THAT awkward moment when you are defending David Starkey against the charge of racism and you inadvertedly give the appearance of simply guessing at, or confusing, someone’s Welsh sounding surname.
Former William Ellis boy Toby Young is quick to blog about Starkey’s challenging riots debate performance on Newsnight last night in which he quoted Enoch Powell, railed against rap music and concluded that ‘the problem is that the whites have become blacks’. One of the bizarre moments was when Starkey pulled out a piece of paper and started quoting rap ‘patois’ which he suggested glamourised the kind of violence we saw on Monday night.
Young uses his spiky Telegraph blog to disagree with one of the other studio guests, Owen Jones, the author of ‘Chavs: The demonisation of the working class’. Jones argues that Starkey was simply “tapping into racial prejudices” and is angry that the contribution of black people and communities seemed to be reduced during the debate to little more than spreading gang culture.Young says he misses the point.
It’ll be changed later but it’s shame then, given the subject is race and culture that Young’s piece has Owen Jones down as Owen Rees, and giving the look of a rushed writer who was thinking of that guy, that guy, that guy with the Welsh surname. Owen wotsit?, Phillips, Griffiths, Evans, Rees – that’s it – Rees. That’s the one I disagree with.
Funny thing is, Jones doesn’t even have a Welsh accent. Why should he? He grew up in Sheffield and Stockport. Someone else can argue that the Welsh have become the northerners.