Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Sir Peter Bazalgette put in charge of English culture

Amidst all yesterday's reshuffling, the most significant new appointment was somewhat overshadowed: the elevation of Sir Peter Bazalgette as Chairman of the Arts Council England (on the recommendation of new Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt). The Council is responsible for distributing £1.5bn of taxpayers' money for the amelioration of the nation's culture.

Knighted for 'services to broadcasting', Sir Peter is responsible (or jointly responsible) for bringing us such cultural gems as Big Brother, Fame Academy, Changing Rooms, Ground Force, Restoration and Deal Or No Deal...

Labour MP Denis MacShane said: "It is very worrying that someone who has dumbed down, trivialised and sexualised mass TV viewing with Big Brother has been put in charge of British culture."

Being a devolved competence, Sir Peter actually only has charge of English culture (a settlement of which MPs ought to be aware). His Grace happens to believe that a nation is its culture, and in that culture resides its spirit, wealth and destiny. You tinker with it at your own risk, and neglect it at your peril. England's culture is the foundation of national homogeneity: it gives identity, cohesion and unity. When you 'dumb down', sexualise, commercialise, trivialise and reduce aspiration to the cult of celebrity, the social consequences ought to come as no surprise.

36 Comments:

Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

When will there be a statue to Saint Mary Whitehouse? Horn rim glasses and all.

Perhaps the 4th plinth at Trafalgar Square, or the steps of the Tate gallery, or outside Broadcasting House, with a bronze plaque saying 'I told you this would happen'.

5 September 2012 10:50  
Blogger Nicodemus said...

The day this nation honours Mary Whitehouse will be the day we know some genuine change of spirit has occurred.

5 September 2012 11:06  
Blogger MrTinkles said...

Well, you may not be a fan of Mary, Rambling....but are you really saying our culture is better off in the hands of this guy???

5 September 2012 11:26  
Blogger Preacher said...

Rambling Steve.
She Did & it Has!.

5 September 2012 11:56  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
Bring back Lord Reith, or a modern equivalent and black bow ties for radio broadcasters. How you present yourself is how you feel.
If you answer the phone in bed, the caller will know it. If you want to sound positive on the phone in the office, you stand up.

Society today is as it is represented on TV. Which came first is always a good question. But we have become a confusion of cultures and there are few that can discern the good from the bad.

When evil becomes good, you know that it's time to turn the lights out on society.

5 September 2012 11:57  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

I would have thought this guy was the epitome of English culture.

5 September 2012 11:58  
Blogger non mouse said...

Wonderful definition of culture, Your Grace.

Yet here we are being culturally reconstructed by a person whose name is definitely not English. Furthermore, he clearly won't understand a single concept Your Grace has written today: it's just not his scene. Cultural Invasion is, though.

As long ago as 1932, Stella Gibbons also promoted the notion of continental/froggish superiority and English inferiority in Cold Comfort Farm. Yet it fascinates me that every time the french start to impose this 'superiority' on us, we end up utterly polluted and degraded. It happened most notably in Jacobean/Stuart times, and didn't improve greatly at the Restoration.

So making us pay to put this (*********) in charge isn't going to turn the present-day tide. Where do they dredge them up from?

Thank you also, then... for registering the protest. At least it's a start.

5 September 2012 12:59  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

"Yet here we are being culturally reconstructed by a person whose name is definitely not English"

If you walk by the Thames near St Thomas's you will see a foundation stone dedicated to a Bazalgette for building sewers back in Victorian times - so the name has definitely been around in England for quite a long time. Of course some may see something in the family's continuing interest in effluent.

5 September 2012 15:02  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! When news of the recent ministerial appointments was published in The Jupiter it caused quite a stir here in Barchester. I am reliably informed that Archdeacon Grantly turned such a violent shade of puce when he heard of Sir Peter's new post his dear lady thought he was about to explode like one of the adherents of the Religion of Peace. As for Mr. Breaking-Laws being put in charge of Children and Schools, what is the world coming to? As for the demotion of Baroness Warsi, one can only think 'Trollope'.

5 September 2012 15:38  
Blogger David B said...

Pity they didn't ask someone like Jonathon Miller.

A quick elevation to the peerage and appointment would at least show that there is something good about an appointed House of Lords.

David B

5 September 2012 15:42  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

A quick breather from my climate-wars hobgoblin and the Peter Lilley trenches you dug for me, Your Grace. An unxpected gift for which I'm glad to thank you again, given the hours of gluttonous joy I'm getting there.

