Racist historian dropped by publisher and university after shocking interview remarks

[This is one of three connected articles. This Site is also examining the responses of Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer to Black Lives Matter; none of them come out smelling of roses.]

Racist historian David Starkey has been dropped like a hot coal by his publisher and university after expressing “abhorrent” views in an interview on the far-right YouTube channel Reasoned.

HarperCollins will no longer publish the historian and Canterbury Christ Church University has terminated his role after he said “slavery was not genocide”.

Starkey told right-wing commentator Darren Grimes: “Slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain would there? You know, an awful lot of them survived.”

According to The Guardian:

HarperCollins UK said it would not be publishing any further books by Starkey.

“The views expressed by David Starkey in his recent interview are abhorrent and we unreservedly condemn them,” said the publisher. “Our last book with the author was in 2010, and we will not be publishing further books with him. We are reviewing his existing backlist in light of his comments and views.”

Starkey was signed by HarperCollins in a four-book deal in 2006, publishing titles including Monarchy: Behind the Royal Mask from the Tudors to the Present, and Henry: Virtuous Prince, the first in a planned two-part biography of Henry VIII. It is understood that the other two titles in the deal, which included the second part of Starkey’s biography, will no longer be published by HarperCollins. The book is currently listed online as coming out in September.

A spokesperson for Hodder & Stoughton, which published Starkey’s 2015 book Magna Carta, said it would also not publish him again: “We unequivocally condemn racism in any form. We published a book by David Starkey in 2015 as a one off project to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta to coincide with a TV documentary. We will not be publishing any further books by him.”

We’ll come to Canterbury Christ Church presently.

If you haven’t seen Starkey’s interview, here’s the offending extract:

Now, for balance, take a look at Aaron Bastani’s criticism:

There are several pertinent points there, including this:

Probably more pertinent still is this, from Kerry-Anne Mendoza: “I’m descended from the indigenous people of the Caribbean: the Kalinago. You’ve likely not heard of us. We were virtually annihilated during the first waves of slavery, which is when the Slavers moved on to importing Black Africans to the Caribbean. So f*** you, David.”

Starkey doesn’t stop there. Take a look at this:

Yes indeed. But it seems times are changing.

Lefty columnist Owen Jones tweeted: “This is gratuitous, unashamed racism. It is uttered by one of the most famous historians in the country, a regular on panel shows. It is nodded at by a prominent Tory commentator.”

Here‘s Twitter’s Tom London: “The scandal about this odious, vile man is that he is given airtime and space in newspapers and treated with respect by the Establishment.”

Well, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge – which is about as ‘Establishment’ as one can be, has had enough:

The decision to ditch Starkey has been greeted with applause:

Canterbury Christ Church University didn’t even offer him the chance to resign, it seems. Here’s that organisation’s tweet, with appropriate comment by Ms Mendoza:

Even Darren Grimes, the rising star of the right-wing media, has tried to distance himself from the storm he help to whip up – unsuccessfully, in the light of his own comments.

For example, after Grimes tweeted this about the interview…

… the following apology seemed to lack sincerity:

He stated: “Hand on heart, I wasn’t engaged enough in this interview as I should’ve been. It goes without saying that Reasoned UK does not support or condone Dr David Starkey’s words.

“I am very new to being the interviewer rather than the interviewee and I should have robustly questioned Dr Starkey about his comments.

“However, whether it’s on the BBC, ITV, Sky News or on YouTube, no interviewer is responsible for the views expressed by their guests.

“At Reasoned UK you’ll always find unfiltered opinions, allowing the audience to make up their own minds – that said, in future – I can promise that there will be a host who is much more willing to challenge those opinions.”

Responses mocked Grimes:

They also pointed out that he played a far greater role in getting the offending words out to the public than just being the interviewer.

As Lewis Parker tweeted: “You didn’t just interview a racist. You interviewed him, nodded your head in agreement, edited the video, posted the video, and then promoted it. Also, the video is still up on your YouTube channel. What a sad sad excuse.”

There’s this, too:

Note that Grimes hasn’t lost his job.

Still, public opinion seems to believe Starkey still has one port of refuge in this storm – the BBC:

Jackie Walker, the anti-racism campaigner who has often spoken about the genocide of black people caused by the US/Caribbean slave trade tweeted: “Just let what he’s saying sink in, then ask how come the BBC/media allow this man to comment on history.”

This Site’s friend Cornish Damo added: “He’s one of the most hate-filled, bile-inducing blowhards the BBC continue to employ. Now he can add massive racist to this extremely selective ‘historian’. What say you Beeb & anyone else who uses him? Will you stop wheeling this white supremacist out to lecture us now?”

The BBC has been aware that Starkey’s views are poison for many years – former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted his shock at Newsnight broadcasting his racist views, way back in 2011:

Here’s the reason he got away with it, courtesy of another David – Schneider: “Never mind the ignorance about genocide, that “damn blacks” isn’t just a shocking indictment of Starkey. It shows a confidence that you can say that because every time you have done in the past the people you’re with nod along in agreement.”

Craig Murray agrees:

So what will the Corporation do? Will it follow this advice…

… or will it adhere to form?

Of course, there is an alternative, should the BBC wish to take it:

I have no idea about the rest of Ms Lipscomb’s politics but if she isn’t a racist, at least that’s one step out of the cesspit.

Source: David Starkey dropped by publisher and university after racist remarks | Culture | The Guardian

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


1 thought on “Racist historian dropped by publisher and university after shocking interview remarks

  1. kateuk

    Starkey has always been pro monarchy, pro establishment, racist and above all very very right wing. I stopped watching his Tory propaganda a long time ago, there are much better historians out there.

Comments are closed.