NEWS

David Starkey Describes Himself As '*The* Historian', And A 'Great' One Too...

23/04/2015 11:08 | Updated 23 April 2015

The always humble David Starkey shouted down a human rights lawyer on the Today programme this morning by claiming: "I"m the historian here, I'm a great historian."

Starkey, who 'accidentally' called former HuffPost UK Political director Mehdi Hasan "Ahmed" during an edition of Question Time, told human rights barrister Baroness Helena Kennedy she was wrong to emphasise the importance of Magna Carta during a debate on the 1215 document.

He was promoting his new book in which he argues revisions of the document, written until 1225, were far more important.

david starkey rape

Pinko BBC deliberately omits 'great' from Starkey's job description

He said: "I'm the historian here." At this point, his ego took full control of his mouth and added: "I'm a great historian."

It prompted tweeters to compare him with Judge Dredd.

And call him a "bully" who "gives historians a bad name".

Kennedy and Starkey's discussion started with the historian saying the 1215 document Magna Carta was more revolutionary but less consequential than we believe, because "the difficult bits" were left out of subsequent versions.

Kennedy, who said she enjoyed Starkey's book and, to be fair to him, was the first to call him a "great historian". But she said Magna Carta was more important than he claimed.

Starkey said: "Helena is talking about it as a lawyer and lawyers are no good as historians. They have no sense of time."

Presenter Mishal Husain later tried to intervene.

Mishal Husain: And the rights it confers, it's very much the rights on 'free men', it's not every man who's going to benefit.

Starkey: Ah, no. 1225, this is...

Husain: 1215

Starkey: Stop talking about 1215. 1215 doesn't matter. It's only your media fixation with your day's anniversary.

Husain: Because the anniversary is important

Kennedy: No, David...

Starkey: No Helena, let's correct facts, I'm the historian as you've pointed out and I'm a great historian.

This last bit was met with howls of laughter from Husain and Kennedy.

Kennedy told Starkey he was being pedantic, prompting the great historian to shout: "I'm not!" and spoke over her saying: You're a lawyer and you see accuracy as pedantic?"

As she said there were fundamental similarities between the 1215 and 1225 versions, such as establishing trial by jury, Starkey spoke over her again, repeating: "This is lawyer myth."

He added: "No, that is myth," to clarify his position.

After this, Starkey let Kennedy speak for a brief period, saying why she thought the 1215 document was the beginning of a movement towards curtailing the power of kings.

Husain closed the segment saying: "Perhaps we can agree there is space for both lawyers and historians."

Starkey added: "Cuddling up to each other in front of the microphone, yes."

SEE ALSO: David Starkey Proves He Is 'Katie Hopkins With A PHD'Starkey Hits Out At Stephen Lawrence's Mother For 'Treating Blacks As Victims'

  • Alastair Grant/AP
    Members of the media film four of the original surviving Magna Carta manuscripts that have been brought together by the British Library for the first time, during a media preview in London, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. The event marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, which established the timeless principle that no individual, even a monarch, is above the law. The original Magna Carta manuscripts were written and sealed in late June and early July 1215, and sent individually throughout the country.
  • Matt Dunham/AP
    Lines of manuscript text are seen through a glass cabinet on the Salisbury Cathedral 1215 copy of the Magna Carta as it is displayed with the three other surviving original parchment engrossments of the Magna Carta to mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta at Runnymede in 1215, in the Queen's Robing Room at the Houses of Parliament in London, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015.
  • Alastair Grant/AP
    The seal of King John is seen on one of the four original surviving Magna Carta manuscripts that have been brought together by the British Library for the first time, during a media preview in London, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. King John agreed the terms of the charter known originally as the Charter of Runnymede, now known as the Magna Carta, on June, 15, 1015, they were authenticated by John's great seal, not his signature, which established the timeless principle that no individual, even a monarch, is above the law.
  • Matt Dunham/PA Wire
    The Salisbury Cathedral 1215 copy of the Magna Carta is installed in a cabinet by Chris Woods (right), the director of the National Conservation Service, to be displayed alongside the other three surviving original parchment engrossments of the Magna Carta to mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta at Runnymede in 1215, in the Queen's Robing Room at the Houses of Parliament in London.
  • Matt Dunham/PA Wire
    People including Salisbury Cathedral archivist Emily Naish (left) look at the Salisbury Cathedral 1215 copy of the Magna Carta as it is displayed with the three other surviving original parchment engrossments of the Magna Carta to mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta at Runnymede in 1215, in the Queen's Robing Room at the Houses of Parliament in London.
  • Matt Dunham/PA Wire
    People look at the four surviving original parchment engrossments of the 1215 Magna Carta as they are displayed to mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta at Runnymede in 1215, in the Queen's Robing Room at the Houses of Parliament in London.
  • Philip Toscano/PA Wire
    Director of Information Services and Librarian at the House of Lords, Elizabeth Hallam Smith (second right) with Sir Tim Berners-Lee (right) with his family, looking at the Salisbury Cathedral 1215 copy of the Magna Carta as part of the Maqna Carta and Parliament exhibition in the Palace of Westminster, London.
Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS