Posts Tagged ‘ racism ’

The Dangerously Insane Season: Part 1 David Starkey

Given that this is a rather sedentary period in the Welsh political calendar, and with the Eisteddfod out of the way, cultural offerings are somewhat on the wane as well, I thought a silly season programme of commentary was in order, entitled ‘The Dangerously Insane Season’, an opportunity to muse on some of the more terrifying public figures who are currently attracting far too much public attention than they deserve. I really wanted to start this with Michelle Bachmann, but there is some confidence that the longer we hold off on her, the more bizarre ramblings she will produce to make use of. So, we will look closer to home for part 1, and someone doing their best to destroy any shreds of credibility left in their career recently; that would have to be David Starkey.

Starkey of course has had a long history of foot in mouth syndrome in Wales, where for many he is seen as a contemporary cultural ethnic cleanser. His histories of ‘Britain’, as inapplicable as that word might be to his actual historical commentaries, have consistently served to identify Britain as English, and the Royal family as the single most important body of people in the history of mankind. Wales, as well as Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland, have served as an unwelcome distraction, an obscure non-English cultural anomaly on the coat tales of the true Britain, the English Britain. As horrifyingly ignorant as Starkey has been to Wales and the other ‘peripheral’ cultures of Britain, I think it also fair to say that we have made peace with his Anglo centric gibbering, and written him off as a frustration best ignored, while he bellows forth his pure-England propaganda.

What nobody really expected though, was that Starkey would take his England only attitude, so frequently subjected upon Wales, and expand it to a whites only attitude on his pure England. It was with bafflement that the nation watched the BBC broadcast Starkey’s descent into racial madness, as he lambasted [his understanding of] black culture, as he described it, condemning black politicians for sounding like white politicians, and lamenting the transition of white children becoming black children. If this madness had passed you by, do sit through this:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14513517, it is one of the most staggering examples of racism ever to have been given a public platform on the BBC. Not even the BNP or the English Defence League have come out with such atrocious rantings, which should really put Starkey’s hate into perspective.

As a Welsh commentator who has long been frustrated, angered and at times incensed by Starkey’s disregard for Wales, it is in some respects with a degree of relief that he has come out with these views. Hopefully now others in Britain, especially the English and the BBC, can now see Starkey for what he really is, and always has been, a savage xenophobic little old man. One wonders if he has a copy of Mein Kampf stashed in his back pocket, which he feverishly grips at night, offering silent kisses to it during his hate inspired dreams of a pure white English only Starkey built utopia? Whether that happens or not is something we can only speculate at, but what can be said for certain, is this is clearly a dangerously insane man, and the BBC must think long and hard about ever giving him a platform on which to spout his views with a voice of authority. Here’s hoping the term of Starkey as BBC history correspondent is at an end, though knowing the BBCs approach to things, I wouldn’t bet on it.    

Roger Lewis – Showing it’s Okay to Hate Wales.

(I know BlogBanw has covered this already – see http://blogbanw.blogspot.com/2011/08/daily-mails-anti-welsh-venom.html , but it was too irritating an article to leave alone)

Following the attempts by some sections of the media to turn the English riots into a race row (see the Guardian 12/08/11 for some of the most recent commentary pieces that have attempted to develop this into a social commentary on how bad it is to be black in Britain today, regardless of the fact most rioters  were clearly white) in what can only be seen as some bizarre attempt to stimulate further unrest and localised hatred among communities, it’s refreshing to see that we have our very own hatemonger in Wales, directing his own brand of bizarre ire against the nation of his birth. In his diatribe at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/books/article-2024591/Exploited-raped-controlled-punished-English–mans-ambition-Welsh.html, Lewis seems intent on portraying a cultural image of Wales that is both backward in its cultural endeavours and retarded in its use of the Welsh language. He plummets the depths of ill conceived commentary by dismissing the Eisteddfod as a Klu Kluk Klan comparative, brazenly insults the Welsh language as a political tool, redundant for anyone alive in the country today, while backing up all of his observations with some of the most painfully inaccurate and outdated historical ‘evidence’ committed to print that hark back to historical interpretations of the 1960s. It is, in short, a hateful savage piece of journalism. One wonders what compels Lewis to be so hateful to his country of origin? One imagines that he might have been forced into ritual fallacio in his youth by someone draped in the flag of Glyn Dwr whilst humming the Welsh national anthem, for what else could drive someone, born of this country, to be so savage in their published work against it?

Frankly, it matters little what Lewis’ reasons are for being so hateful, or the fact that he is, what we should be concerned about is that national print media is allowed to get away with such things. As BlogBanw has already pointed out, were this to be any other community to be torn apart with such passion, let’s say, Black, Muslim orAsian communities, just for a starter, there would be incensed fury, and probable burnings outside the offices of the Daily Mail. That a national newspaper is allowed to infect the wider British understanding of Welsh cultural identity in this way, is a travesty. The sad fact that Lewis presents himself as a Welshman, gives his views some pathetic degree of credence to those London eyes flicking over his incendiary words. This must not be allowed. This hateful dirty little publication must be presented for what it is, and its little pit-bull of a so-called Welshman must be acknowledged for what he is as well, muck. There is no better word for it. Together they infest perceptions of Wales with a dirt that does not easily wash off of the eyes with which many English people will now see Wales, having read through their words.

One hopes that heavy and serious complaints are brought against the paper for its slander against our culture and our nation, and one hopes as well, in the nicest possible way, that Roger Lewis, whether he did or did not suffer the image I painted above in his youth, will indeed suffer something similar for his sins against the nation in the very near future.