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Performance notes

Margaret Hodge's anti-Proms speech was inept and stupid. The Proms are cheap, diverse and popular. Plus, London's new recital hall

By Martin Kettle   July 2008

In defence of the proms

Margaret Hodge, the culture minister, seems to have been keeping her head down since launching what she proudly described as her “square on” attack on the BBC Proms in a speech to the IPPR on 4th March. Indeed, according to the department of culture, media and sport website, Hodge—who was appointed by Gordon Brown a year ago—gave 14 speeches on the arts before that day and has given none at all since.

The supreme leader—who was quick to say that he was a fan of the Proms—may well have made his displeasure clear to the…

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