London  / 2018


            In September 2017, the Royal College of Art (RCA) opened its new campus in London’s White City and with it, a host of new students experienced a shift in their education. Seeking ways to engage with their new environment, second-year MA Critical Writing in Art and Design students have produced Propland. A collaborative publication, the project is a reaction to their new home sharing a space with the BBC Television Centre (TVC), and showcases alternative narratives of the TVC in a series of essays and creative writing segments.

          “In 2012, Jeremy Paxman and Boris Johnson seem like pals. There is jovial banter as they ride a tandem through central London together, a little quota ride disguised under the reasoning of speaking on the issue of bike safety. Admittedly, the conversation isn’t very illuminating. Johnson calls Paxman the nation’s last and only remaining one-nation conservative and it is slightly painful seeing them chuckling and cackling toegther. Don’t do anything silly, keep your hands down Paxman says. Seeing their soft line approach it comes as no surprise they went to the same schools and a similar social milieu, it can be assumed that they still may share a drink in some Westend pub occasionally. Please Pax, tell me that’s the only thing you share with Boris? Paxman probably doesn’t fully choose his own guests but does he have a personal agenda? Does it matter? Can it really be read from his interviews alone? There is a slight ideological mystery despite Paxman being assumedly more on the Conservative than the Labour side, he isn’t of the stupidity of right-wing nationalism or the lifeless platitude of One-nation Toryism. At least not openly. Is he simply a traditionalist? A white privileged male from a white privileged background who would like the world to be a well ordered place? Probably. A collection of published books and TV program makes clear that he has a vivid interest in England, the British, the Empire, Royalty and in sharing his understanding of those things, from the inside rather than looking at it from afar (one book is called Empire: What Ruling the World did to the British which I find odd as I’d wonder more about what it did to the world, I guess Pax and I don’t need to agree on everything). But Paxman never fully discloses his own political convictions and claims not to believe in party politics because life is much more complicated than a mere either-or perspective would allow. If this is part of the character the BBC has constructed, then it is faintly stupid. As a figure invested in history, politics, current affairs and truth, Paxman must know that political decisions are not only philosophical or ideological but principally real. A position must be taken. It appears as cowardice to not make a choice.”
A well-coiffed Presenter; or why I love Jeremy Paxman

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