This is your minsiter for British culture? Perhaps his selection was based on the crop of young Brits I've been running into this Summer. Almost to a man...and woman...and whatever it is that comes in between ...they rudely scoffed at the concept of Britishness for which we here in the distant colonies thirst for, seeing themselves instead as children of the World, ecologically aware internationalists and far worse, Your Grace; as "Europeans"! Brrrrr!

5 September 2012 17:00  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

The perfect fellow for a Nation of Teletubbies but what are the Health benefits

5 September 2012 17:21  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hey, wait, don't nobody trash my Teletubbies; my kids never cared much for them, but I would find myself transfixed at their antics, especially the one with the toast. And then, there was that crazy Sun jiggling about in the bright, azure sky. It seemed to trigger flashbacks from my experimental botanics phase back in the 70s....

5 September 2012 17:31  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Not trashing your psychadelicly inspired viewing Avi, merely likening our couch potato, pyjama wearing square eyed Nation with those characters

5 September 2012 17:55  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



Ah, one of those fellows whom up to now has prostituted his talents to help bring the masses their bread and circuses. Not a harsh criticism at all, merely a reflection as to how ordinary (…read that as ‘low’…) society operates. You see, if there was no one prepared to do it, the masses will ask three questions. First – where is our society going. Second – where is our bread. Third – where are our circuses.

One believes his new commission will be as a breath of fresh air to him. He’s done his time in the mire, now comes his civilised reward.

Carry on Bazalgette, old fellow, let’s see what you can do with our real culture and heritage…



5 September 2012 17:59  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Article: "England's culture is the foundation of national homogeneity: it gives identity, cohesion and unity."

If we must have homogeneity then that's fine as long as it follows my view of what we should be about.

5 September 2012 18:00  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Just joshin' BITB; I know what you mean. You should see what it's like on this side of the ocean, with hundreds of channels, cable and satellite dishes all leaking homogenized and liquified fecal matter. The good news is, there's been a 30% reduction in tv watching here, which begs the question, what are they doing with their heads now...

5 September 2012 18:11  
Blogger someday said...

Scrap the Arts Council.

5 September 2012 18:14  
Blogger John Magee said...

The post WW II generation in the West has been brainwashed by Marxist's in European, British, and American universities to hate Western Christian Civilization. When the USSR collapsed in late 1991 their dreams of destroying Western Christian seemed to have died. Or so we thought. Mult-culturalism and it's supporters is the hope of the left to destroy Christain Europe's heritage once and for all.

Old Britain and all it represents including it's ancient Christian heritage is most definately the at the top of the list of the shining examples of the best that Western Christian European culture gave the world. This was because of the native Britains's courage, goodness, desire to explore, and aquire knowledge since the time of St Augustine of Canturbury sent by Pope Greegory the Great to England in the late 500's AD.

Marxism hates everything that is good about Britain: The British Empire, it's centuries of national and church traditions, the Monarchy, 18th century British style liberalism represented at it's best by John Locke and Adam Smith, and most of all Christianity as represented all over Britain by the myriad of pre Reformation Catholic cathedrals and parish churches and the post Reformation Anglican Church and all it greatness it gave Britain from Elizabethan times, great writers and poets, St. Paul's Cathedral in the 1600's, The Empire, the Queen as head of the Church of England. And much much more.

I wonder how soon the Union Jack with it's three superimposed crosses representing St. George (England),St Andrew (Scotland), St. Patrick (Ireland) will be found offensive to the far left and their non Christian allies and changed by an English culture commisar to please the Christophobe bellyachers?

Today a multi-cultural Britain has a cultural commisar who will most definately ignore that homogeneity and the identity a former homogeneous Britain had in favor of trashing the past, reinventing history, and wrecking British traditions to make the "new" Britons, esepcially Muslims, feel at home. Sooner or later these people will demand the majority culture change because it's "oppressive" and makes the followers of the pagan moon god of Medina and others feel "uncomfortable".

In all our modern multi-cultural societies all these coming changes will be the job of the culture commisars or their counterparts in other Western nations.

6 September 2012 03:53  
Blogger Edward Spalton said...

Is Denis MacShane once more a Labour MP?
He was, I believe, suspended from the party over a decidedly dodgy expense claim. He was said to have charged us £25,000 per year for the use of his garage as a constituency office. As someone who has a converted garage office, I wondered how the trick was done.

