Gardeners’ Racist Time?
by Dick Franklin
Dr Ben Pitcher of the University of Westminster recently appeared on the Radio 4 programme Thinking Allowed and expressed his deep concern about the racist language used on Gardeners’ Question Time.
He is quoted as saying “It is not the most controversial show on Radio 4, and yet it is layered with, saturated with, racial meanings. The context here is the rise of nationalism, the rise of racist and fascist parties across Europe. Nationalism is about shoring up a fantasy of national integrity”. He went on ”…a crisis in white identity in multicultural Britain forced people to find ways of talking about white identity, such as through gardening, so they do not appear to be racist”. He was particularly concerned about the use of terms such as “native” and “non-native” species. I must say, I have always found Gardeners’ Question Time the most boring programme on the radio but I will listen more attentively in future.
Of course, the massed ranks of the “anti-racist” industry had to have their four pennyworth. The general thread of this was that, while they applauded Dr Pitcher’s sentiments, they did not think that Gardeners’ Question Time posed a real threat (to anyone who disagreed with them).
One Gardeners’ Question Time listener said that Dr Pitcher was “bonkers”. My own view is that his comments were a massive wind-up and the “anti-racist” lobby fell for it. I sincerely hope so. Otherwise the lunatics really are running the madhouse.