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> Glasgow: A State-subsidised Backwater?, English historian condemns city on BBC
GG
post 26th Oct 2010, 07:34pm
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David Starkey, one of Britain's most conspicuous historians, has claimed that Scotland's largest city is a "state-subsidised backwater" whose profile has been in near free-fall for decades, resulting in Glasgow now being a provincial city of little importance in the world.

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Dr David Starkey, CBE, FSA

Dr Starkey, who once referred to Scotland as a "feeble country", made his controversial remarks on the BBC radio programme 'Start The Week' during a discussion about the art and life of Alasdair Gray. Speaking as the city's poorest inhabitants brace themselves for the impact of Tory cuts, the right wing academic said:
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"Glasgow is an interesting city but it is not the world ... Isn’t Glasgow infinitely more provincial now than it was in the first half of the 20th century? The only thing that connected it with the world was industry, it is now a mere state-subsidised backwater."

Amongst those annoyed by Dr Starkey's remarks was Scotland's pre-eminent historian, Professor Tom Devine, who said:
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"It is worth noting that when Glasgow was the Second City of the Empire, the period Starkey regards as its halcyon years, it was a city mired in deep and endemic poverty, and had the worst housing problem in western Europe.

Modern Glasgow is a tale of two cities. There is the city of relative deprivation, and the drugs and alcohol problems that attend that, but those are found in any large city in the world, even Mr Starkey's beloved London. And there is the other city, one that, despite the catastrophic cycle of deindustrialisation, has gone a long way to an urban reinvention.

There are cities, even in the US, that would like to emulate Glasgow. It has the largest shopping centre outside London, it has been described as the European Capital of Cool and it has a considerable reputation in its non-industrial economy, in the arts, education and in music, much more than in the 1920s and 1930s.

It also has two world-class universities. He has made a comment that is trying to be provocative, but instead becomes absurd."

Nicola Sturgeon, MSP for Govan and the Deputy First Minister of Scotland, got straight to the point in her condemnation when she commented:
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"This is the kind of ill-informed comment people have come to expect from him. Anyone who knows Glasgow knows he is wide of the mark."

Pauline McNeill, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, said:
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"The ignorance of David Starkey knows no bounds – Glasgow and Glaswegians continue to make a significant contribution to the rest of the UK and the world.

Not only is Glasgow continuing to build world-class ships along the Clyde but it is the fastest developing financial centre in the UK.

David Starkey's comment serves only to illustrate how little he knows about Glasgow."

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wee davy
post 26th Oct 2010, 08:02pm
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The 'man' is a Prize Buffoon!

Over the past 3/4 years, this mysoginist has managed to upset just about anybody and everybody - except Royalty!

Any person who is so immersed in Henry VIII, has to be more than a little bit of unsound mind.

And yet I do have a copy of his 'Monarchy' book, which accompanied the series. A somewhat strange life, at times. At least he was consistent when he called Scotland feeble - the Irish and the Welsh got the same treatment


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Llyr
post 26th Oct 2010, 08:30pm
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I fail to see why David Starkey should be listened to on Glasgow, either historic Glasgow or current Glasgow. Outside of his area of expertise, an "expert" is just an ordinary person with an opinion, abusing his status and ability to get attention.
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Jupiter
post 26th Oct 2010, 08:45pm
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Starkey was making a point to the artist Gray that he,Starkey as a young man was desperate to get away from his provincial town,Kendal in Cumbria wheras Gray was happy to make Glasgow his world.It is then he goes on to describe Glasgow as it is now and historically.Not pleasant listening but very interesting.

Can be heard in BBC iPlayer.Have you heard it Llyr?
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*Guest*
post 26th Oct 2010, 08:49pm
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Isn't David Starkey the 'historian' who was on American Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS) as the history expert who kept calling the British Army the English Army? Then later he would say something about Britain (not England)? Reminds me of WWII when 'England Stood Alone'. I was talking to a 'well-educated' Londoner who didn't know Scotland had been bombed during WWII. Some English are very nice and some are very nice but totally unaware of what happens outside England, or even London. They sound like some New Yorkers, if it didn't happen there it didn't happen at all.
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*SH*
post 26th Oct 2010, 09:05pm
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David Starkey is and always has been an arrogant and extremely dislikable shit of a snob.

