David Keighley’s BBC Watch: New Labour stooge takes the sword to Western civilisation

Former New Labour minister James Purnell, who was recently appointed on a £300,000 salary the BBC’s Director of radio and education – without a smidgeon of programme-making experience – has announced a revolution in the Corporation’s style of broadcasting.

Hold on to your hats!

Out goes what Tony-crony Purnell says is the cultural elitism of past landmarks of BBC broadcasting, such as the 1969 Kenneth Clark series Civilisation. In comes his version of the programme series based on the same word, but this time, of course, in the plural.

This gem of the new Charter era will be presented by a venerable trio of the BBC’s finest: Mary Beard, who believes (p12 on the link indicates the depths her post-Brexit despair) that the EU is the best thing that ever existed; Simon Schama (a fanatical Remainer), and finally – bingo again! – David Olusoga a black historian who rails in The Guardian about how racist Britain still is and saw after the Brexit vote a vicious return to 1980s racism.

Purnell declares in his management-gobbledygook-speak blog post announcing his new intentions: ‘[We have] Civilisations – inspired by Kenneth Clark’s seminal documentary series, but in many ways the opposite of the original. Rather than a single view of civilisation, we will have three presenters. Rather than looking at Western civilisation, we will look at many, and question the very concept of civilisation.’

Pardon? What precisely that means remains to be seen. But perhaps we already have clues to this exciting new BBC-Purnellian world of non-elitist output. Basically – as Olusoga outlined  in his vitriolic Guardian analysis – it must first always be remembered that the Brits are – at core – slave-running colonialists, want him to ‘go back to Africa’ and still haven’t given up their bad old ways, as, in his race-dominated world, the alleged outpouring of race hate after the Brexit vote showed.

And what of the approach of the BBC’s education department, over which Purnell now presides? Here what really counts in the civilisation stakes is of course Islam. Forget Kenneth Clark’s admiration and analysis of the West.

This new policy is already starkly evident in the current BBC1 series The Art of France, presented by Andrew Graham Dixon. Preposterously, in the first episode he declared that the development of the Gothic style of architecture at the cathedral of St Denis in Paris in the twelfth century was the result of – wait for it – ‘Ottoman’ influences, and that (as his justification for this claim) France has always been ‘a mongrel nation’.

Of course, in the BBC’s new reality, immigration has always been the driving force of civilisation – with Roman Britain paving the way. Proof? Three (should be four) skeletons found in London and recently subjected to DNA analysis, came from far-flung places.

The approved BBC reality is now that Islam was the font of all that is good in our world today. While we were shivering in crude wooden huts, those marvellous denizens of El-Andalus in Southern Spain lived in a multicultural paradise, and were making the scientific advances that shaped the modern world. Rev Jules Gomes expertly debunks this pernicious nonsense on TCW here.

Of course, we have not seen this new series yet, and these predictions might miss the mark. But every word of Purnell’s blog post suggests otherwise. It is new evidence that he and the rest of the BBC are now engaged in a major re-writing of British history and culture to make it accord with its prevailing liberal-Left approval of multiculturalism, immigration, and moral relativity.

Anyone who disagrees is cast as a reactionary bigot. In turn, this means that those at the Corporation no longer have the capacity or even wish to understand or tolerate adversarial attitudes. And now a full-scale assault against them is underway.

Purnell’s blog should be seen as the underlying justification for this new war: on Trump, on Farage, on anyone who disagrees. In this new order, they now belong only to the realm of ‘Fake News’. Output reflects that.

David Keighley

  • The BBC has to go, it is just an instrument of cultural Marxist hate.

    • Craig Martin

      Can we lock it in your shed?

      • redduster

        It wouldn’t fit. We would need to reduce it to ashes, whilst appealing, it might be illegal.

      • Bob Marshall

        No, I think we must kill it with fire. Put it in Man in a Shed’s shed and it will be back again.

        • Al Watt

          “I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

  • 3aple

    If ‘Brits’ (detest that word. We aren’t allowed to abbreviate ‘Pakistani’), the nation that first banned and fought to stop slaving, were slave-running colonialists, from whom did they buy those slaves, Mr Olusoga? And who conquered and sold those slaves to those Arab slavers from whom the British bought them? Will this be covered in this series?

    .

    • Labour_is_bunk

      No it won’t, and neither will the Barbary Pirates I mentioned in an earlier post.

      On top of all this, hundreds of years before white men had even been near the place, Muslims were sailing down the East coast of Africa, not on voyages of discovery, but to capture slaves.

    • Trainspotter

      Pashtun, Afghani, Kashmiri, Indian.

      • TheRightToArmBears

        W-esternised
        O-riental
        G-entry

    • peterthepainter

      I hate it as well. Sometimes have to tell the wife off. Funnily enough if I get something wrong I never hear the last of it. Still it is Valentines’ Day and she is lovely.

      Much prefer to be called English anyway.

    • Reborn

      No.
      These persons believe that white men, in long shorts & pith helmets
      conducted jungle raids using huge butterfly nets.

    • Little Black Censored

      And who have carried on enslaving people down to modern times?

      • Cassandra

        The ‘prophet’ himself captured, used and traded slaves including black slaves, so it’s ok in Islam.

    • blingmun

      The way to pull the rug from under them is to deny your Britishness. Insist that you are English and correct anyone who calls you British. Englishness is an ethnic reality that even the leftist revisionists won’t succeed in re-branding.

      • TheRightToArmBears

        But Chukka says he’s English.
        I don’t but he does.
        I wonder if the Abbottopotamus calls that cultural appropriation?

        • Cassandra

          He can call himself what he likes, it doesn’t make it so. I couldn’t just declare myself to be, say, a Japanese or a Masai and therefore am one. One can only become a member of a tribe if the majority of it accepts one as such.

  • 3aple

    P.S. I note only three comments have made it past censors below Purnell’s blog on the BBC website. Each one critical.

  • Labour_is_bunk

    Before people such as this started leaning over the fence and distorting things, it was pretty common knowledge the the Roman Empire was a mix of peoples and beliefs.
    That said, it was not multicultural – the culture was definitely Roman. Had it been otherwise, the Empire wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did.

