Professor Mary Beard on Question Time the other night sung the praises of unlimited immigration only to be pulled up by one of Lincolnshire’s hoi polloi, who told her what it was really like.
I’d give the Prof an extra mark for the swiftness with which she dealt a get-out-of-prison card by claiming that Boston Pilgrim Hospital’s Materity Unit had been saved from closure by the extra work created by immigration.
The whole thing stirred numerous people to criticise Beard for being out of touch, not knowing what she was talking about, etc, etc, and apparently quite a few comments were personally abusive, mainly about her appearance.
Luckily, that handed the Prof and her PC buddies another get-out-of-prison card which allowed them to avoid tackling the real problems caused by mass immigration and the issues posed by next year’s possible influx of Romanians and Bulgarians. Namely, they could whinge about the misogyny and sexism directed againt the Prof herself instead. The Guardian is well used to that, whereas it’s out of its depth on immigration.
Rod Little joins the fray:
But there’s one other thing in the case of Mary Beard. How many professors of classics have you seen on BBC Question Time, other than Beardie? None. How many other professors of classics have been invited to take part in Jamie’s Dream School, or been invited to present a series on BBC2? None other. Just Beard. Why is this? Is it because she is so absolutely brilliant at the classics that they think she ought to be on a cooking show? Nope: it’s because of the way she looks. They think she looks like a loony. And the TV companies, the producers, love that. If they can’t get a hunk or a fox, they like an eccentric. It generates a reaction, not always entirely pleasant. And if Mary doesn’t grasp that her appearance is precisely why she — along with Grayson Perry — gets to be on TV, then she had best not look at what the genuine loonies have to say on Twitter.
Source: The Spectator.