robbie said, "Is there anyone more damaging to the BBC's reputation for impartiality than Lewis Goodall?"

GB News is operated by All Perspectives, affiliated with US billionaire John Malone, chairman of Virgin Media owner Liberty Global.

Andrew Cole, a board member of Liberty Global and a co-founder of GB News, has described the BBC as "possibly the most biased propaganda machine in the world".

Sir Robbie and News UK declined to comment.

Revealed: BBC Symphony Orchestra held a panicked meeting fearing it was "Institutionally Racist" just weeks before the "Last Night of the Proms" series

By Scarlet Howes for the Sunday mail

The BBC Symphony Orchestra held a panicked meeting fearing it was "institutionally racist" just weeks before the last night of the Proms series hit last night.

The claim, using the same phrase used to describe Scotland Yard after its failure in the Stephen Lawrence murder case, left some members "astonished and disturbed".

After the Zoom Summit, an emergency action plan was put forward to combat so-called "unconscious bias" within the world-famous orchestra that plays at the Last Night Of The Proms every year.

Classical music website Slipped Disc reported that at the meeting held after the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, the orchestra decided to forge close ties with Chineke! – the first professional orchestra in Europe, composed mainly of black and ethnic minority musicians.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra held a panicked meeting fearing it was "institutionally racist" just weeks before the last night of the Proms series hit last night. Pictured: The last night of the Proms last year

The BBC Symphony Orchestra held a panicked meeting fearing it was "institutionally racist" just weeks before the last night of the Proms series hit last night. Pictured: The last night of the Proms last year

They also vowed to use guest speakers to "clear up the problems of underrepresentation and … unconscious bias". An insider described the move as "a tedious exercise in signaling virtues".

A BBC source told The Mail last night that there had been a “culture war” on the national broadcaster, which had come to the fore with the dispute over Rule, Britannia and Land Of Hope And Glory

The source said: “The new general manager, Tim Davie, will have his work cut out to deal with the opposing factions.

“In some areas, there is a feeling that the rush to support the Black Lives Matter movement has led to questionable decisions.

"There is concern that the majority of licensees who speak out against racism are still baffled by some of the choices made."

A BBC spokesman said the patriotic songs will be sung next year, provided the audience is back at the Royal Albert Hall, adding: “In the face of a global pandemic, we are very happy to be able to stage the Proms at all . & # 39;

DAVID BLUNKETT: The BBC is fearful and bourgeois and ignores the values ​​of those who pay their salaries

At Radio Four last Tuesday evening, a heavily advertised program dealt with another sentence in the lexicon of today's complaint culture.

It has been called "code switching" – a term used by some ethnic minority citizens to explain why they feel oppressed because of their language, presentation and behavior.

Switching codes originally came from linguistics and refers to the practice of switching between two or more languages ​​during conversation.

The program's host, Lucrece Grehoua, explained that pressuring minorities to conform in language, tone, clothing and body language means suppressing their true identity.

But to claim that conformity in language and presentation is a means of oppressing black and ethnic minority people is ridiculous, says David Blunkett (pictured with his mother Doris)

But to claim that conformity in language and presentation is a means of oppressing black and ethnic minority people is ridiculous, says David Blunkett (pictured with his mother Doris)

She said code switching is common among many black and ethnically diverse people. We do it to be accepted and to move forward in spaces with a white majority. "

She said she was taught to be "a tasty black girl with a soft voice and a never-ending smile." There is, of course, an important issue related to respecting difference and avoiding prejudice based either on prejudice or on a misunderstanding of different cultures.

Diversity is positive, not negative, and as the Black Lives Matters campaign demonstrated, it is extremely dangerous not to understand.

But to expand this into a claim that conformity in language and presentation is a means of oppressing black and ethnic minority people is ridiculous in my opinion. Unfortunately, this program was another example of how contactless the BBC has become with many – in fact, I would say the majority – of its loyal royalty payers.

Increasingly, the company seems eager to target a narrow metropolitan area that could prove fatal at a time when other media groups are preparing plans for a competing national broadcaster. To play into the hands of the competition would be a very unfortunate own goal.