  • Labour_is_bunk

    There was a TCW article recently about why “racist” Britain is so popular with prospective Third World migrants, but I doubt if Mr Olusoga could give a coherent answer to the question.

  • PierrePendre

    Civilisations cross-fertilise each other and European civilisation as we know it owes a debt to Islam – not least for its knowledge of ancient Greece – just as Islam owes a debt to its own predecessors. There is no shame in acknowledging the diverse roots of knowledge and culture and it is no slur on France that it is a mongrel nation, as all Europeans nations are. (It may be that the current low cultural ebb of Islam is due to the fact that the Arabs were never mongrelised and missed out on the advantages of catalysing, cultural inputs. Bending their conquests to absolute obedience to Islam turned out to weaken rather than strengthen.)

    What the BBC ignores is the difference between immigration and conquest. Mongrelisation was achieved by force of arms whether by the Romans or the Angles and Jutes. Britain for example owes Magna Carta, the foundation stone of its democracy, to Simon de Monfort via the Norman Conquest. Violence was ultimately positive. Rome on the other hand eventually collapsed under the weight of immigration that hollowed out the Roman ideal just as Muslim mass immigration is now threatening the essence of Europe.

    Perhaps the BBC is right and the synthesis of Europe and Islam will eventually yield to something beautiful as Houllebecq suggested in his novel Soumission but at the moment the peaceful immigration we are subject to more resembles a corrupting dilution of what exists. This is also in Houllebecq’s book; exhausted and corrupt Europeans seek redemption through Islamic leadership and wisdom. But where is it to come from; certainly not from firebrand imam’s preaching medieval values.

  • Tommein

    If any Conservative MPs complain about this program, please remind them who renewed the TV tax charter

    • TheRightToArmBears

      Tory MPs, along with Labour, LibDemPaedo, Green and SNP MPs, have no machinery for contacts with plebs who think they have an opinion.

  • Bik Byro

    “Throughout the Middle Ages, the Muslim world was more advanced and more civilised than Christian Western Europe”. The irony of this, is that this is completely true!!

    Now, how about completing the story and find out how we got to where we are today.

    Since around 1500AD many Islamic leaders have opposed science believing it to be an affront. While Tycho Brahe’s observatory “opened the way to a vast new development of astronomical science,” Taqi al-Din’s was demolished by a squad of Janissaries.

    In the early twentieth century, Shia ulema forbade the learning of foreign languages and dissection of human bodies in the medical school in Iran.

    A majority of Muslims are in disagreement with current scientific theories about biological evolution and the origin of man. A poll showed that 62 per cent of Muslim professors and students believed evolution to be an “unproven theory”, compared with 10 per cent of non-Muslim professors http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/evolution/6587642/Muslim-scholars-rejecting-Darwins-theory-of-evolution-as-unproven.html

    This is what happens when you let religious leaders – any religious leaders! – call the shots and run the show. It sends you backwards to Medieval times.

    • Snoffle Gronch

      Any competent mediaevalist would question your opening statement. While it is true that for certain (short) periods, and in limited geographical areas, there were important schools and a tradition of translating ancient scientific material from Greek into arabic, that is hardly characteristic of the islamic world as a whole. Most moslem societies, then, as now, were bigoted, ignorant, and dogmatic. For every brief Ummayad period there are a dozen Abbasid, Mongol and Mameluke tyrannies. Murderous slavers, kidnappers, and thugs, moslems trampled their subject peoples mercilessly. Mediaeval Europe on the other hand held within itself the seeds of the modern world.

      • TheRightToArmBears

        Yes, I can’t imagine there were many chemistry experiments going on in those medieval tents. And even in the nineteenth century the enrichment further south hadn’t got round to chiseling the first wheel out of a convenient piece of wood.
        And now their descendants are telling us how we’ve got things so wrong.

        • Bik Byro

          Another one who read my first paragraph and then started spilling his thoughts over the keyboard before he could be bothered to finish reading it.

      • Al Watt

        As a “comprehensively educated” prole, I wish the BBC would give people like you a series, I have learned exponentially more from BTL comments such as yours than I managed in 12 years of edukashun. TY.

        • Bik Byro

          Well, you’ve learned fake news.

          • Al Watt

            That’s a sweeping statement, I’m not religious and regard all religions as being mainly population control mechanisms. So agree entirely with the closing line of your post.

            Snoffle is correct though, the Christian Church “allowed” itself to be largely marginalised from Science and Politics and the “modern world” is the result. France is a secular State. Turkey not so much.

          • TheRightToArmBears

            Turkey is becoming less secular by the day.

      • Bik Byro

        Any competent person would question your sanity.

        • Snoffle Gronch

          I guess you are annoyed that I have shown that you don’t know what you are talking about.

          • Bik Byro

            Well done for completely missing the point of my post

          • TheRightToArmBears

            I’ve noticed droppings from that little creature elsewhere, and have wondered what he/she/it/? wishes to achieve.
            I have blocked the droppings. It makes for an unclogged and cleaner website.

          • Bik Byro

            I suppose that’s why you’ve upvoted many of my posts in the past then.

          • Little Black Censored

            When so many are missing the point it might be because the point is not well made.

          • Bik Byro

            Or because they do what a lot of people do on here – read the first sentence and then start typing frantically. This link tells you all you need to know about a lot of them https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Pavlov

    • Busy Mum

      ‘Christian Western Europe’ was Roman Catholic Western Europe.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Not really. There was no such thing as such prior to the reformation and afterwards it varied from country to country. So it was all “Christian” from the mediaeval to about the time the Berlin Wall and our culture fell.

        • Busy Mum

          But you would agree that Christian medieval Europe was in thrall to the Pope?

          • TheRightToArmBears

            Only in the same way that we are presently still in thrall to Brussels.

          • Busy Mum

            Agreed, the EU is the resurgent Holy Roman Empire, but ‘still’ implies we always were in thrall to it, when we were not.

          • TheRightToArmBears

            In thrall to Brussels in the same way that a slave is in thrall to his chains.
            And we are still in those chains.

          • Tethys

            But at peace for 70 years.

