WHENEVER we feel our national pride and culture is at stake why do we get so defensive?

Last week, the BBC announced that orchestral versions of Rule, Britannia! and Land Of Hope And Glory will be performed at the Last Night Of The Proms.

It had been reported the songs would be dropped over ‘concerns of associations with colonialism and slavery’. But this was not the case. They were simply being performed without lyrics this year and are expected to be back in full when the pandemic is over.

This led composer Dalia Stasevsk being wrongly targeted with hate and abuse. We had TV and radio shows lining up to find people who hated the songs so they could use the excuse to roll out Nigel Farage. The Prime Minister was asked about his opinion on the matter and for a man who seemed to be keeping things low key on issues that really mattered he was quick to comment about why it was wrong to drop the songs... even though they hadn’t actually been dropped.

Every nation has songs, anthems and heroes hailing back to an era when they were at their most influential. The French do it, the Americans do it, the Russians and Middle Eastern nations are constantly doing it. We make TV shows that airbrush the bits where we were responsible for the killings and murder of innocent people. We rewrite history to suit our own purposes and will continue to do so.

In this case the question soon descended into an argument over ‘Empire’ and people were up in arms trying to defend something which was built on pillage and conquest. In fact, the word ‘empire’ kind of gives it away. Re-evaluating our history and asking serious questions does not mean that we are less British.

The point is nothing really is being eroded. British culture is not being taken over and we are not trying to appease anyone.

Those who feel like this are not doing it because they care more about this country than the next person. They do it because, let’s face it, it is an easy way of encouraging abuse against anyone they think doesn’t fit into their ‘ideal Brit’.

It is quickly becoming a national obsession.

We have become so used to this now that almost a week won’t go by with someone trying to make out that this great and blessed culture is being swamped. Or things are changing because some bloke somewhere was offended by a bacon butty.

The truth is, it isn’t being overrun and nobody is trying to bury our grand and great culture. Sing the songs, wave the flags and be a proud Brit . Honestly, we have bigger things to worry about right now.