Prominent historian and TV presenter Dr David Starkey says that too many minority groups play the victim card.
“I find it very, very sad that there is now this perpetual procession of people – group after group – wanting to assume the status of victim. It’s catastrophic,” said Starkey, who himself was born into two “victim” groups. As well as being gay he was born “quite seriously disabled” with two club feet which had to be corrected with painful operations.
“All forms of liberation – and I speak as gay and I was in all this when it wasn’t fashionable, when you didn’t get your CBE for being a prominent poofter, when there were actual penalties for doing it – all of them depend on you taking control. About you refusing to be a victim.”
He told the Telegraph:
“The constant way in which far too many people with physical and mental disability… again, it’s presented perpetually as victims rather than saying, ‘You have this problem, you’ve got to go out and master it.’ Freedom can only come from inside. The whole cry of Islamophobia, it’s trying to make Muslims into victims and therefore somehow privileged and exempt.”
Nor does the outspoken historian have much time for the cult of black victimhood, which he argues would have been anathema to Martin Luther King. “He advocated that the way to black equality was through pride and peace”, said Starkey. But instead, America “went very quickly into the direction of the very different sorts of leader who effectively espoused the opposite of that. They espoused victimhood and violence.”
The same is true in Britain, he says, citing the veneration accorded Doreen Lawrence, mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, and now frequently consulted as an expert on “race” issues.
“With all the praise that is lavished on [her], she’s constantly treating blacks as victims,” he said.
The straight-talking conservative also noted that there was a black propensity to violence. “If you look at the statistics – indeed! If you look at mugging, shootings and stabbings. The figures I’m afraid are unchallengeable,” he says.
He says that one of the reasons behind this is cultural, explaining: “You have an endorsement of types of violence. You have particular sorts of family breakdown.
Asked if he was racist, Starkey replied: “The term has become totally without meaning.”
“I think there are cultural differences, there are all sorts of differences. It’s very odd, isn’t it? We’re on the one hand told there are no genetic differences between races and yet on the other hand it is very striking how different, more or less, racial groups seem to perform athletically, intellectually, commercially, whatever. Who knows? I don’t know. I’m not a geneticist.”
Despite being unimpressed with David Cameron Starkey says that he will be voting Conservative in May, if only to avoid a Labour government run by Ed Miliband, whom he describes as “poison.”
“He is a man of high ambition and low talent – the worst possible combination. His whole language at the moment is soak the rich, hate the rich. It’s snide, it’s mean-spirited and, of course, it defies the truth that economies depend on the intelligent, the entrepreneurial, those who were created with money. One may not like it, one may disapprove of it, but all the nice things that we want come essentially from their abilities.”
But the historian was hardly lavish with his praise of Cameron’s Conservatives either, saying in a “muddle-headed and sentimental” way they vowed to protect the NHS, education and overseas aid causing “wildly asymmetric cuts”.
He was especially critical of the cuts in defence spending which have made a “mockery” of Britain’s armed forces and of the cuts in police spending “at exactly the moment when there’s a serious risk of the increase in domestic terrorism.”
Speaking about his recently published book, Magna Carta, he said “We have the oldest functioning political system in Europe and it goes back directly to Magna Carta. There is a continuous line of constitutional and political development from Magna Carta. There have been interruptions to it, but it has never been ruptured. In other words, there’s never been a real revolution.”