          • Colonel Mustard

            The EU has not been going for 70 years let alone keeping the peace, except in the deluded minds of its more fanatical advocates and the deeply flawed products of New Labour’s education, education, education.

    • Tethys

      Agreed! but now WE have post-truth, anti-science Trump, and the shameless anti-expert, anti Climate brexit brigot brigade deleting websites today and burning books tomorrow.

  • Snoffle Gronch

    I continue to be intrigued by Mary Beard. An indifferent scholar with the appearance of a bag lady and a publicity-seeking compulsion that leaves fools like Brian Leveson in the shade, Mrs Beard appears to have achieved her appointment in part as a token gesture, and in part because people feel sorry for her.

    I’m never sure whether it’s her bombastic, empty-headed political judgements or her grotesque historical misjudgements that curl the toes the more. Whether it’s her waddling about with a badge of Mao Tse-Tung (sixty million dead, but who’s counting?), expatiating on the merits of swarms of foreigners taking over an East Anglian town, or the fatuous idiot announcing that “there was no reason why Septimius Severus couldn’t have been black”, she never fails to achieve notoriety.

    Still she looks and sounds like a bad David Walliams impersonation, so the BBC is bound to love her.

    Four months on, and I’m still delighted I stopped paying the Licence tax.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      Just as in post April1945 Germany one was hard put to find anyone proudly admitting to being a willing member of the Na*i party, come the demise of the BBC, it will be hard to find anyone saying they gladly paid to be misled.

      • Little Black Censored

        Izan Izan Izan Izan Izan Izan Izan Izan Izan
        This is the reverse of a test message I sent earlier which was deleted.

        • TheRightToArmBears

          Interesting.
          I wonder why Kathy and Laura get triggered by that word.

    • Post of the day, Friend Snoffle! Thank you for that :).

      • Snoffle Gronch

        Thank you, friend Lefty.

  • Al Watt

    I had never heard of this series until the Ministry of Truth flagged it recently as containing incorrect information.

    Since I have no interest in the current manifestation of the BBC’s jaundiced view of history I looked up the original series and found a watchable version on Youtube.

    The Uploader has had to remove a lot of the musical score to avoid copyright issues which detracts from the original, nevertheless Mr Clark’s fascinating narration remains intact.

    Civilisation Episode 1. “By The Skin Of Our Teeth.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6qYjisp51M

    Subsequent episodes will show up in the suggestions.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      There were good programmes back in the day when we were English and not ashamed to be so. There was Prof. Bronofsky’s Ascent of Man, which was suggested to me to be the most cogent argument for atheism for its tracing of the evolution of man from the earliest smoke of creation.
      Naturally our rulers, bowing to their masters in Saudi Arabia, will not allow this heresy to be promulgated now.

      • Al Watt

        That’s why I love the internet,

        BBC Ascent of Man Ep1 Lower Than The Angels
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgaU-V_b-rY

        Thanks for the recommendation, added to my watch list.

        • TheRightToArmBears

          It is refreshing to find so many civil folk here, ready to observe the social conventions.
          Like you I have been directed to fascinating pockets of interest.
          Long may that continue.

      • Little Black Censored

        Gosh that man was pleased with himself.

    • Little Black Censored

      You can rent the whole thing from Amazon.

  • EnglandExpects

    Purnell’s new policy has already crept in. Watch Lucy Worsley on so- called ‘fibs’ of British history. Firstly she trashed the Glorious Revolution.It’s key role in the increase in the power of Parliament v the Crown ignored, just bad news for Ireland!. Then she had a good go at the British Empire by examining all the” lies and hypocrisy” behind the Raj. As ever, we are told that we should hang our heads in shame about the Empire.
    The opportunity for the next generation to feel proud of their country and to put history and culture in context by watching the BBC’s history output, is long gone.

    • Snoffle Gronch

      I loved “historian” Lucy Worsley in her various shows. In one she told me that William III died in 1704 (!); and in another she went to Russia, where she failed to pronounce the name of any aristocratic family correctly, but was very taken with the frocks. It is a little surprising that her programmes, so obviously aimed at quite young children, are shown in the evening.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      Well, she does work for a woman who ceded our sovereignty to Brussels without a raised eyebrow.

    • SteadyOn

      Well the thing you’ve got to remember is that before the empire all of those places were actually embryonic socially democratic nation states. There’s no point getting all Braudellian on it and doing some sort of comparative analysis of what was going on before they were colonised or what they would be like if they had not been.

      No, no. Much better to assume that everywhere from Uganda to Malaysia was very similar to Sweden sometime around 2015. Once you’ve accepted that fact you’ll see that the empire was always 100% evil everywhere at every time.

  • realfish

    ‘And what of the approach of the BBC’s education department, over which Purnell now presides?’

    Can someone please tell me, what is the BBC’s Stalinist sounding ‘education department’? What is it, what purpose does it serve? When will we all be sent there?

    It seems that there is no end to the BBC’s encroachment into all areas of our lives, areas that it has no business sticking its nose in. And there seems to be no end to the BBC growing domination of the dissemination of news in the UK, not least as the Corporation next hires even more journalists to feed the BBC approved version of the news to regional media and newspapers that their domination has crushed.

    • Thomas Fuller

      There is an end to it. Simply do not pay them anything.

      If you refuse to pay the TV tax and wish to watch live-broadcast TV, you will be breaking the law as it currently stands. A bad law, but it’s the law nonetheless. In the unlikely event that in the absence of a doorstep confession you will be caught, or the even less likely event that the BBC, via Capita, apply for a warrant to search your home, you will be fined substantially less than the maximum of £1000. If you refuse to pay the fine you are likely to be put in prison. In either event you will of course have acquired a criminal record.

      A much, much better option is to get rid of your TV set and refrain from watching the BBC on any other capable device you may have. It is wonderful and life-affirming to be freed from the propaganda, filth and depravity of television in general and the BBC in particular. I threw out my TV set in 2005 after inadvertently being exposed to infrared images of two gormless young people fornicating (the holy grail of the producers) on Big Brother. ‘That’s it,’ I said to myself. ‘Enough.’ This year I even put away all but one of my radio sets so that I would not have to listen to the BBC. The remaining tuner, in my stereo, receives only Radio 3, and then only the music itself: I switch it off at the first hint of the propaganda that has polluted even that station.

