Festival UK 2022: Fiddling While Rome Burns

While I might have got slightly excited about the queen’s platinum jubilee in two years time, I’m not so keen about the fact it coincides with the much-derided Festival UK 2022. Artists and comedians are apparently distancing theirselves from it left, right and centre, on the grounds that it’ll essentially be an orgy of jingoistic nationalism. It’s blatantly obvious that the Tories just want to set the clock back to the golden summer of 2012, to a time when everyone felt good about the country and weren’t irreparably divided into two bitterly opposed camps. They’re using the platinum jubilee, combined with the ten year anniversary of the London Olympics, to try to paper over the horrendous damage they’ve done to the country over the last decade.

The tories have got Martin Green, former Head of Ceremonies for London 2012, to organise this charade, giving him a budget of £120m. He said it will be about ‘bringing people together’ and celebrating our nation’s diversity and talent, and that details of the ten planned events will be announced in a few months time. But you have to ask: what sort of perverse mentality thinks about organising a festival like that in the midst of a global pandemic, massive recession, and when the country is about to commit economic and geopolitical suicide? The UK is suffering, and rather than healing wounds this ‘Festival of Brexit’ will add insult to injury.

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