Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Starkey and the Morlocks


I recently watched a movie called Adulthood. I can’t tell you an awful lot about it other than it was set in London among an unprepossessing set of violent thugs and drug dealers. The reason I can’t describe what it was about is because I barely understood one word in ten. They were all speaking a language that I take to be a form of English, the argot of an underclass, referring to each other as bloods or buds or bluhs, I really can’t be sure which, the sort of gobbledegook that I suppose gives these types ‘street cred.’ It just so happens that I saw this a few days before the London riots. There they were again, the same types, all the same types, all the bloods or buds or bluhs.

When I say ‘all’ I mean black and white; I mean that white teenagers of a certain class have adopted aspects of what I take to be a type of black culture, specifically a kind of coded language, because it’s considered to be ‘cool’ or because they have never known anything else, growing up in places like Hackney or Tottenham or wherever. There is nothing racist about this kind of observation; it’s nothing to do with skin colour and everything to do with cultural identity. Oh, but it is racist, at least according to some.

David Starkey is a historian who specialises in Tudor England, an expertise which he has carried so far as the nation’s television screens. But he’s also an all-round media person, offering his opinions on a variety of subjects. I find him highly entertaining, not just the way in which he presents his historical documentaries, but his direct and no-nonsense approach in discussion. He speaks to the point, not suffering fools gladly or at all. Altogether there is a refreshing honesty to his manner, quite free from cant and anodyne platitudes.

Last Friday he offered his opinion on Newsnight, a current affairs show, saying that the recent riots happened because too many young white people “had now become black.” It was all because a “violent, destructive and nihilistic gang culture” had been embraced by as many white people as by blacks, a culture that militated against education. As for their speech patterns;

Black and white, boy and girl, operate in this language together. This language which is wholly false, which is Jamaican patois, that’s been intruded into England and this is why so many of us have this sense of literally a foreign country.

Shock, horror; crucify him!, crucify him!, the cry went out. To paraphrase Macaulay, I know of no spectacle more ridiculous than the liberal chattering-class in one of their periodic fits of moral outrage. One by one his fellow broadcasters fell over themselves in attempts to drive home the nail. Piers Morgan, another media person and a bit of a twerp, had a tweet – “RIP David Starkey’s TV career. And good riddance. Racist idiot.”

Now, if you don’t know Morgan let me just say that he is well qualified to refer to other people as idiots, being a first class idiot himself, a kind of jumped up chav, Burberry Man at his finest, easy to make fun of, as he has been made fun of during his embarrassing apperances on Have I Got News For You. He’s as stupid as Starkey is clever. He’s also a hypocrite. But he’s in so many ways typical of the oiks that dominates so much of contemporary life.

His word has been added to by Robert Preston, the BBC’s business editor, saying that “David Starkey’s nasty ignorance is best ignored not worthy of comment or debate.” Oh, really? Then why, I ask myself, did this clot feel compelled to comment? I don’t suppose it really matters now, as his intervention is doubtless evidence that Starkey’s TV career is indeed over, that his voice has forever been silenced by Auntie’s Marxist Men.

It really makes no difference that Starkey was talking about gang culture and not skin colour or ethnicity, a point he has made since, raising this issue at all has ensured him a passage to the gulag of all that is unacceptable, all of the issues that dare not speak their name.

Unlike Piers Morgan, aka Baron Phone Hacker of the Daily Mirror, I do not see any racism here. I see plenty of idiots, though, arbiters of what can and cannot be said. The evidence is overwhelming that the low life gangstas, bloods or buds or bluhs, the semi-literate rappers, black or white, are to blame for London’s madness, that they represent an alien culture and a wholly alien world that I despise, a threat to culture and every standard of civilized decency. They are a wretched sub-class, Morlocks and Calibans, who should be ushered off to some nether world where they can all speak their incomprehensible jargon in complete freedom. Either that or they could set up home besides Piers Morgan.

22 comments:

  1. I have to say that Starkey is a rather annoying man. I'd won't be surprised if some people cry 'burn him' even if they agree with his late comments. (BTW, I also agree with him, but would have rather said "the chavs are the new black"). They are the perfect object of hate - no know positive qualities, no lobby, bad press, no one calling you chavist.

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  2. The Natural History of the Submerged Tenth is a subject about which I have no knowledge, and less interest. That pretty much describes my attitude towards the Chatterati, too. In these wonderful days of democratizing social media can it be that anyone still gives a toss about the opinions of journos and talking heads (apart from one another)? What a strange worldview they must have!

