I have every sympathy with Joan Rivers. Accusations of racism are bandied about far too casually. It's a serious thing, to discriminate unfairly against a fellow human being for irrelevant reasons. It carries very serious opprobrium today and many of us are tired of some members of ethnic minorities who leap to blame every disappointment in their lives on the alleged "racism" of those around them. Lenny Henry satirises this beautifully with his "it's because I a black man, innnit" sketches.
It's not just blacks. Some of the Welsh have become so consumed with pathetic self-pity that they call the police if Ann Robinson or Tony Blair denigrate them. Irving Welsh wrote in the Guardian today about why Scotland has a murder rate three times higher than England. He managed, in a twisted way, to put part of the blame on the English and their "sense of superiority." This apparently makes the poor Scots so unhappy that they kill each other. Weird. I have never heard an Englishman denigrate a Scot, except in response to the most dire provocation. Nor have I heard an Englishman express his sense of superiority to the Scots, though I have often heard the reverse - and in the most blistering terms.
Get a life guys, for goodness sake. There must be some problems in the world for which the long-suffering English are NOT to blame, surely?
Libby Purves' response to this episode was pathetic. A lively debate about an important subject arose spontaneously and she behaved like an embarrassed hostess whose dinner guests were bickering. Her implied rebuke to both Rivers and Howe at the end was ridiculous.
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | TV and Radio | Race row disrupts Radio 4 debate