Boris Johnson has decided to scrap Europe's biggest anti racism festival and replace it with an entirely non-political event, it was revealed today.
Suspicions that 'Rise: London United Against Racism' would be re-branded as an apolitical festival were raised, when initial publicity material bore no mention to anti-racism.
But a coalition of anti-racist groups has now confirmed that the anti-racist message has been dropped and the festival will be called simply 'Rise' from now on. A spokesperson for the National Assembly Against Racism said today:
"We were contacted by the Greater London Authority last week and told anti-racism will no longer be the central message of the Rise festival. This is confirmed by initial publicity which drops the message "London united against racism" and all reference to opposing racism. Support for the festival from performers and communities has always been based on this anti-racist message so the change is sure to be highly controversial."
However, one person for whom the announcement will not be controversial is BNP assembly member Richard Barnbrook.
In a written question to the mayor last week, Barnbrook criticised London's support for the 'Love Music, Hate Racism' and asked for assurance that London would not be paying for policing and clearing up the event.
The announcement that the GLA will no longer be financing it's own anti-racism event will therefore be warmly welcomed by London's favourite fascist.
No more bang for our bucks
The reasoning behind Boris's move is not yet clear. However, whatever it may be, it is not based on getting more bang for Londoner's buck.
Because re-branding the festival will almost certainly increase the costs of putting on the event as acts will not want to perform at the reduced rate of previous years, when there is no political motive for them to do so.
But like Boris Johnson's decision to scrap half-price fares for London's poor, this decision will have had more to do with meeting political dogma than with any sensible management of the capital.
Image by Mr. Stop Boris