David Starkey’s declne from competent historian to reactionary nitwit has been a sad business. I’m afraid it shows no sign of abating either. The Huffington Post has this:
Historian Dr David Starkey has compared Scottish first minister Alex Salmond to Nazi German leader Adolf Hitler.
"If you think about it, Alex Salmond is a democratic Caledonian Hitler, although some would say Hitler was more democratically elected," he said.
"[For him] the English, like the Jews, are everywhere" he added to gasps from the audience.
Starkey was speaking at a debate, hosted by the Bow Group think tank, on the teaching of British history in UK schools.
Oh dear. Granted, one would like to see a transcript of Starkey’s remarks so one could judge their context but, really, even if considered a piece of rhetorical impishness of the kind reserved for debating this is ridiculous, shaming stuff.
Even if one accepted the general thrust of Starkey’s remarks (Salmond wants to tear up past and accepted practice; there is a streak of anglophobia within the SNP) there are ways of making this argument that do not distract attention from the argument itself or, and this is worth noting, make you seem a fool. There’s no point being outraged by Starkey; better to accept that Starkey’s area of specialty these days is simply being Starkey.
I have a real problem with this cover. As a journalist, I passionately believe in freedom of speech, but I equally passionately detest the sort of casual racism displayed on the cover.
I understand what The Economist was trying to do, but there is no doubt in my mind that the cover is racially offensive and possibly a criminal act.
[...] Why no one has yet raised the possibility of a criminal prosecution against The Economist under the Public Order Act is beyond me. Any Lord Advocate or procurator fiscal reading this is hereby invited to consider doing so.
Stupidity, stupidity everywhere with no stop to think. Still: only twenty more months of this and it is too much to hope, I suppose, for people to remember that how you make an argument plays some part in determining whether you win it.Tags: Hackery, Newspapers, Salmond, Scotland, Scottish independence, SNP