Friday, 10 February 2017

Victoria Derbyshire and the art of extreme empathy

I saw the Victoria Derbyshire programme yesterday morning. Does anyone watch that? I saw the section described as: “my sons were targeted as radicals”. Victoria Derbyshire has taken empathy to extreme lengths, and this time it's all for the sake of “proving” that a school has committed a racist incident.

A mother, appearing in silhouette, recounted a sorry tale of how her sons aged 5 and 7 were severely traumatised after being taken out of class and interviewed by the police, following what looked like a catalogue of misunderstandings by a teacher and the head of her sons’ former school.

The boy had mentioned to his teacher that he had a toy gun. (He had not taken it into school as some of the more moronic Tweeters mistakenly assumed.) Amongst the confusion someone apparently suspected he had been talking about a real gun. The school called the police.

The mother recounted that she thought someone at the school said they’d heard the boys speaking in Arabic and talking about Friday prayers.
” But”, said she: “We’re not Muslims, and my son has never been to a Mosque and doesn’t speak Arabic”. 

Whether the school had ever indicated that this incident had anything to do with the Prevent strategy  was unclear, but Victoria Derbyshire and the solicitor for the  family, Debaleena Dasgupta, (the legal officer for Liberty) were out to hammer home the impression that it was nothing but a disturbing case of racism.

So how did such a peculiar misunderstanding come about, one might wonder? Victoria Derbyshire showed no curiosity whatsoever about that as she and legal eagle Debaleena Dasgupta had thrown themselves wholeheartedly into denouncing the school as racist. 
Victoria Derbyshire was particularly snappy with the NUS representative who seemed to be blaming the Prevent strategy, which, to add to the confusion, the school (apparently) emphatically denied had anything to do with their decision to call the police. 

Although the mother clearly stated that the police had treated the children sensitively and had swiftly reassured them they had nothing to worry about, Victoria Derbyshire and the solicitor  endorsed the mother’s claim that being called out of class to talk to two policemen was  traumatic enough, not only to precipitate her son’s ‘emotional meltdown’ and disturbed sleep, but to engender in her children a deep-seated fear of being ‘taken away’. 

Victoria’s ‘empathy face’ was a sight to behold, throughout, as was her bullying tendency.
Especially strange is the bit where Victoria summarises the incident in a kind of pidgin English cum Telegramese, and ends with the punchline….”So… it’s…Racism!       (Scroll to about 24:51)( It’s worth it)

So it's RACISM!

The item drew to an end, and with a triumphant expression on her face Ms Dasgupta produced her ‘ace’, which she evidently saw as conclusive proof of the school’s “racism”.
“The school said that at no time did they think the toy gun was real!” 

Ace card

Oddly enough, on Twitter, some people mentioned ‘compensation’ while others misunderstood the details of the story so badly that it’s a wonder they manage to walk upright let alone tap a few scraps of txt speak into a keyboard.

By sheer coincidence, this article by Douglas Murray popped into my inbox and fate made me read it through before posting the above. Funny how these things happen. 
Do read the whole piece - but just to whet your appetite some of it concerns the ludicrous, almost surreal scandal involving the Muslim Council of Britain’s Assistant Secretary General (!) Miqdaad Versi, children’s cartoon character Fireman Sam and chapter 67 of the Quran.

Here’s the excerpt that leapt out, due to its particular relevance to Victoria Derbyshire and her campaigning career.
“Then last month -- thanks to the BBC -- we got an update on Miqdaad Versi's activities. In January, the Victoria Derbyshire show ran a special feature on Mr Versi. The article -- "The man correcting stories about Muslims" -- portrayed Versi as an intrepid crusader for truth. In particular, it focussed on his work of systematically and continually complaining to the UK's new press regulator, Ipso, whenever he thinks that a story in the British media contains inaccurate reporting on Islam or Muslims.
Woe betide those who deviate from official BBC morality.


  1. That Douglas Murray piece makes the VD show's journalism look shoddy and agenda-driven - which isn't exactly news (from what I've seen of it), as it's often agenda-driven.

  2. Victoria's empathy face looks like she is punching herself in it.

    On balance, understandable.