Glasgow has many problems and it certainly is no longer the empire's second city. But it's got a lot going for it, and his comments are not only unfounded, but extremely damaging. He should be banned from ever coming here.
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*Guest*
post 26th Oct 2010, 09:10pm
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Glasgow has much life - Okay we have terrible rates of drug abuse, alcoholism and violence. But when you look the majority of our youth you see a different picture. Our parks - our universities are superb. Our people are clever - especially our children (teens) There is a multitude of culture that isn't available in many other ciries in the UK...Note how many different nationalities live ere. And I am not talking about asylum seekers. Glasgow is my home and the home of many
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kennyjenkins
post 26th Oct 2010, 09:10pm
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To describe Starkey as absurd would be suggest there was something interesting about him. Glasgow has a long tradition of celebrating the absurd. Starkey is just too dull to be absurd. Rather than describe him as absurd I would say he was an ignorant wee *****. Could we have a vote on this?
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Duettists
post 26th Oct 2010, 09:26pm
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Admittedly there are parts of Glasgow which are depressing, such as the hideous tower blocks erected in isolated areas without amenities which were supposed to be an improvement to the tenements. At least there was camaraderie and neighbourliness in those tenements, and most people took pride in keeping their homes clean. The tower block estates have become no-go areas for feckless drug addicts and where elderly people are isolated, and they are certainly a blight on the Glasgow skyline.

That said, Glasgow is also a wonderful city with a vibrant theatrical, musical and artistic life, and many beautiful parks and buildings. Its inhabitants are generally warm and friendly and its motorists are courteous. I would certainly prefer to live in Glasgow than in some of the other cold and heartless cities in other parts of the UK. I am proud to call myself a Glaswegian and the last words I would use to describe the city of my birth are "a state-subsidised backwater".


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wee davy
post 26th Oct 2010, 09:38pm
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My thanks to Joop for casting light on this event.

Having just finished listening to the recording, it was an unashamedly tacky and successful punt at promoting his new book Crown and Country, choosing to be deliberately contravertial.

If I were Andrew Marr, I would have poked him in the eye! AND kicked him in the shins for good measure - clubbed feet or no clubbed feet!

(Maybe thats why I'm not a successful jounalist from Glasgow lol)


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Jupiter
post 26th Oct 2010, 09:40pm
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Regarding Sharkeys comments I think he is referring to the state being one of if not the largest employers in Glasgow and also the number of people on state benefits.
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*Guest*
post 26th Oct 2010, 09:41pm
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Why should anyone from this wonderful multicultural city listen to such an upstart!
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mcnalu
post 26th Oct 2010, 09:42pm
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What a silly Starkey! He does often say things that make no sense at all to me. Oh look, I've descended to his level smile.gif

I thought Gray bested him on two occasions in that interview
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drew1952
post 26th Oct 2010, 09:43pm
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The guy is a complete dumplin'. Everybody that is able should post a reply to this person, having at some time or other seen his programmes on telly he is obsessed with Henry V111, that surely tells one enough about him to be able to dismiss his comments as utter rubbish. He, as others are entitled to their opinion but, do not give him any creedance, he has obviously dropped off the scene/public radar so the fact he has decided to be provocative and controversial to deride Glasgow in this way, is testament to the real truth, which is Glasgow is as vibrant and as diverse as it ever was. No way a backwater it is still a gateway to the world. The order of THE BOOT Starkey and shame on YOU!
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norrie123
post 26th Oct 2010, 09:47pm
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Ignore him, we know Glasgow has its problems but we like it, lets treat his remarks with the contempt they deserve.

Bye for now, norrie.
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