After Margeret Hodge’s ridiculous criticism of the Proms last year for being not “diverse” enough, the Guardian’s Sarfraz Manzoor want to see for himself. Despite feeling uneasy at the start, he came out enjoying it. He concludes
There was a time when the Last Night of the Proms was the dominant version of Britishness, and in that guise, it is not surprising it made some feel uneasy. That is no longer true in today’s multicultural Britain. No one complains that the London Mela was excessively Asian, or that the Mobo awards are predominantly black, so does it even matter if the last night is overwhelmingly white? It would be wonderful if more non-whites were in attendance, if only because they would get a chance to hear some fantastic music; that more do not attend is hardly the fault of the Proms. But by the end of the evening I am convinced that, far from being anachronistic, the last night embodies so much of what I, and so many children of immigrants, love about this country. The evening is a celebration of Britain and music, two things I am happy to champion. But rather than being unpleasantly jingoistic it is benign, eccentric, impassioned and good-natured: the best of British.
I head home, Elgar echoing in my head, my heart filled with hope and not a little glory.
So next time some well meaning do-gooder white politician tries to be offended on other’s behalf just ignore them.