A conspiracy against academic freedom (2 of 2)

September 1, 2011

Geoffrey K. Pullum's otherwise praiseworthy article, "Inflammatory language" (18 August), was marred by his comparison of David Starkey to the now infamous rose-quaffing Croydon looters.

Verbally inarticulate the looters may be, but their actions and the symbols they employed (not cider, not lager, but rose) were highly effective in shocking a nation of shopkeepers. They amply illustrated the sentiments of a growing number of people in the UK who find themselves equipped with only a half-decent education and facing the prospect of a lifetime's mindless, deeply unrewarding and poorly remunerated labour, all the while being told via every medium possible that identity and social standing can be achieved only through ever-increasing consumerism.

By contrast, despite his (outdated) Northern working-class "credentials", good education and privileged social position, Starkey talks like a hawk and acts like a poodle.

Kyra Pollitt, Edinburgh

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