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  3. Jean Paul, he has an abrasive style, that's true, but I rather like that. :-)

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  4. Starkey seemed to be talking specifically about skin colour. He may not have meant to, but it sounded like he was suggesting that being black is a negative characteristic. White = OK. Black = corrupting of white people and more likely to riot.

    It was, at best, a stupid thing to say. At worst, racist. It sounded racist.

    You want to "banish this wretched sub class to some nether world". What does
    that mean? Kill them off or ignore them?

    Writing an ill-defined group off as an alien subspecies only adds to the problems.

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  5. Matt, he is not; he is talking about a particular type of culture. I cannot emphasise enough this has nothing to do with race. I'm know black people, people at university and elsewhere, close friends who are as hostile to this kind of thing as Starkey. I have a robust way of expressing myself, heavy with sardonic humour, as you will find if you decide to stick around here.

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  6. Piers Morgan is an opinionated self-promoter with such a limited repertoire he is an object of pathos, however he was an amoral editor who jeopardized the lives of British troops and who cares only for his own publicity which is not deserved. Regarding Starkey's well aimed comments, those who sell their identities out of fear, to belong to something they have no part of have really, to use a phrase from the American South, sold themselves down the river.

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  7. It's interesting that wherever you look, black people are at the bottom of the pile. As waves of other ethnic groups arrive they start at the bottom and rise, leaving the blacks at the bottom.

    When I lived in Singapore many years ago it was easy to observe that at the tops of the Chinese, Indian and Malay social piles, the people were lighter skinned. Why would that be I wonder?

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  8. Absolutely on the button. Piers Morgan is a media tart and a coward of the first order. As for David Starkey his honesty is refreshing and his intellect intact unlike Morgan and other twerps which litter British culturally Marxist broadcasting. Well said once again Ana.

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  9. Well I like a bit of robust polemic as much as any man, but I still think Starkey could have been slightly (if uncharacteristically!) more careful in the way that he expressed himself, although I was more astounded by his claim that one might presume, on hearing David Lammey speak, that he was white, that by the "whites are becoming black" thing (not least as the latter is patently true)

    To be more precise, I think it was a certain type of American black-dominated (but by no means exclusively so) "hip hop/gangsta" popular culture, vulgarised (as the French would say) in England by the mass media that was one inspiration for the backdrop to all this, one result of which is: people who watch too much TV and have no confident cultural identity of their own - hence the nonsense of calling the Met "the feds", for starters.

    I do think that lack of confident cultural identity of their own part is one of the key issues. Plus, to quote a black US hip-hop group, "Television, the drug of the nation, breeding ignorance and spreading radiation"

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  10. Where is the SS when you need them? Purge society, holocaust them! They are starting up in America too, they call this flash mobs.

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  11. Starkey argued against cultural poverty. Whether a certain section of the community embraces this culture or not is incidental.

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  12. Richard, absolutely,Morgan is the last person to play the self-righteous card.

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  13. Michael,as a counter-point I would just say that some of the cleverest people I know are black,people who have broken free of a cultural ghetto.

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  14. Nobby, yes, yes, it's an argument against the worst forms of cultural poverty,of betrayal,if you like.

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  15. Dominic, I'm sure you know the man and the style; he shoots from the hip. But there is no malice here, no racism, merely a cry of cultural despair. His comment about Lammey was clumsy, I agree, but all he was saying was that he would come across as part of the mainstream, not as the voice of a sub-culture. I like that quote. :-)

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  16. Anthony. we've had too much SS - Social Security - over the years, too much multi-culturalism, betraying so many people.

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  17. Dominic, I recall that television viewing figures were far higher in the 1970's than they are today.

    We are nearly there but not quite in other words.

    David Starkey remembers that in previous decades a significant number of Britain's youth was not in thrall to cultural poverty. Now it is.

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  18. Great article, Ana. Thanks for redirecting me here.

    It is beyond belief that anyone could be so brain-washed by political correctness as to see racism in David's comments - any of them.

    It has become the English disease. To misquote The Bard - "Cry racism, and let slip the dogs of war".

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  19. Thanks, Bearsy. The worst thing about it is the he is about to be silenced by an awful liberal consensus, political correctness at it's most virulent.

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  20. I am direly reminded of the Prime Minister's speech regarding the failure of state multi-culturalism earlier this year.

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