The language is of course important. As Home Secretary in 2003, I brought new requirements for English language learning and an understanding of British society to those seeking citizenship. For me, the naturalization ceremony was like accepting someone into your family.

You choose not your relatives, but your partner or spouse, and they commit themselves in return. embracing that sense of belonging that provides the glue that holds any society together.

Crucially, language matters because if you cannot communicate and are not understood, it is impossible to relate to others, share your own diversity, and appreciate both the practicality and the culture of the world that you have adopted to have.

And when you are beyond being understood – whether you were born here or naturalized – I believe that you are inevitably adding to any perceived disadvantage you may have.

As a result, people will see you in a different light. It could be extremely annoying, it could require a conformity that you don't find comfortable, but expecting the world to adapt to you is not only fanciful but pointless too.

While listening to the Radio Four program, I contrasted some examples of “oppressive” code switching requirements of the language I use in my hometown of Sheffield. We Yorkshire people have no problem with that.

Radio Four deplored the fact that the language known as MLE (short for Multicultural London English and spoken by black Londoners) leads to discrimination

Radio Four deplored the fact that the language known as MLE (short for Multicultural London English and spoken by black Londoners) leads to discrimination

"Ey up" is the same as "Hello, it's nice to see you". The word "sithee" loosely means "see you". And, of course, we use the term "love" in a way that Southerners often misunderstand.

Radio Four, however, deplored the fact that the language known as MLE (pronounced Emily and short for Multicultural London English and spoken by Black Londoners) leads to discrimination and exclusion of opportunities in the professions and in the world of communication.

I had from & # 39; Muzzle English & # 39; Heard – with former Tory Chancellor George Osborne, who tried to be friends with the Glottal Stop and the Ts dropping – but MLE was new to me.

Apparently, MLE is now spreading to other cities across the UK. (By the way, there is no sense of irony there about what could be called linguistic imperialism!).

One participant in the program stated that people moving to the UK or growing up in a mixed ethnic or peer group do not necessarily have access to other traditional forms of English.

To me, this exposed exactly the problem with the whole nonsensical foundation of the theory that your background and color had anything to do with your ability to communicate effectively.

A few years ago I was in Barbados with my wife. One day we had an interesting conversation with a man on the beach who spoke with a very distinctive Essex accent.

I later spoke to a bayan who spoke with a very distinct local accent. As a blind person, I have always found the concept of discrimination based on human skin color to be contemptible.

Indeed, the absurdity of those advocating for hatred and prejudice was proven when it was pointed out that the man with the Essex accent was black and the bayan man was white.

Of course, the language of rap music is now part of British culture, offering entertainment and creativity. However, it is a risky idea that we should all be able to speak the language of rap and MLE to avoid putting people under pressure to switch codes.

As part of her argument, the Radio Four presenter – a young journalist described as "a freelance multimedia producer with a passion and no fear of enforcing her intersectionality within the corporate media world" – interviewed a successful criminal defense attorney named Leon-Nathan Lynch. The 31-year-old comes from a West Indian family and grew up in East London.

She explained how important it is to his work to be able to switch between the language of clients such as rap artists and the language of a judge in court. I would just call it like presenting yourself professionally and being understood.

The lesson I took from Radio Four's program was more about fear within the BBC. It is clear that midsize programmers are desperate to prove that they are "in tune".

The lesson I took from Radio Four's program was more about fear within the BBC. It is clear that midsize programmers are desperate to prove that they are "in tune".

In his credit, the lawyer admitted that it was necessary to adapt his language to the circumstances rather than impose it.

He said, “My overall goal was to make sure I was able to represent young black men and I was willing to make a sacrifice to get there. I was ready to speak in a certain way. I was ready to dress in a certain way. & # 39;

I've made adjustments like this all my life. I have tried to be the voice of the community that I have represented on both Sheffield City Council and Parliament. But I haven't lost my accent and have done everything I can not to lose my roots.

