It. Never. Stops.
It is the softly spoken radio show that provides good-natured help and advice to thousands of gardeners every week.
So regular listeners to Gardeners’ Question Time may be horrified to discover it has been accused of peddling racial stereotypes….
But Dr Ben Pitcher, a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Westminster, claimed the programme’s regular discussions on soil purity and non-native species promoted nationalist and fascist beliefs.
STOP. THE. PRESSES.
LET. THE. “ACADEMIC”. SPEAK.
Speaking on another Radio 4 programme, Thinking Allowed, the academic said: “Gardeners’ Question Time 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. My question is, what feeds nationalism? What makes nationalism powerful?”
Dr Pitcher said the “crisis in white identity in multicultural Britain” meant people felt unable to express their views for fear of being called racist, so expressed their racial identity in other ways, such as talking about gardening.
Speaking on the same programme, Lola Young, a crossbench peer and former professor of cultural studies, backed Dr Pitcher’s analysis.
She added: “I remember back in the late 80s-early 90s when rhododendrons were seen as this huge problem, and people were talking about going out rhododendron-bashing.
“That was at a time when Paki-bashing was something that was all too prevalent on our streets.”
When David Thompson sent me the link, he joked: “Well, Soil is Sort of Brown…”
(Featured Image Source: Gardeners’ Question Time)DONATE
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