I remember how that program annoyed me. First, because it had a minute in its name, but was taking five according to the TV Guide. And second, because it had a claim on the audience, who was expected to join. I would have been fine with it as a spectator — or, more likely, non-spectator — of this peculiar custom; but the adults wanted me to keep quiet, and that intrusion of state ceremony into my private play made me furious.
What made me remember those moments is Rod Liddle’s article in the last week’s Spectator, where he writes:
Indeed, the closest parallel to East Germany I can think of came in that rather Orwellian ‘Clap for Carers’ event which some are now suggesting should be repeated every week.
This is brave, and naughty, because it’s questioning the secularly sacred, and not dissimilar to my own puzzled reaction to this recent government-sanctioned, media-amplified weekly British flash mob. First time that happened, Brookes laughed it off (in a cartoon from March 28):