The BBC and the Jubilee

I thought that I’d said enough on this subject, however, this morning’s discussion on the Today programme on Radio 4 demands comment. Where I and others thought the problem lay was in the BBC’s uncritical coverage and subsidy (the concert was funded by the BBC it seems at least until the rights were successfully sold). But alas not. Actually, the issue was about the innanity of the coverage, particularly over the flotilla on Sunday. Seemingly, no attempt was made to explain the makeup of the flotilla – why particular ships were historically significant vis-a-vis others, for example. Viewers were treated to more parochial comments from observers on the banks of the Thames at the expense of historical enlightenment. The flotilla, therefore, was not treated as a Dimbleby event, but rather as a reality TV event.

Now, I did not watch any of it, so I cannot comment on the specifics, but the clips I heard on Radio 4 this morning did suggest that it was pitched a bit low. But what if the BBC got it right? Maybe this was not about history necessarily. Rather it was just a spectacle that did not really need additional commentary. The festivities – with the exception of the the service in St Paul’s – was not about history or even the queen. It was about those people who stood in the rain to watch the spectacle. Their hardships, stories and aspirations. Innane though it may have been, maybe it was spot on. The feelgood factor this morning after the long weekend of festivities is palpable. Isn’t it?

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2 comments so far

  1. Paul Commins on

    Andy – I’m following your comments on this with great interest. From my vantage point in Norwich I also didn’t watch a second of it but don’t sense much of a feelgood factor among people here generally. The main feeling I’m left with after four solid days of sycophancy is the slightly uncomfortable, isolating feeling that there are many people who hold a set of beliefs and a world view that are the polar opposite of mine. Also can’t shake the conviction that you don’t have to dig down very far with many of these patriots to find intolerant ghouls ranting about the evils of the EU, multiculturalism etc etc etc.

  2. strassenbahn13 on

    Paul – thank you for reading my stuff and your thoughtful comments. Your second point is particularly worrying and evident. Though there is nothing patriotic per se about supporting the monarchy. And there certainly are fascists about. Watch them rise through UKIP, amongst other places, where they disguise themselves like people we ‘know’.
    As for the feelgood factor, how does one measure that? There were certainly plenty of people out in London and on the streets. In the vicinity of where I live, there was a choice of street parties. I do sense that people made something about being together. I had a number of discussions with people about whether they would participate, despite their – at best – ambivalence towards the Monarch. There is also hardship in terms of incomes, these events can act as distractions. And because the Monarch is so cleverly portrayed as apolitical, her subjects can rally around in a non-partisan way.
    Actually one of the most interesting comments recently about the Monarch is that she has spent 60 years avoiding the major events that have happened during her reign. Conceivably, she has made no decisions in the service of the country in that time. That is quite an achievement. No wonder she has longevity?


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