28 thoughts on “‘David Starkey is ill-suited to hold forth on topics other than the Tudors.’ Discuss.”

  1. I’ve already put a comment up on the DT, Sipu, expressing my despair at such “academics”. I got as far as “oppositional monolithic entities” before starting to giggle. These characters, professors of Social Theory and such from such far-flung centres of excellence as Winnipeg and Delhi, did not hear what Professor Starkey said, or if they did, failed to understand what he was getting at. God save us from such political correctness. If Starkey can only comment on Tudor history, this presumably restricts the rest of us too. Shall I confine myself to commenting on cake-baking, granddaughter-cuddling, bramble-picking and so on?

  2. Sheona, I think they are all only protecting their own backs. Those who are white do not want to be ‘tarnished’ as racists, while those of them who are not white would most probably never miss an opportunity to scream ‘racist’ to promote their own ‘struggle’ credentials. I put all this PC nonsense down to a complete absence of moral fibre. ‘No bottom’ as Francis Urquhart would have said.

    You are quite right, of course. Under their rules we would all be restricted from making commentary outside of our own field.

  3. Not knowing who else was on the programme that sparked this furore, I really can’t judge whether any of the other members of the panel were ‘qualified’ to discuss the riots either.

    I saw part of the Newsnight programme and would disagree with the statement:

    Instead of thoughtfully responding to criticism, he simply shouted it down; instead of debating his fellow panellists from a position of knowledge, he belittled and derided them.

    What I saw was a man trying to an express an opinion (whether one agreed with it or not) who was shouted down every time he opened his mouth and quite literally put his hands in the air – and gave up…

    I suspect that David was only asked to join the team because he is a controversial figure – and, frankly, he should have had more sense.

    As to whether he is suited to discuss anything other than the Tudors, perhaps no one should be allowed to express an opinion on anything other than their subject of expertise – and where would that get us?

    As far as I’m concerned, anyone is free to express an opinion – especially if they are asked to sit on a panel on TV for that purpose.

  4. It depends I suppose. If he was hailed by the presenter as an expert in socio-economic-histori-testicles or some such then the Beeb was very naughty for that. If he was simply a celeb brought in because he is known to have extremish views on the matter then thats show biz innit.

    Of course he has the right to free speech, and opinions are like bumholes everybody has one. Its what forum they are given to express their views that counts. The McCartneys for example, extraudinarily famous for the music but they then went on to abuse the forum with their vegetarian nonsense. sCat-ty Stevens and his bonkers religious mantra. Sports personalities suddenly becoming some kind of ambassador for world trade, absolutely barking.

  5. I recall the satirical idea of the ‘Charlie George Chat Show’. Horses for courses is no longer PC, obviously.

  6. I think you only have to look at the list of the “academicians” and their disciplines to realise the full story. None of them seem in anyway in touch with reality.

    What he said would be generally agreed with by a large proportion of the population. The way he said it was not very subtle or clever.

  7. Oh well, that’s it then.
    If you want to talk TADIL-J, I’m your man. Otherwise I’d better keep stum. 🙄

  8. I’m not sure about protecting their own backs, Sipu. It strikes me that it’s much easier for the less intellectual to scream “racist/fascist/etc” than to formulate a proper argument. A lot of these pc characters don’t seem to possess what I’ve seen described as the “intellectual bandwidth” to debate properly. As for the non-causasians, they remind me of the book “Richer than all his tribe” by Nicholas Montsarrat I think, where the new representative of a Pacific nation is being introduced to the UN and told that anything that displeases him should be labeled as racist or neo-colonialist without any consideration of the facts.

    Please, Bearsy, what is TADIL-J?

  9. Sheona – it was my last area of ‘expert specialism’ before I retired.
    Also known as ‘TDL-J’ and as ‘Link 16’ – try this for size! 🙂

  10. Ha, Bearsy, interesting stuff. But I have to confess, this was always one area that I struggled with. Perhaps you could explain why it was 960 megahertz and not 958 as I would have assumed.

    “UHF LOS. The JTIDS/MIDS terminal operates between 960 and 1215 megahertz
    (MHz). The disadvantage of employing these UHF frequencies is their possible conflict
    with identification friend or foe (IFF) navigation aids and their limit to LOS

  11. You have a point Sheona, but equally it is easier for the less intellectual to scream” liberal/pc/etc. than to formulate a “proper” argument!

    It works both ways.

    All it means, in reality, is that many people are determined to believe that they are right and are lazy enough to label those with whom they disagree as the above.

  12. Sipu and Bearsy – WTF (to use a recently debated acronym) are you two talking about?

    In my world electricity comes out of the wall. End of.



