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Starkey attacks 'victimhood status'

Published 11/04/2015

David Starkey said evidence suggested women tended to be of average intelligence, whereas men were either
David Starkey said evidence suggested women tended to be of average intelligence, whereas men were either "very, very bright or very thick"

Ethnic minority groups and disabled people should not "assume the status of victim", according to historian David Starkey.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Daily Telegraph, the television presenter, 70, gave his views on the current political class, claiming he did not believe any politician was equipped to be prime minister and the "real talent has left politics".

He also said evidence suggested women tended to be of average intelligence, whereas men were either "very, very bright or very thick", but denied he is sexist.

He hit out at Baroness (Doreen) Lawrence, the mother of race murder victim Stephen, for following what he claimed was the approach of US civil rights leaders after Martin Luther King's death by "treating blacks as victims".

He said: "They espoused victimhood and violence. And I think to a dangerous extent that has happened in this country. With all the praise that's been lavished on Doreen Lawrence, she's constantly treating blacks as victims.

"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 upon you taking control. About you refusing to be a victim.

"And I find it very, very sad the sway there is now this perpetual procession of people - group after group - wanting to assume the status of victim. It's catastrophic."

Starkey, who said he was "born quite seriously disabled", added people with physical and mental disabilities should not be portrayed as victims.

And he claimed fears of Islamophobia were victimising Muslim, making them " therefore somehow privileged and exempt".

A recent poll showed many Muslims reported higher community tensions, with one in three saying they felt under greater suspicion in the last few years, while 44% of non-Muslims reporting being more wary.

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