      It’s not easy to go without TV if you are confirmed viewer, because the pleasure centre of the brain is stimulated by it in a very remarkable way and you become, quite literally, a drug-addict, the compound in question being dopamine. However, if you persist in not watching you soon wonder why on earth you wasted so much of your irreplaceable time staring at a TV screen; the conceit that you were somehow part of a community of watchers is revealed for the illusion that it is, and you realise that watching television is one of the most alienating and pointless occupations ever devised.

      If you get rid of your set you will be insulted and pestered by the BBC’s bagmen, but to limit their insolence you can withdraw their implied right of access. Google this phrase to get info on how to do that. Alternatively, just use their letters to light the fire; the end result will be much the same.

      • Bik Byro

        Are you a parody account?

        • realfish

          Asked without the slightest irony.

          • Bik Byro

            how do you know? Care to tell us this weekend’s six numbers?

      • TheRightToArmBears

        The BBC uses the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, passed by Tony Blair, to snoop on the public to maintain its enormous income and preserve its privileged position to control opinion in the UK, and prevent the public protesting in the only way it can against its biased reporting.

        This means that the BBC uses internet snooping technology, developed for GCHQ to find and catch spies, to snoop on what you are watching on your laptop, listen to your phone calls, and means that BBC employees are able to access your online banking.

        If you oppose this please sign and circulate this petition to prevent the BBC using this technology – https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/164522/signatures/new

        • Bik Byro

          Or alternatively you could put your tin foil hat on. Look out for those nasty chemtrails too.

    • Little Black Censored

      “When will we all be sent there?”
      Excellent!

  • Tom Burroughes

    Regarding how supposedly tolerant Islamic southern Spain was, check this out:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Myth-Andalusian-Paradise-Christians-Medieval/dp/1610170954

    • Snoffle Gronch

      Academic presses like the University of Leiden bear a heavy responsibility for promoting the romanticized tripe of S.M. Imamuddin and others who have long falsified the history of the islamic occupation of southern Europe. Turn the pages of one of these works of fiction, and one will be left wondering just one thing – how did the supposedly modern civilization of al-Andalus collapse before the onslaught of of a few tiny Christian principalities clustered at the feet of the Pyrenees. (Answer – it didn’t.)

      A sensible man reveres the memory of Charles Martel and John Sobieski, and pays no attention to the lies of the pro-mohammedan lobby.

  • TheRightToArmBears

    No Briton with an ounce of feeling for their country can pay the TV tax and look themself in the mirror with any shred of pride. It is now a patriotic duty not to pay the tax.

    • Jenny Wren

      Yawn, go on, mention treason, you know you want to

      • Bik Byro

        I think he is Ignatius Reilly out of “The Confederacy of Dunces”

        • Colonel Mustard

          Don’t encourage her. Unless of course you are being paid to do so.

          • Bik Byro

            It pays rather handsomely.

      • Colonel Mustard

        And you seem to want to sneer rather a lot. Even in your ghastly restaurant reviews.

        • Jenny Wren

          I think you are confusing me with that respected climate change expert, James Delingpile.

          • Colonel Mustard

            No, I’m not . . .

    • CheshireRed

      I haven’t for several years. A piece of cake and no, I don’t feel bad about it at all.

  • Snoffle Gronch

    The artistic development in twelfth century France known as Gothic derives not from the Ottomans (who had yet to arrive in the West) but from Tournai; It’s worth noting that certain distinctive Gothic architectural techniques were developed in England.

    But any multicult tomfoolery is good enough for the BBC.

    • Bik Byro

      Pseudo-intellectual ctrl-C ctrl-V stuff. Now grow up and think.

      • Snoffle Gronch

        So demonstrate wherein lies the error.

        Otherwise stop boring us with your half-baked cut’n’paste piffle..

        • Bik Byro

          “The artistic development” [haughty intellectual voice] ..blah blah yawn … “derives not from the Ottomans” .. [more sanctimonious patronising] .. blah blah .. yawn .. yawn .. Gothic architectural somethingorother .. yawn yawn.

          Having failed to prove in real life that you are worth listening to, you are now trying your luck on the internet.

          • Colonel Mustard

            If he is not worth listening to why are you hounding his comments with such determined sneering? Does it bother you so much that you can’t compel everyone to agree with you?

          • Bik Byro

            Couldn’t care less.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Yeah, right.

          • Bik Byro

            And you keep replying to me, entertaining little fishie.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Don’t let it go to your head. And not really something to gloat about.

          • Bik Byro

            Rainman called. He wants his social skills back

          • Colonel Mustard

            What was that you were saying about keep replying? And when you can’t find a proper reply you resort to abuse.

            So typical.

          • Bik Byro

            I find you an entertaining little fish.

          • Colonel Mustard

            And I find you a sociopath.

          • Bik Byro

            Says the guy who butted in on a disagreement which was nothing to do with him in order to boost his virtue-signalling. http://disq.us/p/1g60wl2

          • Colonel Mustard

            Oh, but it was to do with me. The very existence of people like you has everything to do with me.

          • Bik Byro

            That’s nice. And entertaining for me too.

          • Colonel Mustard

            But at the end of the day I wrote nothing in this thread about Gothic architecture which makes you a lying smearer as well as a sneerer

            and WRONG.

            No amount of your nasty abuse will change that.

          • Bik Byro

            oh dear, one only has to dangle a bit of bait and you are biting away again.

          • SteadyOn

            Valentine’s Day is hard for a lot of people on their own, but if you try to be less of muppet you might have someone to share it with next year.

          • Bik Byro

            oh dear, snowflake

          • SteadyOn

            Come on, there’s no point showing people that it got to you and not even delivering a good come back

          • Bik Byro

            This is entertaining.

          • SteadyOn

            That’s the spirit!

          • TheRightToArmBears

            Perhaps FemSol will give him a cuddle, if he washes?