As an enthusiastic Europhile (with a made-up, adopted Irish name) I am surprised he has any interest in specifically English culture at all. To be fair, he is one of the few Europhiles with good language skills but I always felt he had problems with the truth in any of them.

Has the Labour party actually told him he can come down off the naughty step now?

6 September 2012 07:03  
Blogger non mouse said...

tbngu@15:02 Of course some may see something in the family's continuing interest in effluent. :)

Something to do with engineering London out of the Cholera miasma, it seems. One of the forefathers arrived from frogland in the late seventeenth century. Well, I guess that makes it earlier than some would-be Englishmen, and a lot later than any of the real ones.

Even 200 years can't make it English if it isn't!!

6 September 2012 08:01  
Blogger bananabrain said...

"ooh, he doesn't have an english name"?

seriously?

if that's what you say about this guy, what would you say about me, or other second-generation brits, whose parents were immigrants? talk about peanut gallery. you may not admire his televisual output (neither do i) but calling into question his englishness is frankly despicable. this is the sort of discussion that makes people like me extremely uncomfortable with what lurks in the recesses of the "real conservatives".

yuck.

b'shalom

bananabrain

6 September 2012 11:40  
Blogger Janet said...

Non Mouse said: 'As long ago as 1932, Stella Gibbons also promoted the notion of continental/froggish superiority and English inferiority in Cold Comfort Farm.'

Could you please expand on this a bit? I read this novel several times in my youth, but have no recollection of any suggestion of English inferiority. And the only reference to France that I remember was that Aunt Ada Doom took a holiday there! Surely the book was a satire on a certain fictional genre, not a knock at Britain?

6 September 2012 12:31  
Blogger Richard Brown said...

It makes him more English than Isambard Kingdom Brunel, whose Dad was definitely French.

6 September 2012 13:49  
Blogger John Magee said...

Dan JO

I have bad news for you. Homogeneity has nothing to do with homosexuality.

Your being Gay I thought you would appreciate the humor.

Most Gays are homogenious homosexuals who are sexually attracted to members of their own sex. While hetrosexuals are hetrogeneous and attracted to members of both sexs but both homosexuals and hetrosexuals can be full members of a homogeneous society.

We need a little levity here once in awhile.

Homogeneity does mean shared values, common historic and ethnic origins, a certain uniformity throughout a specific society.

You said : "If we must have homogeneity then that's fine as long as it follows my view of what we should be about"

Britain has over sixty million people. You can't have sixty million individual versions or definitions of homogeneity. That would be chaos.

Of course that's what the multi-cultural brigade want.

6 September 2012 14:27  
Blogger Edward Spalton said...

"HOMOGENEITY". In recent evidence to the House of Lords, Peter Sutherland (ex EU Commissioner, Goldman Sachs multi millionaire, ex WTO, Bilderberger etc, etc) said that we needed a great deal more immigration because EU countries were too homogenous.

These masters of the universe believe that people are simply units of production and consumption to be moved around for the greater glory of Goldman Sachs & friends.

In this, of course, Sutherland is only building on Labour's admitted (and successful) effort to change the country's demography permanently (with electoral benefits for Labour)

An homogenous people would be much more difficult to coerce than a collection of different "communities" which can be played off against each other.

Our masters are actually in the business of "electing a new people".

6 September 2012 14:55  
Blogger John Magee said...

Edward Spalton

When a country needs to create a bureacrat to oversee and define what that country's culture was, what it is today, and where it SHOULD head. That country is in deep moral trouble.

The Communist's in the USSR and other unfortunate nations they controlled did this. Mao's Cultural Revolution 1966 -1976 is a terrible and bloody example of the culture commissars at work. The Nazi's in Germany during the Third Reich were also obsessed with this concept of overseeing select aspects of their past for their own glory and had their own cultural police. In any case, both the Communists and the National Socialist's in Germany during the 1930's and early 1940's, both did their best to rewrite history and redefine their culture to suit their ideological needs for their "wonderful" new societies devoid of all spirituality and any freedom.

Modern cultural commissars will never let themselves please the majority with pride in their past. These commissar bureaucrats are ashamed of their past, if they aren't, they will do exactly as they are told by their ideological bosses because they totally lack any moral character. They will naturally cater to the new minorities and left wing self hating groups to fulfill their dream of changing the majority culture's long established behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought to suit their need to create a new future based on their ideology.

A true democracy must leave culture and history to exist on their own, no rewriting of history, and allow the culture and society to evolve freely. Inspired by it's own intellectual and spiritual momentum.

