David Starkey confronted for his "patronising" immigration comments

20 February 2020, 08:33

This is the moment that David Starkey was discussing immigration and Dreda Say Mitchell confronted him for making "patronising" comments about her.

Historian David Starkey was singing the praises of Britain: "We have a deep sense of rootedness, of cultural attachment, which has been astonishing in which it has embraced immigrant communities...in what I think is a genuinely extraordinary way." As he said this he gestured towards Dreda Mitchell.

Author Dreda Say Mitchell responded, "Don't you think that's a bit condescending, the way you said we embraced immigrants and looked at me? I was born in Plaistow. It just rang a bit patronising."

David insisted it was meant in the complete opposite way and compared the UK's treatment of immigrants to France where people with "her roots" would be treated differently.

"What, Plaistow?" Dreda asked and David asked her to be serious and she responded, "I am being serious. But this is the problem you look at me as something that's other. You said look at somebody like me, what does that actually mean?"

David again insisted the opposite, "We've been unique in Europe in the way in which a very diverse society has been created here."

He heralded Britain as a place of four proudly distinct countries.

Dreda countered, "Britain to me is many things, it is many colours, it is many regents, many generations. My big thing for Britain is I think about the young people. What I would love is to live in a society where we didn't make everyone feel success is about becoming a millionaire.

"All you need is four walls, some money for a holiday, some money for your kids, and to have a time to spend with each other. That is as simple as life should be. If we aim for that for everybody, everyone would have a great time in Britain."