          • Bik Byro

            Sometimes I wonder if your butt is jealous of all the crap that comes out of your mouth

          • Reborn

            Hardly the imagery one associates with a Conservative Woman.
            Are you from Momentum perchance ?

          • Bik Byro

            No. Never voted labour or lib dem in my life.
            Are you from the mental hospital perchance ?

          • Woman at home

            Bik Byro’s whole raison d’être is hounding comments with determined sneering. Don’t think he has anything else to do. Sad really.

          • Bik Byro

            I sneer at bigots and pseuds who deserve it.

          • Woman at home

            Lol

          • Snoffle Gronch

            What a disappointed, bitter little man you are.

          • Bik Byro

            You have a very perverse interest in the naked Brooks Newmark

        • Little Black Censored

          Don’t argue with him: you’ll only miss the point like everybody else and he’ll turn nasty.

          • Bik Byro

            Well spotted. You are not totally brainless after all.

          • TheRightToArmBears

            And it clogs up the website for the non-troll folk here.

          • Bik Byro

            so you can have your little love-in with all your fellow Ignatius Reillys.

    • Little Black Censored

      Pevsner (I think) said that the first Gothic building in Europe is the choir of Canterbury Cathedral, but designed by a Frenchman.

      • Bik Byro

        The eastern end of the Basilica Church of Saint-Denis pre-dates it. You would not look such an idiot is you learned facts before pontificating.

        • Little Black Censored

          It is hardly pontificating to quote an authority, even if the quotation is inaccurate. I was quoting from memory from an illustrated lecture by Pevsner. He said the monks of Canterbury hired the top man at the time, William of Sens, who pioneered the new style, so his work at Canterbury was very early Gothic – what he said must have been that it was the first Gothic building in England.

      • TheRightToArmBears

        Do you have any of his series, the Significant Buildings of England? I have four of the original ones and would like any more that are available?
        They are a very good read in themselves in addition to being invaluable when looking at towns.

    • Reborn

      You’re obviously correct.
      I lecture in art history.
      Any of the very small similarities to islamic design are purely coincidental.
      Gothic is simply a word used as an insult by classical enthusiasts for a
      lively, non classical, even ‘populist” movement.
      Aleric the Goth, of course, led the sack of Rome.

  • Al Watt

    Perhaps the BBC could do a programme on Contemporary Slavery rather than slander our ancestors. There are an estimated 21 – 46 million slaves NOW in our modern world,

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_slavery

    • TheRightToArmBears

      Not including the slaves who pay the TV tax that helps keep them enslaved.

      • Al Watt

        Nope, didn’t include them, or the 7 billion or so of us robbed daily by Fiat currency.

  • TheRightToArmBears

    When Muslims are a minority they demand minority rights.
    When Muslims are a majority there are no minority rights.
    Happy countries do not have Muslims.

    • John Smith

      Theocracies always go to ‘ell in a handcart
      That is why they leave their countries & want to set up another one here

  • Nockian

    The worrying thing is, despite Trump and Brexit, the underlying philosophy remains solidly collectivist. Even those that accept the need for rational self interest on the surface, cannot bring themselves to fully embrace it.

    Its as if the intellectual West has capitulated, given up, surrendered to the belief that capitalism can’t succeed and even if it could, it doesn’t deserve to do so.

    I fear that the left has won. Certainly some of the more crazy hippiness has been given a knock, but it is only a knock. This latest change in the BBC might well be a reflection of what we can expect in the next few years-that in Northern Europe we better learn mandarin and get to know Islam a bit better. For Southern Europe it might well indicate the return of the Moors.

  • Debs

    I too started watching the programme about French architecture thinking it would be educational .However when gothic style and its islamic influences surfaced I turned it off.

    There may be certain influences but I am sick of them being shoe horned in to every programme to gain more importance than they deserve.

  • Snoffle Gronch

    Although Mr Schama is unmanly in the extreme, he is married to Virginia Papaioannou, a geneticist from California and they have two children.

    So not so sure about that double bonus.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      Are the children mail-order from Vietnam or Ethiopia?

      • Snoffle Gronch

        These days the wife could be a bloke too.

        • TheRightToArmBears

          Perhaps the children were husband & husband from the Jungle in Calais.

        • Little Black Censored

          It’s racist to say “the wife”; there might be more than one.

  • Stuart Fairney

    This doesn’t matter any more. In a multi-platform world, its analogue thinking. They are all fighting to marry a corpse.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      And we are still fighting to escape from one.

  • Aisla Sinclair

    Guess we`ll never get the likes of Andrew Roberts, David Starkey or even the reformed Niall Ferguson to do such programmes will we?
    So the BBC will continue to stumble into bloated irrelevance as the rest of us go to sites like this as well as Breitbart and even RT/CCTV/Memri and the like-where at least the bias is clear and the truths are still worth seeking out.
    Good times ahead for the rest of us, just need to get people to stop paying to have their brains turned into pastel shades of Playdo by ex-Blairites and Guardianistas.
    Their ships are pedalos, even paedoelos!
    Time to scuttle the buggers….

    • TheRightToArmBears

      Only as long as you support them by paying the TV tax.

    • SteadyOn

      Sort of take your point, but Ferguson has written one decent book (Cash Nexus), Starkey is a populiser above all else (hence his beef with Schama) and Roberts… well the less said about him the better.

      • Little Black Censored

        What have you got against Roberts?

        • SteadyOn

          He’s basically a biographer.

  • SteadyOn

    I believe I’m right in saying that Purnell’s old seat is now held by one Angela Rayner. Every cloud has a silver lining.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      What’s silver about her, apart from the lining of her personal cloud?

      • SteadyOn

        She’s like a suicide bomber crossed with a homing pigeon.

  • Marmalite

    How would these minorities survive in the Western word today if they didn’t have racism and the white western man to blame for all their faults and failures on.

    They hate us all so much and we’re to blame for everything. They refuse to be of us, yet they strive so hard to be us. Some of the most confused people on the planet!

    • TheRightToArmBears

      Would we survive in their societies?
      Only as slaves.

  • Chingford Man

    If Trump decides to do a rally in the Midlands, I will try to start a “BBC Sucks” chant.

