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Showing posts with label Vanished Kingdoms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vanished Kingdoms. Show all posts

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Eejits out in force today–Herald Letters and Starkey

I mentioned in my last blog that among the most ridiculous suggestions by unionists as they tramped their sour grapes after the May election results –still advanced by a few eejits - was that the SNP didn’t have a mandate, despite the landslide vote, because of the turnout. Right on cue, we have in Herald Letters today one FG Hay from Largs, whose favourite word seems to be gullibility. And there’s a bit more name-calling, in best unionist speak from two others.

But they’re more than balanced out by the Rev. Archie Black, who offers some calm facts about the Union, the UK, independence and Europe.

Dr. David Starkey, the British Empire personified as spluttering indignation, was accused by some academics of politicising a debate on the teaching of history in schools. The Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge, Richard Evans suggested that Starkey and his enthusiastic fan Michael Gove were “advocating myth and memory rote learning … to feed children self-congratulatory narrow myths of history”.

Starkey also appears to believe that most of Britain is “mono-culture” and a lot of it, especially where he comes from, is “absolutely and unmitigatingly white”.

I can’t imagine you living anywhere else, Dr. Starkey, given your views. It’s a pity Niall Ferguson has gone back to America in the huff, and can’t help, but take heart – you still have Andrew Roberts

A valuable mind-cleanser after listening to Starkey, Roberts or Ferguson is always Norman Davies, historian and author of The Isles, and fortuitously his new book Vanished Kingdoms arrived today with a satisfying thud.

A quote from the early pages already says a great deal – I’m just getting into it now …

“ … the British risk falling into a state of self-delusion which tells them that their condition is still as fine, that their institutions are above compare, that their country is somehow eternal. The English, in particular are blissfully unaware that the disintegration of the United Kingdom began in 1922 and will probably continue; they are less aware of complex identities than are the Welsh, the Scots or the Irish. Hence, if the end does come, it will come as a surprise.”

But not to Dr. Starkey or Michael Gove – that’s what prompts them to ever greater flights of rhetoric. Rule Britannia – while you can …