With those words the Prom debutante Paul Daniel introduced Land of Hope and Glory at the Proms last night. Indeed he had prefaced those words with a far broader comment, “From whatever land you are from, and what ever land you care about I would just like to let you know that… this is a love song to our home". The miserabilists at the Observer of course cannot handle it seeing it as it is a, “outmoded, flag-waving, white van-ish act.” Worse of course is that “a combination of BBC high-ups and public opinion won't hear of it.” Myself I am astounded that the BBC in any way would pander to public opinion, what with it being taxpayer funded, but there again stop clocks and all, and don't you just love that elitist jibe at the so called 'white van man', you cannot be educated and a patriot in Holden's twisted mind. The only people who could possibly take pride in Britain are those who work hard and read the Sun.
However Anthony Holden, who is the past has shown his clarity and generosity of spirit thus “it was Britain's resistance to full-hearted membership of Europe - our only chance, in my view, of survival as even a wannabe world power - that made me realise the full extent of the damage done by the monarchy to this desperately conservative, insular country, clinging forlornly (and often xenophobically) to its post-imperial delusions of grandeur, taking a decaying satisfaction in its past at the expense of any real ambition for its future”.However in his attack upon the tens of thousands in the Albert Hall, the 40,000 who attended in the pouring rain in Hyde Park, the 10,000 odd in Glasgow the 10,000 in Swansea and those in Belfast, the tens of thousands in Manchester, let alone those joining in Brussels of all places, he just hates them with the passion of the academic and elitist that he is, “Those of you already disagreeing with this are unlikely to be bona fide music lovers who have listened to, maybe even attended, many of the 73 concerts leading up to the Last Night - which simply demeans them. It's just a party, I hear you say. Well, fine, hold it somewhere else, maybe at the headquarters of the British National Party”.
So what did we see in the crowd? Dozens of Welsh and Scottish flags, Northern Irish yes, and Southern, German, Dutch, Flemish (a lot of them), American, Canadian, French(?) Italian, Belgian, Australian, New Zealand, Breton, Cornish, and Palestinian of all things. Dammit I will even admit to seeing a few EU flags in there (two I think). The singing was lusty, the carry on absurd – more Rocky Horror at times than Bayreuth but that is the joy of it.
The only prejudice, the only bigotry, the only hate about the whole event is in the tiny petty, unpleasant and scabrous minds of the likes of Holden For shame sir. Breath deeply and understand that what you desire is nothing less than failed self hate. We are not interested and we wish you only succour for your sadness.