It’s all very well arguing about free speech, no-platforming, diversity, safe spaces, being/not being triggered, positive discrimination and having the chance to see and hear others’ points of view before making up your own mind about controversial issues. I get all that, and I do realise that you can’t have everything your own way. (Bit like Brexit)
However, the BBC’s over-exposure of Ash Sarkar is verging on ‘diversity of opinion too far’.
First there was saturation-point Paul Mason, a subversive hard-left pundit whom the Beeb couldn’t seem to get enough of - but his appearances have thankfully subsided, (although he was on this morning’s Broadcasting House) but even he seems more moderate these days, perhaps in comparison to the likes of Sarkar, assorted Asian women and that weirdo from Squawkbox. I feel triggered by Ash Sarkar, with those terrifying talons that she keeps waving in the air, although I suppose I must defend her right to wave them.
Talking of Broadcasting House, they too touched on the aforementioned Rod Liddle, namely his recent, controversial article about missing dads. Absent dads, I mean - and to be more specific, absent black dads.
So they brought along that internet sensation of a black dad who made a video that went viral, in which he stated what could be described as the bleedin’ obvious, which is that if someone threatens you with a knife, if possible, scarper! Do as the Satnav says, and turn around where possible.
However, to most victims of the stabbing epidemic, not losing face seems to have taken priority over not losing your life. (Which would you rather save?)
That inability to lose face reminds me of the continuing conflict in the Middle East - peace or intractability, that’s the choice. I digress.
Anyway, the wise dad, whose video stating the bleedin’ obvious went viral, has plans. He wants to set up youth projects to give kids something to do. Excellent! But not new.
Remember Camila Batmanghelidjh? I think I’m her one remaining supporter. Yes, she messed up, but her original approach to feral youth was promising.
See the way the BBC’s Chris Cook completely vilifies her. His article drips with rancour. He states that the service she provided was unnecessary.
“As its end approached, local charities, councils, child psychiatrists and officials all steeled themselves for the end of a £20m-a-year enterprise that had said it was in the same business as them.
But the flood of need never came.”
“We can also now definitively say that local youth crime statistics have given the lie to a prediction from the charity that its collapse would lead to a descent into "savagery". None of the ups and downs coincide with the charity's collapse. Changes in city-wide crime, policing approaches and gangland economics matter much more than Kids Company did.
I would suggest that this is a matter of opinion. The spate of knife crime, gangs, drugs and absent dads is hardly consistent with “The flood of need never came”.
I do know this viewpoint won’t go down well with many of you but there it is. I claim it in the name of free speech.