Granted, I am not part of an ethnic minority, but I come from a disadvantaged background. Even so, I don't feel like a victim and don't think I've ever changed the code.

What I have done, however, is make sure that I am presenting the best advocacy, professionalism, and clear communication possible. I understood from the start that patronizing the people I grew up with would never work. They always wanted me to look smart, be confident, and be true to myself.

The lesson I took from Radio Four's program was more about fear within the BBC. It is clear that medium-sized program makers absolutely want to prove that they are “in harmony”.

The sequence is very simple. They ignore the working class – like the people I very rarely hear on the radio or television: the Yorkshire ones, the people I grew up with.

It might well occur to BBC officials that recent statistics on the various socio-economic groups tuned into the company's radio and television programs show a clear bias towards the middle class.

Programs like code switching will only antagonize many and make social cohesion difficult.

DAVID MELLOR: As a minister I defended the BBC against Margaret Thatcher – now I would abolish the license fee

The BBC is one of the most over-managed organizations in the world. In times of crisis, the cry rises from the upper echelons of the broadcasting company: "Assistant heads have to roll!" That will certainly not be enough this time.

The dispute over the last night of the Proms challenges the BBC's ability to make political, patriotic, and even musical decisions. And this time they were wrong in every way.

It seems that the BBC employs executives who utterly despise the public they serve because they so easily mistake the internet for the will of the British people.

For the common British, patriotism and land of hope and fame and rule, Britannia is a central part of our national musical history. The BBC really has to ask itself a difficult question: why couldn't they find someone in their ranks who really understands the values ​​of royalty payers?

Patriotism matters, and land of hope, fame and reign, Britannia, is a central part of our national musical history. In the picture, the audience is enjoying the last night of the BBC's proms in 2014

Patriotism matters, and land of hope, fame and reign, Britannia, is a central part of our national musical history. In the picture, the audience is enjoying the last night of the BBC's proms in 2014

In a poll published on Friday, only five percent agreed with the decision to scrap the words and only play an orchestral version of the songs.

Unfortunately, that five percent seems to include every high-ranking BBC personality involved in this fiasco.

From today's perspective, not only are Tories standing to denounce the BBC, but Labor, led by Sir Keir Starmer. Quite a coup for Proms director David Pickard and Radio 3 boss Alan Davey to unite Boris Johnson and Sir Keir against them.

What price does the license fee have to be now, fearful people in the broadcasting house have to ask? Fine guys.

I was the minister responsible for broadcasting four times and each time I was a strong defender of the BBC. When Margaret Thatcher privately denounced the corporation, as she regularly did, I advocated the Beeb, which at best was a tremendous force for civilization and unity.

Today I see it very differently. And if I were still a minister, I would unfortunately no longer be able to support the license fee, the company has become so deaf to the real wishes and needs of its public.

And I applaud the news that other media groups are planning to launch a television news service that can rival the BBC and Sky.

Competition is desperately needed, as even a cursory glance at the past decade of BBC mistakes and betrayals makes clear.

Take the case of Tory peer Lord McAlpine, mistakenly implicated in child abuse from BBC2's Newsnight. In 2012, the BBC was forced to settle his later libel suit.

Two years later, the BBC deemed it appropriate to fly a helicopter over Sir Cliff Richard's home and broadcast live footage during a raid as part of an investigation into historical allegations of the sexual sex of children.

Sir Cliff was never arrested, let alone charged. Like Lord McAlpine, he was completely innocent and ended up receiving damages totaling £ 2 million.

In 2016, a review by Dame Janet Smith concluded that the BBC had missed the opportunity to stop the "monstrous" abuse by Jimmy Savile and host Stuart Hall. BBC culture "was deeply respectful," she said.

The BBC really has to ask itself a difficult question: why couldn't they find someone in their ranks who really understands the values ​​of royalty payers? (File photo)

The BBC really has to ask itself a difficult question: why couldn't they find someone in their ranks who really understands the values ​​of royalty payers? (File photo)

But perhaps most importantly, blindness was not for an individual but for a whole population. This was an organization that failed to understand or reflect the fact that millions of its main viewers were Brexit supporters. This attitude has generally been viewed as undesirable by BBC executives.

