Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Eurovision Song Contest may have tipped the scales in favour of Brexit

As I'm not a fan of kitsch campery, and as I despise Europop with all my being, I usually give the Eurovision Song Contest a miss. But, feeling unable to pitch straight into a fourth instalment of a Belgian crime drama about a child-murdering psychopath being aired by Sky Atlantic, I did catch the scoring section of the warblefest...

...As I watched a procession of desperately inept presenters from most parts of the continent (and Israel and Australia) enthusing, in that ghastly, ubiquitous Ameripean accent, about what a fabulous night it had been and how excited they were to be taking part before finally - FINALLY! - announcing that their jury awarded their douze points to Azerbaijan or Moldova, I found myself wondering whether this annual festival of bad taste might just have tipped the balance in favour of Brexit last year.

First, there's the glaringly obvious fact that the UK has, for many years, cut such a  sad Billy-No-Mates figure at the party. Rebuffed and nul-pointed year after year,  the UK seem finally to have given up trying to win the stupid thing - at least, that's the impression one gets from its choice of terrible songs and charisma-free performers. Not surprising, really, given two decades of such concerted cold-shouldering.

Second, there's the irritation resulting from the penchant of European juries to clannishly vote for really stinky songs by their near-neighbours (at least, the near-neighbours they don't actively hate). As an island, Britain doesn't have any near-neighbours, apart from Ireland - and they didn't award the UK entry a single lousy point last night, presumably because of Brexit. I wonder if this annual proof of Europeans' inherent propensity for unfairness, partiality and bias - their unwillingness to play the game - has convinced the English, in particular, that the EU probably doesn't do Britain any favours either.

The third reason the song contest might have helped undermine Britain's commitment to the sinister European Project is that it's one of the few regular events which see a sizeable portion of the electorate hunkered around their TV sets: it's one of the few old-fashioned, shared, live television experiences to have survived the passing of analogue television. In a way, it's an anachronism - just like the EU! You'd think that being part of a global audience of over 200 million would increase Britons' sense of being part of the wider international community - after all, there are millions of us watching the exact same pictures and listening to the same anaemic rubbish as tens of millions of our fellow-Europeans! The difference, I suspect, is that we're laughing at the whole thing, because it's so awful. I very much doubt if the experience makes viewers here feel closer to Europe: it's more likely to remind Brits just how different their perspective, taste - and humour - actually is.

Apparently, I'm not the first to comment on the danger posed by Eurovision to the European socialist superstate. A quick google this morning revealed a splendidly po-faced article in the Guardian, from 2013 written by Karen Fricker, entitled "Eurovision: it's time to stop laughing at foreigners", and subtitled: "Terry Wogan set the tone for a Eurosceptic attitude towards the song contest that turned toxic as the UK started doing badly." It's a classic example of the sort of pious, puritanical, SJW virtue-signalling designed to sap the enjoyment out of every aspect of Britain's national life (the only good thing about the UK, apparently, is its wonderful "diversity"). Now, I don't know about you, but this particular Scots-Norwegian reserves the right to laugh at anyone he damn well wants to, as long as it's for something they weren't born with (unless, of course, they were born without a sense of humour). Nevertheless, while Ms Fricker's article is wrong about everything else, her fear that Eurovision might prove subversive seems to have been fully justified. Perhaps presenter Graham Norton should be awarded an honorary knighthood, just like his predecessor.

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