Were you up for Starkey?
Unfortunately Mrs Angry was. She sat and watched Newsnight last night in utter disbelief, as the allegedly eminent historian and broadcaster David Starkey was allowed to sit in a BBC studio and calmly tell the nation that the recent riots in London were caused by, wait for it: 'black culture' adopted by white people ...
Take a look at today's Guardian & the article by Ben Quin, if you want a full report of what he said.
Starkey launched into a volley of outrageous, deliberately provocative accusations, stating:"the problem is that the whites have become black", and then telling us he had been re-reading Enoch Powell's 'Rivers of Blood ' speech, claiming:
"His prophesy was absolutely right in one sense. The Tiber did not foam with blood but flames lambent, they wrapped around Tottenham and wrapped around Clapham,"
"But it wasn't inter-community violence. This is where he was absolutely wrong."
Starkey then informed fellow Newsnight guest Owen Jones, who wrote the recently published 'Chavs: the Demonisation of the Working Classes', "What has happened is that a substantial section of the chavs that you wrote about have become black."
"The whites have become black. A particular sort of violent destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion and black and white boys and girls operate in this language together.
"This language which is wholly false, which is this Jamaican patois that has been intruded in England and that is why so many of us have this sense of literally of a foreign country."
Just for good measure, he asked us to listen to Tory MP David Lammy: " ... an archetypal successful black man. If you turn the screen off so that you are listening to him on radio you would think he was white."
So: he invokes the prophecy of Enoch Powell: oh, except that he has to admit that what Powell predicted hasn't actually transpired after all. Disappointingly, blood didn't flow, although 'flames lambent' (nice phrase, not Powell's, of course) wrapped themselves around Tottenham and Clapham.
Take a look at Powell's speech, if you are not familiar with it. Be warned: he may not have mentioned lambent flames, but his raving is punctuated with references to 'negroes', and 'wide grinning picanninies', and recounts ludicrous stories of poor white widows objecting to 'negro' neighbours, and having shit stuffed through their letter boxes as a consequence. Not quite as many classical allusions as you might expect, perhaps, from a gentleman and a scholar like what Powell was.
Yes, there were some fires this week: not exactly on a scale with the sack and burning of Rome, though, Starkey, was it? And so in fact Powell's prophecy was not correct either in scale or substance or in terms of definition, as you yourself pointed out, as the cause was not inter-community violence. In fact, by your twisted logic, it could be argued that a common interest in spontaneous criminality this week has brought the community together, if in a somewhat unexpected fashion.
Ah: but then here we go, we must understand that this was not an event that demonstrated the innate lawlessness of a disaffected, amoral generation. This, according to the professor, was the result of bad black people infecting good white people with their badness. White culture=good, black culture=bad. And of course, according to Starkey, all white culture is the same, and so is black culture.
All black culture is gangsta, you see. And gangsta culture is, hang on, what did he say ... oh, it uses a 'Jamaican patois'. Aha. yes. Jamaican patois. How quaint. Nothing to do with urban American gangs and street language, you understand. And worst of all, it is of course foreign.
The good news, though, is that if you are black, and behave yourself, you know, give up the old patois and looting trainers and moaning about racism and being unemployed, you might end up sounding like a white man, and if people can only be persuaded to keep their eyes closed when you are speaking, you might even sound like an MP. Or you could go on telly and make a name for yourself on Newsnight, insulting the nation's intelligence, and being paid for it by the BBC. Easy money: smash and grab. There's aspiration for you, you young folk of Tottenham and Clapham.