Posts Tagged ‘Theresa May’

The Guardian view on Brexit bells: striking the wrong note | Editorial

Proposals that Big Ben should chime and church bells ring to mark Britain’s departure from the EU should not be given the time of day

In his 1961 novel Unconditional Surrender, Evelyn Waugh gave a typically waspish verdict on the Festival of Britain, staged 10 years earlier. “To celebrate the opening of a happier decade,” he wrote, “the government decreed a Festival. Monstrous constructions appeared on the south bank of the Thames ... but there was little popular exuberance among the straitened people.”

Given his Tory sympathies, and distaste for the egalitarian spirit that swept the country after the war, Waugh would have knocked anything that the Labour government of the time came up with. The festival, masterminded by Herbert Morrison, was in fact well-attended and a qualified success. It left a permanent legacy in the shape of the Royal Festival Hall. We will have to wait and see whether Festival 2022, conceived by Theresa May as a post-Brexit jamboree and modelled on the 1951 event, makes a similar mark.

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