6 September 2012 16:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Homogenous, interesting word. From ‘Hogmanay’ I think...

6 September 2012 17:57  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

John Magee: "Dan JO. I have bad news for you. Homogeneity has nothing to do with homosexuality."

Have you ever considered doing stand up? One needs a sharp wit for it and you obviously have it in spades.

6 September 2012 21:43  
Blogger John Magee said...

Dan JO

I totally lack any formal education. I leave serious talk here to those who know what they are talking about or think they do.

I'm waiting for the sparks to fly here in a debate about Jesus being the Son of God and the reality of the Resurrection.

Why don't you light the fuse?

Was He?

I believe He absolutely was.


6 September 2012 22:50  
Blogger John Magee said...

Tory boys

London was founded by the Romans about 50 BC and they gave it a very "un-English" name: Londinium. Possibly a word of Celtic orgin meaning "settlement at the wide river".

6 September 2012 23:32  
Blogger non mouse said...

Mr. Magee, your contempt for education and the educated is an education in itself. @23:32 you also show your delight in carrying coal to Newcastle.

Thank you for so clearly showing everyone here what you are about.

________________

Indeed, Mr. Richard Brown @ 13:42. Apparently the earlier Bazalwotsit and Brunel were acquainted.

However, no one called Brunel is now presuming to control, define, and re-direct the culture of this host country. [[OK. OK. Some would recognise that ships, bridges, and railways contribute to such changes: they too can be dangerous when wrongly applied or carelessly used. A Brunel person is not doing that, however.]]

__________________

bananabrain: neither peanuts nor bananas are big, traditional, English crops. That doesn't mean we never cultivate them, or that their use can't contribute interesting and healthy things to our culture.

However, if immigrant foreigners refuse to integrate and instead enforce the cultivation of peanuts and bananas in England/Britain, and they do so to the detriment of our traditional wheat, barley, etc. ... Then those aliens destroy the nature of our country and culture and impose their own values on us. That still doesn't make peanuts and bananas English/British by nature. Nor does it change the fact that wheat and barley have been established here a whole lot longer.

That's what marxist foreigners have been playing at for the last few generations. They remain marxists of whatever ethnicity; they never become English or British even though they derive nutrients from our soil.

So if the cap fits....

-----------------

_____________

7 September 2012 08:53  
Blogger non mouse said...

Janet @ 12:31. Like you, I read Cold Comfort Farm several times when I was younger; then, I also did not identify socio-ethnic commentary in it. To say that such commentary exists, however, is not to deny that the Gibbons is spoofing the "earthy primitive school of regional fiction" (OCEL 215). The book is accomplished, and therefore open to different levels of interpretation.

Having initially thought the work hilarious, I was fairly disgusted when I returned to it a few years ago!! Haven't time or space here for close revision and analysis, but I suggest considering the farm as an analogy: as a microcosm of English socio-ethnic structure.

In such a scheme, the Starkadders appear as English natives (Sussex is the land of the South Saxons). These characters are mentally and physically mucked up, and nurture characteristics (cows) that are "Graceless," "Aimless," "Feckless," and "Pointless." Their motive force is "Viper," the horse for their transportation; he is no more positively named than than the Starkadders themselves. "Big Business" - commerce- is an unnaturally confined (?John) bull.

The narrative seems to suggest that upper end of this feudal system is rightly overseen by such as Hawk Monitor at Hautcouture Hall-- which brings the Norman-french into the picture. It's worth noting that hawks are related to eagles, and so are presented as sharing not only visual acuity (perception), but also attribution as germanic Beasts of Battle (these accompany armies).

Everything elegant and "modern" in the story has a french name: Flora (ok, Latin) is a Poste, not Post; Elfine is not an elfin--and she is 'improved' by a french-style haircut (if I recall correctly); and Ada spends money on getting civilised, as you say...

The psychiatrist is, of course, german; however, he does encourage some interest in Christianity. That's not in Amos's home-grown version of religion, but in old churches (more european). There is possibly some final hope in Flora's choice of husband--Charles is going to be a parson (urban?); nevertheless, our meddlesome (rootless) orphan brings her manipulative ways to him....

7 September 2012 11:19  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Jesus Wept.

7 September 2012 21:20  
Blogger John Magee said...

non mouse

What in the world are you talking about ??????

8 September 2012 03:37  
Blogger John Magee said...

non mouse

How does my posting the likely origin of the name of London in any possible way show my "contempt for education and the educated" ?????

8 September 2012 04:16  

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