In an article on the BBC website, the producer airs her view that the significant thing about the fire wasn't how it transformed the architecture of the City, the tragedy of a great natural disaster, nor how it arguably burned out the plague from the capital, but rather that is it a parable of how nasty modern Britain is. According to the producer, the result of the Great Fire was just like that after the 7/7 bombings: A vicious, murderous, utterly gratuitous backlash (for something the English knew was just reprisal) against innocent immigrants who never had an impure thought in their stainless lives.
The fact that the 7/7 bombings didn't "just happen", it really was a conspiracy to carry out an act of war, and that the inevitable-yet-never-occurring-anti-Muslim-backlash never occurred is strangely passed over. Still, aside from having absolutely nothing to do with one another, the producer is happy to use the Great Fire-7/7 as a handy stick with which to bash Britain. Not surpsingly, the entire article is an insult and reads like it was written for ten-year olds from a more than usually backward comprehensive.
The producer claims that the violence meted out to suspected arsonists after the fire was entirely due to an earlier English raid against West Terschelling by the Royal (the producer calls it "British") Navy that year. The Second Anglo-Dutch War is, of course, never referred to by name. With a proper historical perspective, the article refers to this raid on Dutch commerce as "diplomatic piracy" and an "atrocity" and claims that a gulit-ridden London populace awaited just reprisal because:
It was expecting something bad to happen, not because it was superstitious or frightened, but because the government had done something bad.Translation: Londoners in the hot summer of 1666 went about with wringing hands and shouting ala Dr Hans Kiosk, "WE ARE ALL GUILTY!"
Despite apparently knowing full well that, to paraphrase the Reverend Wright, "England's chickens have come home to roost", the English reacted as all right-thinking historians expected them to with a pointless, utterly unwarranted, and vicious spree of bloodshed and murder against the utterly innocent. The fact that England was at war and that London had been the site of Catholic terrorist attacks within living memory is, of course, ignored as inconvenient to the thesis.
Charles II comes off a bit better in this national character assassination–sorry, documentary:
The king took a very enlightened view and always believed it was an accident."Enlightened" apparently now means in accordance with the latest version of events from Minitru. Never mind that it raises the question of whether if the King had been wrong, would he have been "enlightened"? Best not to dwell on it.
As is usual for the farce that passes for modern scholarship and the current prejudice against giving the English a fair hearing, the producer commits the standard 21st century fallacy of condemning the people of a more brutal age for living in a more brutal age; for not being "us". That isn't to excuse the mobs and the injustices dealt by the courts of the day, but none of it was inconsistent with the times and, if anything, the English response was incredibly muted. Had the Great Fire occurred on the Continent and the Dutch had been thought to blame, Amsterdam would have been put to the torch and its inhabitants to the sword before Cheapside had stopped smoldering.
So, what is the conclusion? That the Great Fire was an accident, but if had been arson it would have been justified? That, by implication, we should believe the same thing about 7/7? The writers can't even be consistent. Who was being blamed for fire? Immigrants? The Dutch? Huguenots? Roman Catholics? All of the above? Why? The facts are true, but the conclusion is a stinking muddle as the producer jumps from incident to incident with less of a desire to explain than to imply that the English were inherent brutes then and remain so to this day.
The article ties it all up with the neat bow of a perfect relativist conclusion that we think it was an accident, but other views are equally valid and who are we to judge? Well, except that the English are horrid, of course. That's objective fact and anything else is "airbrushing" to provide a "happily-ever-after sort of story".
I'm going to open a few windows and let the stench of rotting academia out now.