Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Sometimes the Onion is superfluous....

Things may have reached a point where parody is impossible.

Is Dr. Ben Pitcher a real person? and if so, is he really sociologist? or is he perhaps a sociologist the way Dame Edna is a dame?

Perhaps the Spectator and the Mail aren't real news outlets... does John Oliver write for them?

But I'm quite sure the Telegraph is real.
So the question is, has it been hacked, and this bogus story, excuse the expression, planted there?

Regular listeners to [a gardening show on the radio] may be horrified to discover it has been accused of peddling racial stereotypes.
According to an academic, the sedate Radio 4 panel show is riddled with "racial meanings" disguised as horticultural advice.... Dr Ben Pitcher, a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Westminster, claimed the programme’s regular discussions on soil purity and non-native species promoted nationalist and fascist beliefs. 
Speaking on another Radio 4 programme, Thinking Allowed, the academic said: “Gardeners’ Question Time is not the most controversial show on Radio 4, and yet it is layered with, saturated with, racial meanings.
“The context here is the rise of nationalism. The rise of racist and fascist parties across Europe. Nationalism is about shoring up a fantasy of national integrity. My question is, what feeds nationalism? What makes nationalism powerful?”
Dr Pitcher said the “crisis in white identity in multicultural Britain” meant people felt unable to express their views for fear of being called racist, so expressed their racial identity in other ways, such as talking about gardening. 

There'll always be an England, I believe the New Yorker used to say, (of course, it being a magazine, there probably won't always be a New Yorker.)

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