Talk:David Aaronovitch

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Most of the islamophobia section is superfluous. All that is needed is a short paragraph saying what the accusation is, and maybe one reference to back it up, along with Aaronovitch's defence. Any more than that makes it take up a disproportionate amount of the article Nomist 01:53, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

And that the principle critic of Aaronvitch's alleged islamophobia, the IHRC, is itself anti-semitic........

Oxbridge jargon[edit]

He was sent down from the University of Oxford at the end of his first year

What does that mean? He failed his first year? He was expelled?

Being 'sent down' usually refers to going to prison, surely?

Jenks 07:53, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Yes, but in an Oxbridge context, it means that he was expelled. See [1], [2]. -- ALoan (Talk) 11:01, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'm going to change it as it should be in a wide context --Ebz 18:18, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
When you start at Oxbridge you "go up," and when they kick you out, you're "sent down." ;-) SlimVirgin (talk) 19:58, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
This puzzles me. It is virtually impossible to be sent down from Oxford for failing exams in your first year. I frankly don't believe this account. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:19, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

The previous contributor ( is misinformed. In the 1970s, the Oxford history syllabus included a compulsory preliminary exam at the end of the first term, which included two languages (the most common options were French, German and Latin). The German exam was based on writings by Burckhardt, and had the reputation of being significantly harder than the French and Latin exams. I remember this vividly because I failed the German exam at the end of my first term, and had to study very hard to pass it at the end of my second term. AlanD1956 (talk) 13:10, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

University Challenge[edit]

I'm not certain on this one so I haven't attempted to edit the main article, but I suspect Aaronovitch's alleged involvement in the infamous UC appearance by Manchester University is an urban myth. I've seen that clip many times and I've never seen him on it.

I promise you it isn't. He appeared in the 40th anniversary documentary on the subject confirming it.
You've never actually seen that clip - at least not since original broadcast. What you've seen is a reconstruction recorded for a documentary about seven years ago. I took part in the reconstructions for that show - I'm the one with the huge beard - along with various friends of mine. The original recording was wiped years ago. Stealth Munchkin (talk) 22:45, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

It is certainly not a myth: at the time of writing, Aaranovitch includes a photo of the team as the background 'wallpaper' to his Twitter page. AlanD1956 (talk) 13:13, 9 November 2012 (UTC)


Do you think there is anyway that one could include a section pointing out that Aaronovitch is an objectionable, reactionary, sycophant whose narcissism and self involvement is only matched by the lack of any significant coherent output to justify his self love? [These comments were posted by 06:20, August 21, 2006 (UTC)]

No, because such comments would soon be removed for violating the NPOV rule. However, comments from any reputable source on an article's subject could be cited as deemed appropriate. Philip Cross 06:02, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
You said it and I read it. Lets keep the articles NPOV and the discussion open to views. I hope that most people read the discussion to get a feeling for the different sides to controversial issues. I would encurage you to add notes like this to the discussion, as it is of great importance to see what people realy think. Just remember to be polite ;) Thanks (talk) 11:35, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I dont think that's POV so much as generally accepted fact.

I think comments, though extreme, are not so far from the truth, and are in fact easily explained! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:54, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Stephen Glover on this article[edit]

A 7 Sep 2007 column discusses this article:

The longest entry I have been able to find – there may be longer ones – is David Aaronovitch of The Times. It is over 1,600 words, and split into seven sections, the last of which is 'Further Reading.' We learn that David attended Gospel Oak primary school until 1965, and was a member of the 1975 Manchester University team on University Challenge which lost in the first round. We are not spared the ins and outs of his journalistic odyssey, and are treated to long quotes from his columns. It is difficult to believe that David himself did not have a considerable input into his write-up.

-R. S. Shaw 06:25, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

As it happens I heard D.A. speaking at a conference today where he touched on the subject of Wikipedia (the theme of the session was the future of content). He said he didn't edit his own entry and was bemused by the "randomness" - I think that was his term - of some of the material therein. Barnabypage 17:45, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Bias in this article[edit]

Far from Aaronovitch writing his own material the Wiki quotations in from his columns betray the fact that they were selected by his enemies; they all relate to his support for the Iraq War. It would be good to get some more balanced quotations (rather than "random", if DA said that). He takes a usefully independent and often thought-provoking line in his articles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rachelgoodwin (talkcontribs) 17:25, 14 November 2008 (UTC)


This article has weasel words, irrelevance and confusion (which ironically probably reflects the man character). It needs a complete overhaul, sticking to facts, rather than continual name dropping, ambiguity and triviality. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:18, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Contradictory Statements[edit]

In his columns, he takes an iconoclastic view, often upsetting former allies on the left, most notably through his strong support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq which he favoured in order to liberate oppressed Iraqis, even though he was 'agnostic' about the existence of WMD.

I understood DA to have said that if no WMDs are found, 'he would eat his hat'. That's hardly an 'agnostic' stance. I can't find a source for this quote (e.g. he might have said this on TV, rather than in one of his columns), but at the very least his claimed agnosticism on WMDs is contradicted by the quote from his Guardian column included in the Quotations section:

'...Those weapons had better be there somewhere. They probably are.'

Wondering also what happened to the para covering accusations and response to Aaronovitch's supposed Islamophobia.

Centrepull (talk) 06:46, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Article in Serious Need of Overhaul[edit]

I came here seeking more information about this man but the article has left me knowing very little more and really confused things more than ever.
The article needs updating more than anything. - Here's a few questions- mainly about the period after 2003 - 2005..
What is his political stance / views today?
What are his causes ? What controversies has he suffered or caused?,
What is his connection with criticism and scepticism?, he said in an article recently that this was the centre of his career.
Just curious. Lucien86 (talk) 03:27, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

Rabbi Neuberger's 'impartial' review of the liverpool care pathway- panellist[edit]

Should include the fact he was appointed to act as a panel member (current).. ...anyone know why, might be useful. Suppose because he has an interest in 'conspiracy theories', and they're trying to pass it off as such to avoid corporate manslaughter charges against the DoH? (talk) 03:10, 1 March 2013 (UTC)IlsaKoch79.70.234.8 (talk) 03:10, 1 March 2013 (UTC)