Two days ago, as everyone will be aware, Hugh Keevins made some of the stupidest, most ignorant and downright irresponsible comments I’ve heard on national radio in a long time. They would have been unbelievable remarks for someone cemented into far-right politics. To hear them on a sports show was remarkable for all the wrong reasons.
Kate Hopkins would have cringed listening to herself say some of what came out of this complete moron’s mouth.
I’ve spent the last couple of days laid up with the flu, which is why it’s taken me so long to write about it. In the meantime, Keevins has issued an apology for his remarks without actually acknowledging the depth of ignorance at their core.
He is sorry he “offended people”, but hasn’t seemed to grasp that what he said was both ridiculous and fantastical as well as completely disconnected from reality.
Someone who can’t grasp that frankly shouldn’t be on the air. Keevins didn’t just minimise the issue of racism, he denied its existence entirely until very recently. His fellow anchors were astounded to hear this lunatic raving. The rest of us were just disgusted.
How is it possible for someone to be on the front lines of journalism in Scotland for all these years and to have missed divisions over race? He talks about sectarianism being rife; what he actually means, of course, is that anti-Irish racism was rife … it’s as if it hasn’t dawned on him that we didn’t need our own Rivers of Blood speech up here.
That sentiment was already being clearly expressed.
He claims that racism was non-existent 60 years ago, with a stupid boast that it had been beaten. But Britain actually needed an anti-racism law before World War II was even done, after the Constantine vs Imperial Hotels Ltd court case.
You then had the Windrush Generation and what they had to face in the 50’s. They’ve been all over the news in the last 12 months; is it possible that a journalist failed to understand what the issues were in that case or what those people endured?
Then you had the Smethwick scandal in the 1964 general election, where the constituency voted for a Tory MP in spite of a campaign in which the slogan “if you want a nigger for a neighbour vote Labour” was in wide use and which the MP, Peter Griffiths, later defended.
Four years after that Enoch Powell made his “Rivers of Blood” speech. Then the 1971 Immigration Act was passed, blatantly discriminating in favour of white Commonwealth countries. Thatcher openly talked trash about immigrants “swamping” the country, and she backed South Africa when just about all the world was sanctioning them.
And that’s just the headline events in politics up until the 1980’s. Racisms reality was reflected in our streets and communities every single day, and whilst Keevins is correct that we had religious prejudice here it was a layer on top of what existed at every level.
Celtic fans who were tuning in perhaps to hear support for Kyogo were appalled by what they heard. The bloggers hammered Keevins for it. But they weren’t the only ones; Sky’s Anthony Joseph delivered a hard, withering slap to him as well and it was richly deserved.
Keevins’ apology has been accepted by some, but honestly this should be the final proof, if any were needed, that this idiot has no place in the media.
His ideas and mind-set are antiquated. He has as poor a base of knowledge as anyone in the press has ever had and this has been demonstrated time and time again. He is intellectually lazy and shockingly arrogant even on subjects about which he knows absolutely nothing.
Keevins’ career should have ended decades ago. It’s not like there isn’t plenty of talent out there who could step into his shoes and offer a modern perspective and a spark of intelligence. It’s just that our media prefers to fills its ranks with his kind of dreck.
Someone who had gotten it so momentously wrong should have the good grace to walk. If his bosses think it’s tenable to keep him they are as out of touch as he is.