Sunday, 28 June 2015

Sir Tim Hunt vs Connie St Louis

Thanks to his gift with words, a trait which he happens to share with Glenn Hoddle, Sir Tim Hunt and what Connie St Louis said about him now need no introduction.

Sir Tim Hunt and Glenn Hoddle share some more things in common. They are both top talent in their fields, of world-class standard, and yet what contributed to their leaving their international-level jobs was not their performance in their jobs, but what they said and by extension, what they believe in.

I don't agree with their beliefs and what they said, and I think they and their comments are silly, upsetting and offensive.

But I don't think what they said should have contributed to their leaving their jobs. The only things that should've been asked were, did they do their jobs, and did they do their jobs well?

I was asked about my views on what I call 'Huntgate' by some friends who ran out of things to chat about; I have so far shrugged my shoulders, but the latest twist in this sorry tale has made me wonder.

Guess what?

Connie St Louis's professional credibility is now being called into question.

I don't know her. I am not defending her. I'm not saying that I'm on her side. What I will say is that she showed herself to be a true hack when she made that scoop at the right time. And by contrasting pictures showing that she's a black woman against Sir Tim's being a white man, and subtly bringing in extra dimensions of race, class, privilege and comprehension of / identification with culture and language, I think we're all missing the bigger picture.

Does this all mean that we're entering an age where we have to say the same things?

Must we believe the same things?

And do we now have to put up with idiots who don't work well, but who say the right things at the right time?

Oh dear. Whatever happened to the progress of the last few hundred years? Is this the beginning of the end of freedom of belief and freedom of speech?

Where Sir Tim Hunt is concerned, if I were his boss(es), I'd be looking at whether he carried out enough experiments over the years to justify what he said about women in the lab, rather than pointing out straightaway that what he said was a viewpoint / tasteless joke.

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