Envy of the world: The BBC Singers

One answer to the BBC’s betrayal of its mission would be to sack Gary Lineker and reinstate the 20 Singers

BBC, was also involved in the recent Arts Council England debacle, which saw devastating cuts to the funding of English National Opera (since reversed) and the Britten Sinfonia, the East of England’s only professional classical music outÿt.

˛  ˝ˆˆ ˝ ˛ ˛˛ˆ’

warned about the likes of Moore, Clark, Serota and other BBC apparatchiks. John Drummond, the last combative controller of Radio 3 and the Proms, a man who loved classical music and the high arts in general, wrote of “the lowest-common-denominator, accessibility-at-any-price, anti-intellectual laziness of so many of today’s leaders”, warning that “Failing or refusing to di˙erentiate between the good and the indi˙erent, while sheltering under a cloak of spurious democracy, is simply not good enough. It is a betrayal of all our

civilization has stood for.”

°e BBC’s betrayal of its mission is now clear for all to see. But what is the answer? One easy — and welcome — option would be to sack the narcissistic Gary Lineker, and his dozy Match of the Day sidekick Alan Shearer, and reinstate the 20 BBC Singers. °ey cost about the same. In the long term, it would be best to drive the philistines out of management altogether, but perhaps we are too far gone.

Again, let us listen to Drummond, the man dismissed by John Birt, the font of the rot, as “tainted by experience”. °e BBC “has been an organisation which has seen itself as leading society, not following taste. If it no longer wishes to be that, I can’t see any reason for its existence.”ˆ

Nor can we. ●

● This issue is the last with Paul Lay as literary editor. Paul is off to new adventures and we wish him every success there. In his time here, we can proudly and confidently say that he made our books pages second to none. Our new literary editor will be Dr David Butterfield, a Classics fellow at Cambridge and editor of the hugely successful Antigone website, which has done so much to sustain, increase support for, and spread enjoyment of the Classics. We look forward to seeing what he will do here, too.


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