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HomeNewsNick Booth: The BBC throws a Christmas Party. Despite Brexit

Nick Booth: The BBC throws a Christmas Party. Despite Brexit


Do you ever worry that we have lost the spirit of Christmas?

The sight of all those people shopping, and drinking, and talking to those they would normally shun, is demoralising for many. It makes them worry that we have lost sight of the true meaning of the holiday season. This is a time for moral grandstanding, quiet reflection on how to boost our profiles and ostentatious taking offence on behalf of others. It is a time when we consolidate our sense of spirituality, by accusing others of being racist, an act that simultaneously creates social division and becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

For inspiration about the true celebration of Christmas, we should look to the BBC. Picture the staff holiday season party, where every department has been asked to wear a slogan that sums up their spirit. On one table, there is an aggrievance of wealthy and privileged white women looking unhappy with their lot. Their t-shirt slogan tells us that they are the presenters and producers of Woman’s Hour. It says, “Don’t You Know Who I Am?”

They are mingling with the reporters from BBC News, who are drowning their sorrows rather heavily. They had some terrible news this morning: the economy is buoyant, unemployment is down and the stock market is looking healthy. All this is “Despite Brexit” as the legend on their t-shirt says. Yes, good things might happen, but it is always despite Brexit.

Meanwhile, lurking ominously in the corner, there’s a Protective Custody (I believe that is the collective noun) of DJs and panel show comics. The t-shirt slogan that sums them up is “Well Everyone Else Was Doing It”. They all eye each other warily, wondering which of their frenemies will, one day in the not too distant future, turn Queen’s Evidence in order to negotiate themselves a lighter sentence.

On another table, in their disposable gold leaf party hats, sits a whitewash of BBC Governors. Being management, they didn’t bother going along with the theme of the party, so there is no t-shirt with a departmental slogan. But if there was, it would be “Nobody Can Touch Us.”

Finally, the entertainment for the night arrives. It is Mr Magismo, the close up magic specialist. He shuffles a deck and invites members of the audience to pick a race card, any race card. Then he stuns them all by identfying the exact race card they have chosen.

Later, he explains how he did it. There are only really two types of race card, one for each type of racist. Prefix Racists begin their sentence with an apology – “I’m no racist but..” – before going on to say something uncomfortable.

Their counterparts, suffix racists, say something much more offensive and divisive, but it comes at the conclusion of their statement. Their racist comments end with the words “…. because I’m not a racist.” At least prefix racists are good enough to sound apologetic for their socially divisive statements. The suffix racists, by contrast, actually seem to take great pleasure and pride in the process of making immigrants feel that the majority of the population hates them. Maybe they do not realise that this is what they are doing. No hang on, can anyone be that stupid?

This being the BBC, says Mr Magismo, I guessed that everyone here would be a Suffix racist. At this point he is escorted off the premises. BBC people can take a joke, but that is out of order. It is offensive to minorities too, they say. So, yes, they really are that conceited and stupid.

The rest of the evening is spent hoovering up drugs, drinking, biting each other, cursing Donald Trump, throwing up, crying and promising to keep the red flag flying here.

So, one of the best BBC staff Christmas parties. Ever. Despite Brexit.

(Image: Maman Voyage)

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Nick Booth
Nick Booth
Nick Booth is a freelance writer.

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