The Rambles of Neil Monnery

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David Starkey on Question Time sounded like a paranoid art student on a pretty nasty LSD trip

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I really do like long headlines don’t I?

Last night I switched up the laptop at around 10ish as I had a giant energy gap and went to bed. I had no plans to watch BBC Question Time but turns out I was still awake for it (and subsequently still awake til gone 2) so I stuck it on and tried to fall asleep. As I wasn’t on twitter last night I have no idea what everyone els thought of him and whether or not I’m alone on this island with my PoV but as Kel would say to Kenan ‘awwww here goes…’

Every week I think someone is an idiot and this week it was David Starkey. Now I’ll put this out there right now – he is easily superior to me in education and is without a shadow of a doubt far more intelligent than I ever will be but despite Jon Heyman’s belief that you cannot say anything bad about a person you’ve never met I’m happy to say that I thought he was nuts (Starkey not Heyman…).

The first question was about Libya and what we as a country should do. His thoughts were essentially that we can’t do anything as people can only get freedom by doing it themselves so if Gaddafi wants to mass-genocide his own people then we should stand aside and let that happen because that is the only way they will learn. He obviously didn’t say that out right because that would’ve been all over the news but he got no applause for what he said which was basically ‘We can’t help them win freedom so we shouldn’t try and protect them with military force’. I think that is certainly a fair representation of what he said.

As one of those liberal types that thinks we are all human and if someone is killing someone else and we have a chance to stop it then we should do so then obviously I was in my arms over this (metaphorically obviously – I was still trying to go to sleep). So I was already het up as it were.

Next question was about Prince Andrew’s links to Libya and most panellists basically said they didn’t know in great detail about the story so chose not to address it directly. Fair enough. Starkey though used the question to attack Tony Blair for doing deals with Gaddafi that led to him giving up his chemical weapon research and funding terrorism in exchange for oil. Yeah Tony Blair really was evil making sure an insane leader didn’t develop weapons that if he had them at this stage would have killed tens of thousands of his own people. Yeah, so evil…

Also as an aside he made a very sarcastic and nasty comment about Prince Andrew and intellectual corruption which was totally uncalled for. Whatever you think about the Duke of York this was a guy who went to war for Queen and Country and took enemy fire during the Falklands Conflict even though as the Queen’s son he could easily have been removed from front line duty. For that both he and Prince Harry should always have our respect. Whether he’s Mensa quality or not shouldn’t be sniggered at by anyone.

The next question was on Rupert Murdoch and the deal to him to take full control at BSkyB. Starkey used this opportunity in this question to attack…Tony Blair. It is like this is a pattern. Yet again talking about the deal in the desert with Gaddafi. He stated that Murdoch had always been a supporter of Blair and New Labour until recently implying that Blair and Murdoch are as evil as each other. We all know that Murdoch supports whoever will win. That is his way and his company’s way (although he still wanted to back Brown but his son and Rebecca Wade persuaded him that would be an unwise move in the long term influentially).

The disease of Blairism, Interventionalism, and Corruption runs deep in this government as well he says. Scary stuff. He goes on to point out that he doesn’t care one jot about who owns Sky but just hates Blairism and Blair and anything and everything he did.

Finally we come to the my tricky question of the Christian couple who cannot foster any more children after saying that if a kid in their care wanted to talk about being gay they would tell the child that it is morally wrong.

I will say this. This is not an easy case at all and both sides have very compelling arguments. I can see why the Courts had a hard time with this one. Starkey is openly gay and ended his opening gambit with this, ‘Speaking as someone who is gay and had a mother who is Christian and passionately hated and opposed it, the hatred and opposition made me what I am’.

So in essence he is happy he had a hard upbringing as that allowed him to be who he is today. He is therefore implying that kids should have the same trials and tribulations because if they get love and affection from their parents then they’ll not turn out to be as good in the long run.

Let me say this. What horse shit.

Liam Hallian who is an Economist and Columnist for the Sunday Telegraph said that the decision was insane. The couple were in line to foster kids between five and eight and kids that young don’t know anything about sexuality so this hypothetical situation would never turn up. I have to say that is not accurate. Kids of a very young age do have questions about this and they are even taught it at school at that age these days. Questions are going to crop up at school and in the playground. To think that it would never cross the minds of any kid in their care is quite frankly delusional.

Iain Duncan-Smith on the panel was the only one who clearly looked at the case in detail and made the key point that a foster parent is not a parent. The job of a foster carer is to bring up the foster child in a caring environment in a way dictated to by the state as they are in state care. Therefore if the state says that homosexuality is not wrong then no foster carer should enforce their personal views on the matter on to any foster child. That seems relatively straightforward to me.

To close I have seen some performances on Question Time in my life but last night I really wondered if I had seen a more cynical hatred of the world we live in and I don’t think I have. Everyone has to suffer and everyone needs to have as much pain as possible in their lives to make them a better person.

Forgive me for saying this but I do not believe a word of it. We are all wired differently and whilst some people will come through a bad upbringing with a better chance of success, many many more will fall by the wayside and have awful lives.

I just hope I never become as downbeat on society and the world as the historian as David Starkey is because if I do, I suspect I will not enjoy life one jot.

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Written by neilmonnery

March 4th, 2011 at 1:08 pm

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  1. Thanks for this. I saw the idiot Starkey sorry, stark raving bonkers IDIOT Starkey ripping into Tony Blair a couple of times, including as you point out for getting him to do away with his WMD and I couldn’t watch his tripe any more. Before I switched off in disgust I did notice that after one of his diatribes against Blair he delivered a killer line – “the picture of Blair embracing Gaddafi will go down in the anals…” etc. He paused, expecting huge applause, and got precisely NONE. This gave me hope that the Question Time audiences aren’t always as dimwitted as they tend to seem to be these days.

    Was going to blog on Starkey but still catching up on other stuff and life is short. Will link to this. Thanks again.

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