Author Topic: 'Feeble country' jibe sparks row  (Read 1546 times)

Offline Dr Gonzo

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'Feeble country' jibe sparks row
« on: April 25, 2009, 10:40:41 AM »
MPs are demanding an apology over remarks made by the outspoken historian Dr David Starkey.

Dr Starkey described Scotland as a "feeble little country" and said Robert Burns was a "deeply boring provincial poet."

He made the comments on the BBC's Question Time programme after he was asked if he supported a public holiday for St George's Day.

Dr Starkey has refused to apologise and says he stands by his comments.

To boos from the audience, Dr Starkey said: "If we decide to go down this route of having an English national day, that means we become a feeble little country, just like the Scots and the Welsh and the Irish.

  His attitude and flippancy insults Scots and he should apologise

Brian Donohoe
MP for Central Ayrshire
"Once upon a time England was a great country. Remember we're distinguished by the fact that we don't have national dress.

"We don't make a great fuss about Shakespeare like the Scots do about that deeply boring provincial poet Burns."

He said England did not have national music "like the awful bagpipes".

"What the Scots and Welsh are, are typical small nations with a romantic 19th Century-style nationalism," he said.

After Thursday's broadcast, some viewers rang the BBC switchboard to complain, with one describing his remarks as "racist and hurtful to the Scottish people."

Another said the comments were offensive and derogatory.

'Nothing to add'

Russell Brown, Labour MP for Dumfries and Galloway, said: "This is a silly remark but one that many people will find offensive.

"Mr Starkey's apparent willingness to write off the entire nation of Scotland as 'feeble' shows that a knowledge of history doesn't make you understand the reality of modern life in different parts of the UK.

"Scots don't spend their days walking around in kilts playing the bagpipes and reciting Tam o'Shanter, but that doesn't make us any less proud of that part of our history and culture."

Brian Donohoe, Labour MP for Central Ayrshire, said: "Some people don't like Burns' poems, and there is no requirement that they should.

"But to describe Burns' vibrantly engaging work as 'boring' suggests that Dr Starkey doesn't know what he's talking about.

"His attitude and flippancy insults Scots and he should apologise. "

For the Scottish Government, Culture Minister Michael Russell said: "These are unfortunate and silly comments from someone who has a proven track record in courting controversy.

"I would be delighted to welcome Dr Starkey to Scotland so that he can discover the truth about our country and find out for himself about our rich culture and history.

"Sadly, I fear that there may be no point in extending such an invitation, as Dr Starkey seems to relish being ill-informed and does not appear to have an open mind when it comes to Scotland and what we have to offer as a nation."

A spokesman for the historian said he made the comments in an open debate and had "nothing more to add."



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Offline twmcat

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Re: 'Feeble country' jibe sparks row
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2009, 12:38:19 AM »
He sounds like a pathetic little turd ;)
The pic is Tytti Porkka of Finland - I actually took it myself, but have lost all my pics and have no more :(

Offline Dr Gonzo

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Re: 'Feeble country' jibe sparks row
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2009, 11:25:43 AM »
What he said was historically inacurate, which is a bit worrying for a historian....he seems to be some sort of medieval David Irvine...


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Offline idh1

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Re: 'Feeble country' jibe sparks row
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2009, 07:17:58 PM »
Agreed. The man's an arse.

Edinburgh is one of my all-time favourite places. Now I'll have to apologise for being English on my next visit.

Offline twmcat

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Re: 'Feeble country' jibe sparks row
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2009, 11:48:03 PM »
Agreed. The man's an arse.

Edinburgh is one of my all-time favourite places. Now I'll have to apologise for being English on my next visit.

No decent English people ever need to apologise when they visit Wales (and I suppose this also applies to Scotland).

