BBC ‘Songs of Praise’ producer compares ‘Rule, Britannia!’ to the Holocaust

Aug 26, 2020 by

by Archbishop Cranmer:

There has been much stuff and nonsense written about the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ and the BBC’s decision to offer only orchestrated versions of ‘Rule, Britannia!’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ this year, but nothing, absolutely nothing beats the contribution from Catriona Lewis, Executive Producer of ‘Songs of Praise’, who thinks that singing ‘Rule, Britannia!’ is akin to Nazis celebrating the Holocaust. Her meaning is rather confused and confusing: “I believe slavery was Britain’s Holocaust’, she wrote, and so singing ‘Britons never will be slaves’ is like neo-Nazis shouting “We will never be forced into a gas chamber”.

As if that weren’t sufficiently crass, offensive, insensitive and historically illiterate, she proceeds to lecture Proms producers:

[…]  Whatever you may think of the decision to cut the lyrics of ‘Rule, Britannia!’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ (while, curiously, retaining a choral rendition of Parry’s and Blake’s ‘Jerusalem’), the belief that ‘Rule, Britannia!’ is a celebration of Britain’s role in the slave trade is a proposition of such manifest ignorance that it is incredible (literally) that Cat Lewis is a producer of anything, let alone of the world’s longest-running religious programme. Perhaps she might meditate upon the comma after ‘Rule’, and the exclamation mark after ‘Britannia’: the anthem is an imperative to spread the cause of freedom; an exhortation to global liberty, not a gloating about conquest and oppression. Without the Royal Navy ruling the waves and intercepting ships laden human cargo, slavery would never have been abolished:

letter slavery royal navy rule britannia

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