23 July 2013 7:32 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Rolling out Billy Bragg for reminiscing sessions is depressing as it is inevitable. Stop this protest heritage industry from hogging our airwaves

BBC2's flagship Culture Show returned last week with this programme presented by Miranda Sawyer, promising a history of Peterloo, protest, political art and Shelley's The Masque of Anarchy . There were some interesting bits about actress Maxine Peake's staged performance of the poem, and then a detour to a slightly silly-looking, if bold, theatrical attempt to connect the massacre at Peterloo and Manchester's rave culture in the late 1980s. "Both scared the establishment," Sawyer says, correctly. It was all going fine, until this moment:

"Rave failed to become my generation's political movement, but music has of course always given protest a voice … "

The first clause is heartbreaking in its wrongheadedness: did Sawyer expect the formation of a political party, some kind of Aceiiiiiiiid coalition? For the barest »

- Dan Hancox

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