  13. I think you would find on comparison, Araminta, that the “racist/fascist” screech has been used much more often over the last 13 years whenever anyone suggested that uncontrolled immigration was not a blessing and gave facts and figures to prove it. This fact now seems to have been widely accepted as correct. Perhaps the pendulum is now swinging the other way, but surely all these clever academics could have produced a reasoned criticism of what Professor Starkey said without resorting to phrases such as “oppositional, monolithic entities”. Seems to me that they’re still trying to batter down the opposition without debate.

  14. I would agree, Sheona.

    Moreover, the terms racist / fascist are usually from those trying to seek the ‘high moral’ ground – and the words themselves have carried such negative connotations for so long that their use has, more often than not, silenced opposition. I think that the overuse of these words has diminished their value – and people will no longer be silenced by their use.

  15. Sheona and Boadicea.

    Why would anyone be silenced by these labels? Obviously, Governments seek to do so, but it has never worked, has it?

    Shutting down debate is exactly what each side is attempting to do, and each side in this debate is claiming the “high moral ground”.

    Overuse, exactly!

  16. Not at all, Araminta. Those who scream ‘racist / fascist’ claim the high moral ground… those who state ‘Liberal / PC” are claiming the ‘reality-check’ position….


  17. This is, sadly, par for the course in the leftist nutosphere. Starkey’s comments were not well-constructed, but he does have a right to say them anyway he pleases. I hear far, far worse on a daily basis from the left and no one seems to challenge it. Rather, it’s increasingly being accepted as main-stream leftist thought. It seems to be little wonder that in some parts of the world the actual sway the left has is getting smaller and smaller. Perhaps the blatant hypocrisy of one side being allowed to say whatever they please, no regard being paid to their actual qualifications, and the other side being silenced is becoming all too obvious.

  18. O Zangado :

    Sipu and Bearsy – WTF (to use a recently debated acronym) are you two talking about?

    In my world electricity comes out of the wall. End of.



    Actually, OZ, to be pedantic, it is not an acronym it is an initialism. An acronym would be something like ‘laser’, ‘light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation’ and ‘radar’, ‘radio detection and ranging’.

    Bearsy, it was a indeed a game the purpose of which was to have lesser mortals regard me with same awe, in all things technical, as they have for you. In the case of OZ, it seems to have worked, but I should now confess that I have not the foggiest idea what that paragraph meant.

  19. To be utterly pedantic about it, I reckon it is an acronym. It stands for Tactical Data Link and it’s always been pronounced as ‘tad – ull”, ‘cos that’s the natural way to say “T .. D .. L”, but for many years it was written TADIL. As of about 5 years ago, the powers that be changed the preferred spelling to TDL, making TADIL deprecated. So, although I spelled it TADIL, being an old fogey, it is now actually TDL-J, and is an acronym.

    Although most people call it “Link 16” (NATO terminology as distinct from US Joint Services terminology). The “J” refers to the fact that it uses “J” series messages. “16” refers to its position in a series of links, which started with Link 1. The latest is Link 22, which uses “F” series messages and it doesn’t have a TADIL (TDL) designation because it was a joint (NATO/USA) development.

    The frequency hopping pattern includes dead frequencies to avoid (or lessen) interference with SSR/IFF (1,030 & 1,090 MHz). Other navigation services also share the band, but I forget, if I ever knew, what might be magic about 958 versus 960. There are regulations in all countries about the distance that military aircraft must be from civilian airspace if they want to transmit on Link 16, and regulations about when, about power levels and in some cases which hopping frequencies can be employed. The regulations are different in each country.

    My primary involvement was in the system use of this and other “links”, and in the development of associated processing equipment, and cross-country security aspects.

  20. No honestly, I really was ‘avin a larf’. I plucked a random paragraph and a random figure, 960, and changed it 958 to make people think that I had an idea of what it was about. It’s all Strine to me.

  21. Er, yes, Sipu, I think I realised that, don’t you? – hence my initial refusal to be drawn. It’s only now that you have ‘fessed up that I have addressed your question. 😀

  22. Well, yes I did but then you went on to address the 958-960 issue, so I thought that perhaps you had taken me seriously after all. I am glad no emoticons were harmed in the course of this little exchange; 😉

  23. No, not at all – I was just taking the opportunity to show off! 😆
    Or perhaps to convince myself that my memory hadn’t yet failed completely. 😦

  24. A touch naïve, Araminta. An MP, for example, does not wish to see in the headlines “Racist/fascist Smith …” after he has expressed disquiet about Labour’s uncontrolled immigration policy and been shouted down by the Labour MPs (aka as Pavlov’s dogs) in the HoC. It must be very difficult to present a reasoned argument in the face of a pack of baying hyenas, not to mention the BBC.

    Thanks for the explanation, Bearsy.

  25. You’re right, again, Sheona!

    No MP will set him / herself up to be labelled a racist or a fascist, but they wouldn’t have the same problem with being called liberal or PC.

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