So I'm not the only one who thinks that the company – cumbersome, respectful, institutionally stupid – has completely lost its way.

As ridiculous as it may seem, the Proms debacle tells you a lot of what you need to know about the BBC today, where incompetence is combined with guesswork and an almost obsessive desire to appease the twin gods of Yoof and Inclusion.

This is not the first time last night's patriotic content has been questioned by politically motivated agitators. A former Proms boss, John Drummond, was put under tremendous pressure to change Last Night's music because the conductor refused to play "jingoistic" music at the time of the Gulf War.

Drummond refused, saying he had "work to do" and fired the conductor. He was well aware of the great disruption an unnecessary row would have caused.

This is called the blow of a solid government. Something that was needed in abundance in the past few weeks but was not in sight.

If the BBC – unlike internet agitators – wants to restore its relationship with the British people, the ax must surely fall on Proms director David Pickard and the head of Radio 3 (who has special responsibility for the promenade concerts). .

Pickard used to head Glyndebourne and was completely underqualified to run the Proms. He has just plunged into the BBC's greatest and most deserved public humiliation in years. A well-placed colleague describes it as a “reed shaken by the wind” – increasingly like the company itself.

The only one at the BBC who seems to understand the audience is the new CEO, Tim Davie. But he was too late to help.

So much for politics and patriotism. But I think the BBC's musical judgments are completely wrong too.

Die letzte Nacht der Proms zu dirigieren ist eine Ehre, die im Allgemeinen nur angesehenen Dirigenten zuteil wird. Und manche werden nie gefragt.

Die letzte Nacht der Proms zu dirigieren ist eine Ehre, die nur angesehenen Dirigenten im Allgemeinen zuteil wird. Wer ist Dalia Stasevska (oben), die diesjährige Dirigentin?

Die letzte Nacht der Proms zu dirigieren ist eine Ehre, die nur angesehenen Dirigenten im Allgemeinen zuteil wird. Wer ist Dalia Stasevska (oben), die diesjährige Dirigentin?

Also, wer ist Dalia Stasevska, die diesjährige Dirigentin? In Wahrheit ist der 36-jährige Finne ein Anfänger, der in diesem Land fast völlig unbekannt ist. Sie war Daveys tokenistische Entscheidung – basierend auf nur einem vorherigen Konzert mit dem Orchester – die Hauptgastdirigentin der BBC Symphony zu werden.

Sprechen Sie darüber, am tiefen Ende hineingeworfen zu werden. Also hat sie sich verrechnet, indem sie viel Unsinn über Black Lives Matter geäußert hat, als sie den Mund halten und nur zum richtigen Zeitpunkt mit dem Stab winken sollte.

Jetzt ist sie zutiefst verärgert über die Reaktion, die sie erhalten hat, und beschuldigt die BBC. Nun, da alle anderen die BBC für diese traurige Farce verantwortlich machen, denke ich, dass das zumindest verständlich ist.

Sie sollten ein Blatt aus John Drummonds Buch nehmen und sie freigeben. Denn eines ist sicher: Wenn dieses traurige Durcheinander anhält, kann es für sie nur noch schlimmer werden.

Die Person, die mir am meisten leid tut, ist Edward Elgar, der die Musik auf Land Of Hope And Glory gesetzt hat. Weil sein Leben darauf hindeutet, dass er als Vorreiter für die Black Lives Matter-Kampagne bezeichnet werden könnte.

Elgar betreute einen anderen Komponisten, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, der Sohn einer britischen Mutter und eines schwarzen Arztes aus Sierra Leone war. Elgar tat sein Bestes, um sein außergewöhnliches Talent zu fördern.

Zufälligerweise zog Elgar die Orchesterversion der großen Melodie in Land Of Hope And Glory – formal sein Pomp And Circumstance March No 1 – der Chorversion vor. Aber die BBC kann das nicht einmal richtig machen.