    • RPM

      ” BBC, another beauty”.

  • Reborn

    This article must be satirical.
    At its most arrogant the BBC wouldn’t consider this bunch of UK haters.
    Incidentally, I don’t think Scharma’s sexuality is relevant.
    Any more than was Turing’s or Wilde’s

  • ethanedwards2002

    I don’t dispute that some civilising influences do owe some origins to the east. However we in the West have taken it forward. Whereas it seems the East has gone into full speed reverse. Smashing antiquities. Beheading people for believing in the wrong sky pixy. Re-establishing slavery. Denying intellect. And so forth.

    Does the Beeb intend to explain this little conundrum? Does it hell. Instead we will be treated to more patronising twaddle aimed at telling us we’re all waycist and stupid.
    I get the message from the Beeb though. They are just seeking to convert all of the UK to Isis’ best mates. Or so it seems.
    Purnell will of course will just spout beige claptrap supporting whoever pays him the most. Like all Blairite filth.

  • CheshireRed

    The left revising history whilst simultaneously disparaging anyone who disagrees? Exactly as per the ‘climate change’ narrative, then.

    • Colonel Mustard

      See below. Every vaguely conservative blog now has two or three lefty hemorrhoids dangling from it, sneering at the other commentators to reassure themselves that they are intellectually superior and because they cannot bear the fact that people reject their schtick. They seldom, if ever, comment on the articles but like to comment on the other comments, to tag and denounce them.

      Probably orchestrated by the same people who so successfully got the country to vote Remain and prevented Trump being elected . . .

      • Labour_is_bunk

        Who was it who said:” The Left have all the answers, what they don’t have is solutions”?

        • Bik Byro

          They often have solutions, trouble is they always involve spending other people’s hard-earned money.

      • Ridcully

        The worst of it has to be the Spectator site with that sockpuppet army constantly trolling the comments pages.

    • Tethys

      TODAY THE ICE AT BOTH POLES IS MELTING FASTER THAN EVER.
      THESE ARE TEMPERATURES NOT ‘NARRATIVES’

  • Lamia

    Simon Schama (double bonus, gay and a fanatical Remainer)…

    The first item here will come as a surprise to Virginia Papaioannou. She is Simon Schama’s wife.

    You do very good work, David, but you and some others do no favours to the cause of those who are very critical of the BBC and the metropolitan establishment generally when you make faulty and implicitly negative assumptions like this.

    It is of a piece with some people currently grumbling about the ‘Jewish’ Phil Shiner (the crooked traitor is in fact a Roman Catholic).

    Schama is horrible. It has nothing to do with his sexual orientation – which of course would not have entered your discussion in the first place if you had known he is heterosexual, would it?

    The BBC, some of us have not forgotten, is the organisation that hosted an online debate entitled “Should homosexuals face execution?” Still, that was one BBC headline that might meet the approval of some of its usual critics.

  • Inoff the Red

    It is hardly surprising to find that a skeleton dating from Roman times was found to have come from “far flung places”, it is how the Romans operated. …..invade, subjugate, co-opt the remains of the local military into the Roman legions and ship them out to a far flung part of the empire so they can’t foment trouble at home. I daresay that somewhere else in the far reaches of the Roman empire there are skeletons of Britons.

    • Colonel Mustard

      It’s the pretty desperate harnessing of historic minutiae to reinforce a very modern and very political agenda. The English were content to be English and self-assured in that identity for almost a thousand years until arrogant twerps like Purnell slithered out of the receding comintern and decided that we should be re-invented as a “mongrel nation” to justify reckless levels of immigration.

      • Inoff the Red

        Agreed. Now if the BBC wanted to do a real programme on civilisations, it would be interesting to understand how the area that was reputed to be the cradle of civilisation has become a total basket case with constant wars, tribal / religious squabbling , repressive and intolerant ideals, absence of industry and a tendency to f*** up their own country before moving on and trying to f*** up someone else’s, all under the guise of a religion of peace.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Not only has the ghastly left destroyed the future of this country but they are now busy destroying its past.

          • Woman at home

            Of course. They use “1984” as an instruction manual.
            “He who controls the past controls the future.”

        • Tethys

          Maybe they need some kind of customs union or federalisation for the sake of peace and stability.
          Possibly they are not so advanced as us………hey, wait a minute!

      • Tethys

        Genetically, we are almost all at least part-immigrant, including you.

  • We must not be afraid to divide the good from the bad. It is untrue to say that everything is equal. Western civilisation is unique and has done a better job than African and Middle Eastern ones. To claim otherwise is to distort reality. However, this is to be expected from the BBC. They must pander to every demand, so long as it isn’t from the majority!

  • Lamia

    It appears you have a removed a comment by another poster which merely suggested Schama’s sexual orientation is irrelevant.

    What makes this worse is that David Keighley’s assumption is in any case incorrect.

    Poor show, CW.

    • Sinik

      You are correct. The fact that Schama is gay is neither here nor there. The fact that he’s a rabid Zionist 5th columnist with a strong distaste for anything British is what matters.

      • TheRightToArmBears

        There are a lot of Hassidics in North London who appear to find integration into English life rather distasteful.

  • Andy

    Purnell should never have been re-employed by the BBC when he left Parliament. He was far too ‘political’ toxic, and his appointment clearly underlined the BBC’s contempt for political impartiality. This is why I’m now firmly of the view that the BBC badly needs to be broken up to allow far more diversity in provision and political views. I’m fed up with the Fascist Left ramming its disgusting views down my throat at every verse end.

    • RPM

      His boyfriend got him the job.

      • TheRightToArmBears

        Shirt-lifters united by bodily excretions.
        Lovely.

    • Tethys

      You need to lighten up.
      Did you complain quite as much when an ex-tory minister was BBC Trust Chairman?
      I expect you did.

      • Andy

        There is a difference, totally lost on Fascists like you, between a chairman who had no power at all over what was broadcast and a executive who does. As you are in favour that further underlines my view that the BBC needs to be broken up so we can have more diversity.

    • Cassandra

      I agree with the need to get rid if this publicly funded broadcasting mouthpiece for Guardian reading folk.

