As a general note: for those who haven't seen the actual newsnight bit, the bit where he uses slang terms and says "innit" and "blud" while looking down at something in his hand is from the moment when he whipped out a transcript of a txt message(!) that was inexplicably quoted during one of the looter trials and proceeded to do a dramatic phonetic reading of something written in txting shorthand(!!) – to prove the point that the riots were all the inevitable result of white people speaking in a "jamaican patois"(!!!)* rather than right proper like what True Englishmen spoke like before all them darkies came over with their weird loan words and impenetrable accents.
On an unrelated note, here's a clip from QI in which Stephen Fry is defeated by a Geordie accent:
And here's Sanjeev Baskhar's wonderful rant and dramatic poetry reading attacking silent letters on Room 101:
One does wonder how someone both rants about how shorthands are dooming civilisation because they lead to people not spelling English words in a suitably thorough and phonetic fashion(!!!!), AND somehow gets a Phd in History without ever once coming across the socio-historical context out of which various medieval monastic shorthands wormed their way into modern english usage.
Chi-Mas motherfucker, do you celebrate it?
* There's an additional irony in what starkey was saying regarding "Jamaican patois" that might be lost on some non-londoners, but basically as any londoner who either possesses Jamaican or Caribbean family or has friends who have family in the Caribbean will attest, any visit to Caribbean relatives by someone raised in london will feature a moment where the relatives raised in the Caribbean will mock the londoner for using the term "innit" because no one in the Caribbean uses that term.