Starkey courts controversy (again) by comparing Alex Salmond to Hitler


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The controversial historian, David Starkey, has managed to unite Scotland’s political parties in outrage after he compared SNP leader and Scottish first minister Alex Salmond to Hitler.

David-Starkey-Alex-Salmond
According to the Huffington Post, Starkey provoked gasps at an event hosted by the Bow Group in a House of Commons committee room on Wednesday when he declared:

“If you think about it, Alex Salmond is a democratic Caledonian Hitler, although some would say Hitler was more democratically elected.

“[For him] the English, like the Jews, are everywhere.”

Confirming the comparison was made, Nic Conner, a member of the Bow Group Council who was at the event, said:

“Dr Starkey began by questioning the myth that Alex Salmond is one of the greatest political leaders of our time when what he has done is a trick, tapping into the idea of a common enemy, in this case the English.

“He compared this, somewhat unfortunately, to Hitler.”

It’s not the first time Starkey has courted controversy in this way, having used an appearance in 2009 on Question Time to dub Scotland “a feeble little nation”.

 


See also:

Starkey’s race theories “would disgrace a first-year undergraduate” say academics 26 Aug 2011


 

In a country in which unity between the political parties is a rare occurrence, Starkey’s comments have had the effect of uniting Scotland’s main political parties in a way not seen for some time.

For the first minister, a spokesman responded:

“This offensive nonsense is actually an insult to Scotland and to the people of Scotland.

“David Starkey is getting dafter and crankier with every passing day. His litany of offensive comments are designed only to provoke outrage and thankfully England is blessed with far better historians than him.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour’s business manager at Holyrood, Paul Martin, argued:

“These comments are uncalled for and have no place in any political discourse.

“These are just the latest in a series of wayward ramblings from David Starkey about politics and wider public life which smack of attention-seeking and have left him thoroughly discredited.

“To be honest, I would no sooner ask his advice on matters of state than I would my cat on matters of dentistry.”

Jackson Carlow, deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives, continued by declaring:

“This is a man who makes his living by making insults and building up his own notoriety. Every time he opens his mouth he causes offence to someone.”

With the leader of the Scottish Lib Dems Willie Rennie warning:

“If this is the sort of trash he is going to serve up, then broadcasters in particular should make sure they don’t put him on any TV programmes from now on. He can’t be taken seriously as any sort of academic.”

Scottish Green Party co-convenor Patrick Harvie went on to conclude:

“Starkey’s latest infantile comments are among the most absurd I’ve ever heard – and I’ve sat through his Question Time performances.

“Most people know that I’m no great pal of Alex Salmond, but Scotland’s national identity has always been inclusive and multicultural, and I believe that the first minister is proud of that, just as we all should be.”

It is not the first time, however, that Salmond has been compared unfavourably to some pretty vile leader leaders.

In January, the BBC received several hundred complaints after Jeremy Paxman compared the SNP leader to Robert Mugabe whilst in the same month, Glasgow South MP, Labour’s Tom Harris, was forced to stand down as the party’s “Twitter Czar” after he also posted a video on the internet making a  comparison between Salmond and Hitler.

 


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  • Gerard

    Sorry guys – Tom Harris didn not compare Salmond to Hitler; he used a well worn clip from Downfall to parody Salmond. Only the most cynical person would see it this way. Everyone from Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron to footballers and movie stars have been parodied using this video.

    What I find slightly annoying is that although the parties have come together to condemn the comments, the SNP can’t help but continue to push the myth that a slight on Salmond/SNP is a slight on Scotland and the Scottish people.

  • john problem

    One doubts if anything Salmond might do will come near the 65 million dead brought about by Hitler. Unless he really dislikes the English and the Welsh and the Northern Irish…..

  • http://twitter.com/DanSmatterings Dan Vevers

    I think this thing you find slightly annoying might just be in your head.

  • Gerard

    Not so Dan.

    The SNP are trying to create this narrative. If you disagree with them you are ‘anti-Scottish'; if you disgree with them on the timing of the referendum you are ‘trying to deprive the people of Scotland their say’.

    No,we just disagree with the SNP.

  • Chick Addison

    If the attacks were only aimed at A.S. you’d have a point but they are not. The attack implied that the Scots were so supine or stupid they had allowed a dictator to be set up by pseudo-democratic means (Hitler’s election more democratic). This is a slander against ordinary people by a man with previous, who referred to the whole nation as “feeble”. I once listened to the idiot explain why Mary Queen of Scots was a vile person while Elizabeth 1 was a model of womanly and political virtue. As a republican, I found both claims ridiculous. It would appear that only unalloyed admiration of all things English is acceptable in his sad little world.
    The fact that he made these comments on Holocaust Remembrance Day belittled the magnitude of the real Nazi crimes against humanity and has rightly been condemned by the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities.

    In recent years, I’ve seen Scotland compared to Albania, Greece, Zimbabwe,… [insert Balkan or 3rd world country of choice]. I see no reason to slander England or its people to make a case for Scotland, and I’m happy to say that most people on this site seem to live by the same rule. If you’re annoyed, fair enough, but don’t waste time making half-hearted apologies for a man I’m sure you have little in common with.

  • Anonymous

    Who is we? The Red Rose Tory Party?

  • Gerard

    ‘we’ are simply the people who disagree with the SNP. If this group had a title I would have used it but there are many people who diagree with the SNP and ‘we’ encompasses all of them.

    ‘The Red Rose Tory Party’ – did you think of that all by yourself?

  • Anonymous

    Do you disagree? If so, why?

    Let’s face it. Labour gave up any pretensions to socialism years ago. They are now Tory-lite, or if you prefer, the Red Rose Tory Party.

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  • Anonymous

    It’s about time the media stopped pushing this Starky bloke down our throats. It’s just another example of the lasy entertainment they use to jangle our senses enough to keep us on their product. I’ve met plenty of eople with similar takes on life down the pub and after a couple of pints some of the words almost make sense.

  • Anonymous

    Ah yes, the politics of division.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a good demonstration of why success in one area – history – often has little real bearing on modern life.

  • Middenface

    I well remember spending the early seventies in a small industrial town in central Scotland when my dads Scottish owned company closed down the factory in England that my dad worked at and moved the production and some of the people to Scotland. At first we were treated with wonderful friendliness, then the SNP came to town and the attitude of a large minority of the people we knew changed, we kids got it worse being bullied by other kids quoting SNP rhetoric at us. I dont think Starkey is being unfair

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see you disagreeing…………..

  • Anonymous

    There are ratbags everywhere. Sorry about you experience. But why blame it on the SNP? Do you think they were co-ordinating your mistreatment?

  • Middenface

    They were certainly encouraging it

  • Anonymous

    That’s because you’re refusing to look.

  • Anonymous

    ???? Nu Labour doublespeak.

  • Anonymous

    And you have proof of this?

  • Anonymous

    No, your complete inability to read clear English (again)
    Also, again, I’m a left winger, not a Labourite.
    I know this is a hard distinction for the hard right…

  • Anonymous

    And there was me thinking that YOU were the right winger! I think you’ll find that YOU are using the politics of reaction, not me!

  • Anonymous

    Entirely typical of you.

  • Thathistorybloke

    It’s very disturbing to find myself in agreement with Willie rennie, let alone Jackson Carlaw.
    There is nothing wrong with Starkey being an English Nationalist, though I do remember the days long ago when he was a historian as well. Actually, he was never really all that great, he was just well-known from being on the telly a lot.

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