      My fear is that, once broken up, the Cultural Marxist bacillus will merely be spread around, in the manner of the Black Death.

      What’s needed is ,

      First ). A right to free speech untrammelled by so called hate legislation which discriminates against white people. This should involve a return to the pre- hate speech / race laws legal framework which worked perfectly well.

      Second) Legislation which ensures that broadcasting space is allocated across the political spectrum. This should involve every broadcaster announcing its political bent at appropriate intervals, with such formulae as ‘independent of all parties and associations’ and ‘balanced and impartial’ etc not allowed.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Purnell was a grubby little non-entity in New Labour. Another over-promoted PPE ex-wonk like Byrne. After New Labour he slithered back into IPPR then took a chance at Mayor of London, but failing. He then hung his hat on a David Miliband leadership, failing there too.

    However, he became the overpaid (£295k pa) BBC Director of Strategy in 2013 (with plenty of unsavoury political baggage) and was once BBC Head of Corporate Planning before trying and failing at politics. So the BBC-lefty politician revolving door is alive and well. What this article misses is that the blatant bias of the BBC has become more brazen in step with Purnell’s recent progress through the organisation.

    • Richard Harris

      The article has also missed the fact that Purnell was the only one shortlisted for the job. There seems to be no fair competition, and he has been allow to deep-throat his way near to the top.

  • ColTPride

    There has been a Conservative Prime Minister since 2010 – nothing is done.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      Why would you expect the Tory party to do anything to benefit the native English, Welsh, Scots and Irish inhabitants of these isles? It was and has been the Tory party that took us into the EEC by deceit and have grown wealthy on the back of that deceit. Why should they give that crock of gold up now?

    • Colonel Mustard

      Or, alternatively, there hasn’t been a Conservative – or conservative – Prime MInister – since about 1990! Plenty has been done but a great many people don’t much like it.

      • James Chilton

        The lasr conservative prime minister left office in 1902. Andrew Roberts wrote a magnificent book about him.

  • IanE

    BBC delenda est.

  • The Buttscratcher Jimmy

    I remember watch that Simon Teabag-Montifloreb show on Spain. It was a non-stop love in about the Muslim influence that the Moors had. Hardly anything about them raping and pillaging their way to power and how they were drunk as skunks most of the time. It was utter BS.

    • Antoine Bisset

      To be fair, it is hard to envisage how the Moors could have had anything else than muslim influence. But then we booted them into the sea. I can’t see anyone around at the moment who is wearing the requisite boots.

    • Mike Fowle

      I didn’t see that but I thought his recent programmes about Vienna were very good.

  • Guardian’s Quitter

    Two things I look forward to in my dotage. The demise of Labour, and the revoking of the BBC’s charter.
    Ok, three things, a Conservative Government, with truly Conservative principles.

  • Giraffe on Khat

    I wonder how deeply they will touch on all the religious and tribal genocide and enslavement that went on amongst the locals before the Brits turned up?

    • flipant

      they’re doing it on Wales, Scotland and Ireland ?

  • flipant

    won’t all these programmes be on BBC4 ? and thus watched by not very many people.

    They are unlikely to be ground-breaking landmark series, are they ?

    Let them all play in the sand box, it’s all about the reviews darling

  • Benthic

    If Islam was so great and enlightening why does it come across as a murdering, raping medieval death cult now?

    • TheRightToArmBears

      That people living in countries under Islamic rulers can’t wait to run from?
      Funny how no TV person ever asks them why?

      • Vesta

        And funny how all those self-righteous TV celebs, marching placard wavers, luvvie virtue signallers and outraged feminists have never said a singe word against the horrors of islamic facism.

      • Benthic

        They come to the West, get their Iphone 7+ and plot our downfall?

        What happens when we are all gone they will have the same poison they ran away from only colder and no Iphone 7+.

    • ratcatcher11

      Because that is what it has always been.

  • SeeYouAnon

    Will anyone watch this revisionist gorp?

  • Vesta

    You can’t really make it up. When a Labour elitist like Purnell smugly claims “When there is so much information and misinformation, the BBC can be a trusted guide through that abundance” I have to laugh. But then, I suppose if I was on 300,000 quid a year, I’d make up crap like that to keep the dosh rolling into the bank account. He and his like get away with it because the BBC has a protective firewall against complaints about obvious bias – it’s called the complaints procedure.

    • DrNo

      They also have the license fee, a guaranteed income regardless of commercial realities.

      Major recession? No problem for the BBC – their Assistant Safe Space Coordinator’s job is protected while 5 internationally-renowned journalists at ITN are laid off.

      No one wants to watch the ideologically tainted crap they produce? No problem. They’ll keep making it anyway.

      Left wing friends at the Guardian going down the tubes because everyone is sick of their sanctimonious preaching? No problem – buy a few hundred thousand copies to support them.

      Until the license fee goes.

      • Colonel Hadley

        ‘Assistant Safe Space Coordinator’; does that post actually exist?

        • Alan

          Probably.

  • ratcatcher11

    Yet another revisionist era generated by the Left Liberal trash that populate the BBC. The sooner this crap broadcaster has all the multiple repeat channels closed down and sold off the sooner it can be cut down to size and made to operate without a taxpayer subsidy. The BBC ceased to have relevance when the internet went live and people can access the truth rather than the BBC’s version of the truth which is very different.

    • Tethys

      And whose truth would that actually be?

  • James Chilton

    I remember struggling, years ago, to read Schama’s book “Citizens” – which is supposed to be an account of the French Revolution. I didn’t understand at the time that Schama was writing an ideological tract disguised as “history”.

  • DrNo

    Please sign the petition against the license fee. It is up to 83,226 signatures now. That is 6000 more than when I signed it yesterday.

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/170931

    With any luck it will make the same number of signatures as the anti-Donald Trump petition, but I don’t think that will be announced on the BBC news if it happens.

    • C A Dark

      Just signed. Good figures! It’s going well.

  • David

    The BBC disgusts me.

    • witchend

      Ditto. I’ve signed also, but since I refuse to pay the licence and haven’t done so for many a year it’s fairly inconsequential.

