The following statement has been issued on behalf of violin maestro Nigel Kennedy in response to the BBC’s decision to censor a remark he made during a Prom concert with young Palestinian musicians on August 8 (see previous post for details).
Will the BBC now have the courage to restore Kennedy’s comment to its rightful place in the TV broadcast of the concert on August 23? Will they continue with his scheduled appearance as one of the stars in the gala Last Night of the Proms on September 7?
As Kennedy says, the BBC may have done us a favour by inadvertently generating “discussion of the miserable apartheid forced on the Palestinian people by the Israeli government supported by so many governments from the outside world.”
A spokesperson for Nigel Kennedy said:
“Nigel Kennedy finds it incredible and quite frightening that in the 21st century it is still such an insurmountable problem to call things the way they are. He thinks that once we can all face issues for what they really are we can finally have a chance of finding solutions to problems such as human rights, equal rights and even, perhaps, free speech. His first reaction to the BBC’s censorship & imperial lack of impartiality was to refuse to play for an employer who is influenced by such dubious outside forces.
Mr Kennedy has, however, reminded himself that his main purpose is to provide the audience with the best music he can deliver. To withdraw his services would be akin to a taxi driver refusing to drive their customer due to their political incorrectness. He, therefore, is not withdrawing his services that he owes to his audience, but is half expecting to be replaced by someone deemed more suitable than him due to their surplus of opportunism and career aspirations.
Mr Kennedy is glad, however, that by censoring him the BBC has created such a huge platform for the discussion of its own impartiality, its respect (or lack of it) for free speech and for the discussion of the miserable apartheid forced on the Palestinian people by the Israeli government supported by so many governments from the outside world.
Mr Kennedy believes his very small statement during his concert was purely descriptive and not political whatsoever.”