As far as I'm concerned, the ones I dislike are those who do any of the following:

1. Call me a foreigner when I'm in my own country.
2. Assume I hate English people just because I don't like being ruled by a UK government that is voted in mainly by people living in England (wait till the next election - Tories will be in power, but they'll have very few MPs in Wales or Scotland).
3. Assume that, since I live in a tourist town, then I'm happy for people to amble across roads in front of me because they're on holiday (try doing that in an English town / city that isn't a tourist area!)
4. Tell me that they pay my taxes for me.

I hope that doesn't sound like a rant - it's not intended to be - I'm just saying that I like decent English people - and most are decent.

And - don't forget, there are quite a few Welsh and Scottish idiots too  ;)

I won't start naming them here.

Ok, I will - Craig Bellamy for one  :D
The pic is Tytti Porkka of Finland - I actually took it myself, but have lost all my pics and have no more :(

Offline Dr Gonzo

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Re: 'Feeble country' jibe sparks row
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2009, 08:16:08 PM »
....Or Billy Connolly or Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor.  I was on the St Mirren forum after their 'V' sign antics as they sat on the bench at the Scotland - Iceland game... I commented 'what professionals, what performers, what pricks...' and that got me a two week ban, ha....


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Offline twmcat

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Re: 'Feeble country' jibe sparks row
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2009, 12:38:35 AM »
....Or Billy Connolly or Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor.  I was on the St Mirren forum after their 'V' sign antics as they sat on the bench at the Scotland - Iceland game... I commented 'what professionals, what performers, what pricks...' and that got me a two week ban, ha....

Well - I did think of mentioning them, but I'm not Scottish  :D

I'm sure you made good use of your 2 week ban  ;)
The pic is Tytti Porkka of Finland - I actually took it myself, but have lost all my pics and have no more :(

Offline Dr Gonzo

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Re: 'Feeble country' jibe sparks row
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2009, 11:09:29 AM »
....Or Billy Connolly or Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor.  I was on the St Mirren forum after their 'V' sign antics as they sat on the bench at the Scotland - Iceland game... I commented 'what professionals, what performers, what pricks...' and that got me a two week ban, ha....

Well - I did think of mentioning them, but I'm not Scottish  :D

I'm sure you made good use of your 2 week ban  ;)

I'm not on it that much and I didn't notice until it was finished....I was once barred fro a couple of weeks on another forum for having the 'Screw global warming, lets fly' ad as my signature...I had it on here for months until I got bored with it and took it off myself, he he...


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Offline twmcat

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Re: 'Feeble country' jibe sparks row
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2009, 01:30:08 AM »
....Or Billy Connolly or Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor.  I was on the St Mirren forum after their 'V' sign antics as they sat on the bench at the Scotland - Iceland game... I commented 'what professionals, what performers, what pricks...' and that got me a two week ban, ha....

Well - I did think of mentioning them, but I'm not Scottish  :D

I'm sure you made good use of your 2 week ban  ;)

I'm not on it that much and I didn't notice until it was finished....I was once barred fro a couple of weeks on another forum for having the 'Screw global warming, lets fly' ad as my signature...I had it on here for months until I got bored with it and took it off myself, he he...

 ;D


Back to Starkey - I read that he he regarded Scotland as "insignificant" as they had only 5m people compared with his England's 45m.

I wonder if he ever worries what China thinks of England?  ;D
The pic is Tytti Porkka of Finland - I actually took it myself, but have lost all my pics and have no more :(

Offline Dr Gonzo

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Re: 'Feeble country' jibe sparks row
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2009, 10:32:43 AM »
What about city states such as Venice which became a great naval power dispite having a small population indeed most of the ancient world was full of these including Greece and Rome. These didn't have hugh populations and yet they are still mentioned today every now and again....


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Offline twmcat

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Re: 'Feeble country' jibe sparks row
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2009, 01:38:06 AM »
Precisely - the guy's an educated idiot ;)
The pic is Tytti Porkka of Finland - I actually took it myself, but have lost all my pics and have no more :(