  • Lamia

    Thanks for amending the article to remove the incorrect and in context implicitly negative assertion that as well as being a fanatical Remainer, Schama is gay. No thanks for removing posts that pointed this out.

    The fact that some Leave supporters seem to feel a need to assume, often wrongly, that their Remain opponents are also gay or Jewish (those apparently being bad things too), really does not help ‘our’ side – it gives ammo to those who like to write off Leavers as common-or-garden bigots. Please have the decency to let this comment stand.

  • Tethys

    No way can the idiot DK plant a ‘Fake News’ badge on the BBC – particularly on Trump or Brexit.
    If he had spoken out about shameless Trump’s ‘Birther’ fake news, or any other of his faecal communications, or similar in relation to the shameless leave campaign then yes, he might have a shred of credibility.
    He did not, does not, and ought to call it a day.
    Let’s attribute fake news to those who really excrete it.

  • The Banana

    “Encourage people to think European”, Mary Beard opines, wtf is it with these people. It’s the Platonic philosopher king bullshit every academic peddles.

    I don’t fancy being a sausage in the intelligentsia’s sausage machine, thanks. I don’t want to be encouraged to think European by the elites.

    Shame. I liked her books.

    • Colonel Mustard

      I think English. More so after exposure to the thoughts of Mary Beard and her ilk.

  • Cassandra

    Schama interviewed the unrepentant Stalinist, the historian Eric Hobsbawm, a President of Birkbeck College, University of London and family friend of the Millibands, for the BBC shortly before Hobsbawm died laden with honours.

    When Schama asked Hobsbawm if he thought that Stalin’s murder of many millions of the
    Soviet Union’s own citizens was justified, Hobsbawm replied that it would have been if it had brought about the hoped- for socialist utopia. They should be considered as ‘collateral damage’ or casualties in a necessary war.

    Unbelievably, Schama let Hobsbawm get away with this excuse for mass murder and reign of terror.

    There is precious little to choose between this pair in my opinion.

    Just the sort if thing one expects from the ‘balanced and impartial’ BBC, though.

    • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      George Orwell, “Politics And The English Language,” essay, 1946(!):

      “Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, ‘I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so’. Probably, therefore, he will say something like this:

      ‘While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement.’…”

      Do you get the impression Hobsbawm was the “hypothetical” professor?

      • Cassandra

        I think Hobsbawm was a good deal more blatant than that. Still, I have no doubt that Orwell was deadly accurate about umpteen other professors.

      • Labour_is_bunk

        It was Professor John Bernal that Orwell was targeting – a noted Stalin apologist.

  • John Shakespeare

    Those alleged Ottoman influences surprised me, I must say. I waited for some sort of demonstration or proof, but none came; mere unsupported assertion. But the rest of Andrew Graham Dixon’s programme was, in my opinion, superb.

    • commenteer

      The Ottomans weren’t around in the 12th century. They weren’t really players on the near eastern scene until 1453. Andrew Graham Dixon talked a load of rubbish in the final programme of this series, as well.

      • John Shakespeare

        Yep, as I suggested, the Ottoman reference struck me as odd. In fact there was a certain — shall we say — fluidity in his time lines, though to some extent that may be excusable in infotainment. I have yet to watch the rest of the series, but I am qualified to make judgements about it.

        • David Keighley

          AGD’s point was that because the pointed arch was used in the Middle East before St Denis, the Gothic style was therefore a derivative. That is the same faulty logic that used to pervade in archaeology, (for example) in the theory that Stonehenge was a ‘decadent’ version of tombs at Mycenae.in the Peloponnese. The reality is that cultural developments don’t have to be explained by over-arching movement of peoples, or cultural ‘diffusion’. The other issue here is that (in broad terms)the so-called dark ages in Western, and especially Northern, Europe weren’t dark at all. It was a period of constant innovation, and the development of architecture through from the Norman through the Gothic to the Perpendicular was a series of spectacular engineering triumphs flowing out of earlier progress in science.

    • David Keighley

      I agree. But it underlines the depths of the infiltration. .

  • Graham

    I know what you mean about relativism, but there’s nothing wrong with recognising the contributions of other civilisations. Clark refers to Islamic, eastern and pre-Christian civilisations in the prologue to the book of his series. What is of more concern is the questioning of the very idea of civilisation itself. Again, Clark recognised that this doubt and lack of confidence was a big threat.

    • David Keighley

      I think such recognition is vital. The English language is a confluence of many influences, as Melvyn Bragg so adroitly outlines in his book on its history. But what’s underway here with British history and the analysis of Western civilisation is a major re-drafting so that these influences are too often seen as pivotal. A good example is the Seacole v. Nightingale debate. There are many more.

      • Graham

        Yep, there is a risk that it gets reduced to the level of identity politics. New series is a co-production with firm which did the America/Australia ‘story of us’ docs and the American PBS. Given that and some of the presenters’ previous series the early signs aren’t that encouraging. I just can’t see how they can squeeze it all in – Clark struggled to cover w Europe since the dark ages and he had 13 hour-long programmes, rather than the 10 for the reboot, which is supposed to cover the whole world since the ‘dawn of human history’! We shall see…

  • Gold Bug

    The antidote to the BBC’s fanatical support of big government, political correctness and other assorted stupidity is to not watch it. Turn your tv into a computer monitor and get some real news and entertainment without subsidizing left wing luvvies extravagant pay checks. Boycott the Beeb.

  • Ye Olde Sausage Machine

    Switch off broacast TV and save yourself |£145.50 per annum. Hit the BBC where it hurts. In the pocket

  • Dave S

    Hopefully very few will watch it as unlike the Clark programme there are now so many other channels and the internet. We all know it will be lefty drivel in the approved hive mind way so don’t bother with it and spend your time doing something else.
    By the way this Purnell is on over five grand a week. That is seriously taking the mickey.
    I really love the way the bleeding heart liberals and luvvies reward themselves. No wonder we have all decided to tell them to get stuffed for good.
    What on earth is the BBC for other than a make work outfit for ” progressives”. None of my young relatives ever watch it and probably do not even know it exists.