David Starkey and Laurie Penny debate what it is to be disgrace to the Left and Right
WHEN historian David Starkey, pursuivant courtier and educator in Queenie Elizabethans, met writer Laurie Pennie at the Sunday Times Festival of Education at Wellington college in Berkshire, something happened. The elite had a row.
Penny called Starkey a “racist”, a “troll” and a “bigot”. (We’ve been here before.)
Starkey opined that the nine Asian paedophiles in Rochdale who raped and sexually primed white girls exhibited behaviour “entrenched in the foothills of the Punjab or wherever it is”. The men needed to be “inculcated in the British ways of doing things”.
Ah, those Victoria values that says raped children should be seen and not heard. The most prolific Rochdale rapist is Shabir Ahmed, 59, (pictured) who was convicted of 30 more rapes in a separate trial. Judge Mushtaq Khokhar adjourned sentencing until August 2 for reports.
You wonder how many more victims are out there – or at home, sat in the quiet?
Penny, a former Wellington pupil, said the TV historian was “playing xenophobia and national prejudice for laughs”.
Starkey replied: “I will not be lectured to by a jumped-up public school girl like you. I will not have it!”
The best line was saved for Claire Fox, director of the Institute of Ideas (yep, really, ideas need to be institutionalised), who told Penny: “You started it, you called him a racist. It is intolerable.”
Penny answered: “He is a racist.”
Fox then delivered the delicious line: “You are a disgrace to women and you are a disgrace to the left.”
Penny later added: “David Starkey is a troll and that’s what trolls do. He’s a bigot and that’s what bigots do. When you call a racist a racist, you get attacked.”
In the Independent, whereon the news is worthy of the front-page, Penny calls
Starkey a “Bigotaurus Ridiculus”, who can “be found waddling free in the more exclusive watering-holes of London even in the early years of the 21st century, and although most at home in oak-panelled environments…
“…When I criticised Starkey for playing xenophobia for laughs, and asked why, as an advocate of Britishness, he lives for part of the year in the United States, the dinosaur showed its claws. Leaping to his feet, Starkey began with a furious ad hominem attack before marching up to me, wagging his finger in my face, shouting abuse, swearing and showering me with flecks of spittle. If you call a bigot a bigot in this country, you can expect to be attacked, but I didn’t expect the sheer thuggishness behind Starkey’s brand of cosy prejudice to reveal itself so publicly.”
In other news, Starkey gets oak-panelled..