The ‘Ding Dong’ Ding-Dong

12 Apr

Ding Dong

As I type these words, mere days after the death of Baroness Thatcher, the song Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead from The Wizard of Oz is climbing our charts, as the result of an online campaign. That’s what happens when people can buy a song for 79p with the click of a mouse. What’s 79p? That’s only a little more than a can of Fanta. So Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead is climbing the charts, and the Right Wing press are up in arms, because if it stays in the Top 40 that means it may get played on Radio 1’s Top 40 Countdown, and Radio 1 is the BBC, so that means the BBC are biased towards the Left and endorsing the whole ugly spectacle of people dancing on Thatcher’s grave.

That said, the Daily Mail thinks 'Antiques Roadshow' is hardcore socialist propaganda.

That said, the Daily Mail thinks Antiques Roadshow is hardcore socialist propaganda.

Meanwhile, many on the Left are saying, “But if they don’t play the song, that’ll show that they’re politically biased towards the Right.”

This isn’t that complicated. As Evan Davies pointed out on Twitter, if Nelson Mandela had died and a white supremacist group launched a successful campaign to get Black is Black charting, how would the Left feel about it being played on Radio 1, despite it being an innocuous and innocent song?

"It was that or Black by Pearl Jam."

“It was that or Black by Pearl Jam. Man, I love Pearl Jam.”

Or, to extract it from the poles of Left and Right, what if an online campaign resulted in a song called Big Fat Throbbing Donkey Cock reaching No.1? Would anyone, Left or Right, expect Radio 1 to play it? Of course not. Some people – many people – would find the song offensive, so it wouldn’t get played. Same goes for Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead. I wouldn’t be offended, maybe you wouldn’t be offended, but many people would, and it’s disingenuous of the Left to pretend otherwise.

The Right are demonstrating how truly absurd they are by calling for a ban, when if this was something that offended anyone but themselves they’d call a ban “political correctness gone mad”. What’s more, and this is nicely ironic, Ding Dong is only in the charts because it’s selling so well. Market forces, the very linchpin of Thatcherism, put that song there. Meanwhile, true to form, the Left are showing themselves to be weasily and dishonest by citing “freedom of speech” (even though this really isn’t about freedom of speech) when so many of them seem to spend their every waking second scouring the internet for things that offend them, and then crying out for bans and boycotts.

The BBC aren’t “duty bound” to play the song, even if it gets to No.1. If they don’t play it, that isn’t evidence of sinister Tory influence; rather, it’s just the BBC playing it safe. If it does get to No.1, it’s not because of some terrifying BBC Marxist plot, and Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead (recorded by MGM in Los Angeles in 1939) is not a “BBC witch song”, nor is it a “tasteless protest single” (as the Daily Mail phrased it). It’s just a lot of silly people making a pointless and redundant statement. So can everyone calm the fuck down?

News-wise, next week is going to be exhausting. I may hibernate.

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