Sie planen nicht, Elgars brillant orchestrierten Marsch (ohne die Worte) zu spielen, aber in einem weiteren lästigen Tokenismus haben sie eine obskure Komponistin gebeten, ihn neu zu orchestrieren. Was für ein Chaos.

Was diese schlampige Aufführung der letzten Nacht hinter verschlossenen Türen betrifft, sollte sie sicherlich sofort abgeladen werden, bevor dem schlechten Ruf der BBC mehr Schaden zugefügt wird.

PETER HITCHENS: Wir schimpfen über die BBC Proms … und machen uns dennoch zu Sklaven

Warum gibt es immer wieder Streitigkeiten über die Liebe zum Land zwischen BBC-artigen, Großbritannien hassenden Pinkoes, die von ihrer eigenen Nation in Verlegenheit gebracht werden, und schreienden Jingos, die nie darüber nachdenken, was Patriotismus wirklich bedeutet?

Hier sind wir alle in einem Zustand der Wut darüber, ob die Worte von Rule, Britannia in der letzten Nacht der Proms gesungen werden sollten.

Dieselben Leute, die behaupten, diesbezüglich geübt zu sein, unterwerfen sich sanftmütigen Masken, Hausarrest, der Unterdrückung des Parlaments, der obligatorischen Trennung der Familie und einem Katalog von Verbrechen gegen unsere Freiheit, die nur ein sklavischer Geist akzeptieren würde.

Jingos ertragen es monatelang, wie Vieh oder Leibeigene behandelt zu werden. Dann werden sie wegen eines Liedes böse? Was ist los mit ihnen?

Ein richtiger Patriot weiß, dass uns vor allem Jahrhunderte der Freiheit und ein Zustand, der unter unseren Füßen und nicht über unseren Köpfen liegt, großartig sind.

Alles, was sie tun mussten, war zu sagen: "Wir lassen uns das nicht gefallen", wie es unsere Vorfahren so häufig taten. Aber sie gaben ohne zu wimmern nach.

Als Großbritannien tatsächlich die Wellen beherrschte, half mein verstorbener Vater dabei. In Friedenszeiten bedeutete dies jahrelanges strenges Training, hartes Unbehagen und lange Monate der Trennung von zu Hause.

Revellers wave flags during the last night of the BBC Proms festival of classical music at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2015

Revellers wave flags during the last night of the BBC Proms festival of classical music at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2015

In wartime, well, you probably know what it involved if you think about it.

That’s why we did not become the slaves of Hitler in the 1940s – because we still controlled the seas that surround us.

By my guess, 40 well-handled destroyers, commanded and crewed by serious, well-trained fighting men, probably made the crucial difference when it mattered.

But my father, like most of those who actually do the hard work which defends the freedoms of both pinkoes and jingoes, was not much given to bombast.

The Russian convoys he took part in were grisly, exhausting, sleepless slog, not glorious. He’d lost too many friends in war.

He preferred sad sea songs like Tom Bowling to any amount of Rule, Britannia.

Around 1960, not long after an ungrateful government had dumped my father on the beach in post-Suez defence cuts, I first heard Rule, Britannia, sung in a wonderful old-fashioned way by the contralto Constance Shacklock.

It was a few years before the BBC fell under the spell of the cultural revolutionaries, who have been trying to get rid of such things since 1969.

So she was still able to get as far as the verse containing the words ‘Thee haughty tyrants ne’er shall tame’.

I suspect everyone listening, from my eight-year-old self to the most ancient retired Admiral nodding over his grog, pictured those haughty tyrants as foreigners in strange uniforms or silly hats, Bonaparte, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin.

We never thought that – when it came to it – our painfully acquired freedoms would be strangled by a jolly, obese, blond Etonian.

Or that a people once famed for their fierceness and independence would be tamed into muzzled, mumbling submissives by a little well-orchestrated fear propaganda.

Never shall be slaves, indeed. What right do we now have to sing it at all, whether the BBC lets us or not?

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