Claiming an “exclusive”, The Great Guido told readers “Woke Oxford Students Vote To Take Down ‘Colonial’ Queen’s Portrait … OXFORD COLLEGE SCRAPS QUEEN”. This, sad to say, was not true. Nor was the assertion “Guido can reveal an Oxford college has agreed to remove a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II”. But there was more.
“A committee of students from Magdalen’s Middle Common Room agreed by a substantial majority to take the portrait of Queen Elizabeth down from their wall … Stalin would be proud”. There was a suitably petulant response from former fireplace salesman Gavin “stupid boy” Williamson, who for some reason has been made Education Secretary.
The alleged “exclusive” in turn generated headlines combining the most righteous aspects of pearl-clutching and thunderous outrage by the Daily Mail (“OUTRAGE AS OXFORD STUDENTS VOTE TO AXE QUEEN”) and the Daily Brexit, still called the Express (“HOW DARE THEY! OXFORD STUDENTS CANCEL OUR QUEEN”).
So let’s take this nice and slowly, for the benefit of all those Gammonati who have been brought perilously close to spontaneous combustion by this non-story.
ONE, it’s not a “portrait”. It’s a print of a photograph. And it was only put up in 2013.
TWO, “Oxford College Scraps Queen” is a pack of lies. No college has done that.
THREE, nor has the college “agreed” to remove anything.
FOUR, as Dinah Rose QC, who is President of Magdalen College, has pointed out (thread HERE), “The Middle Common Room is an organisation of graduate students. They don't represent the College”.
FIVE, equating Stalin with a group taking a vote and abiding by the outcome is, as the late Labour leader John Smith might have put it, a bit rich.
SIX, Brenda has not been “cancelled”, “axed”, or “scrapped”. The print has been put into safe storage. It may return; it may not. That’s up to the Magdalen Middle Common Room.
SEVEN, the Fawkes rabble have claimed “The student group will now explore whether the painting can be auctioned”. This is doubly dishonest: again, the print (of a photograph - it’s not a painting) has been stored. So it’s not being auctioned. More Fawkes lying.
The Great Guido will no doubt be thrown a few biscuits by his press masters for his efforts. If only there were, in return, a commensurate increase in the quality and accuracy of the product being offered. But there isn’t. On either front. Another fine mess, once again.
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If only those clever buggers at CERN would stop messing around with trying to unlock the deepest secrets of matter, energy and the universe itself and concentrated on devising a method of harnessing Gammon earsteam for the purposes of generating electricity! The UK would hit its carbon emissions targets years ahead of schedule.
Good summation of the non-story.
It's easy to see why the RW media have latched onto this. Oxbridge is one of the main building blocks of their particular vision of England and Englishness - punting, Morse, tradition, the May ball, Brideshead Revisited and all the rest of it. Just as with Shakespeare, their connection to it may be slight, but they KNOW what it should be like*. One wonders if the same action taken at a Northern redbrick or as Johnson called them, "rusticated jumped up polys" would have even attracted any attention at all.
Aided and abetted by voices in the media who see Oxford less as an academic institution and more a posh finishing school (mainly because that's how they treated their time there), the aim is to reinforce the view of all students and academics as wet, "lefty", detached from reality and a bit useless.
*Recall in the mid-80s, Kelvin McKenzie's fury over Benjamin Zephaniah taking up a teaching post there. Reasons including his ethnicity and hairstyle. Sent into the realms of self-parody when he started the article with "Would you want this man teaching YOUR daughter" (because, you know, They Want Our Women), as if the average 80s Sun reading family was sending their kids to any uni, let alone Oxford.
There is no really difference here than when Seaman Staines holds an individual member of the public to account when the have the audacity of criticising the Conservatives.
It does 2 things, it fills the available bandwidth with Male Bovine Excrement at the expense of any meaningful news, and it sends a warning to anyone else who thinks it's fine to exercise their free speech in way that does not get the approval of the far right media.
Now excuse me whilst I hastily put up an old photo of Brenda in my home office lest I feel the wrath of Nick Ferrari for not being sufficiently patriotic.
Then it can no longer pump out RW gits like Camoron, Blair, Bojo, etc anymore!
Quick note to right-wing columnists/papers: You can talk about patriotism all you want but you lot were in the vanguard of the pro-covid media blitz that helped ensure a catastrophic loss of life in our country at a time when we should have all come together.
This will never be forgotten. You fucking sociopathic twats.
Baseball cap boiler/generators with a battery pack that they can plug into the grid at night
Just why on Earth is the Express and others on the hard/far-right spectrum bothered about an old picture of Liz Windsor removed from a wall in a room they'll never step foot in, by student's they cannot name and will never meet?
This manufactured faux anger cannot be doing their blood pressure any good. Just yet another footnote in the unnecessary culture war.
What about all the rooms that never had a portrait of the Queen? I feel sick that students could even consider not having a portrait of the Queen in every room. And once up, there can be no lawful reason to remove a portrait, on pain of treason. (Please see replies to Richard Tice's unhinged tweet on the matter, where they suggest exactly that).
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