Saturday, 11 August 2018

Boris Johnson - statesman or music-hall turn?

Guido Fawkes protests that there is no need for an investigation into Boris Johnson's infamous Telegraph column because comedians on Have I Got News For You and other columnists have made similar comparisons. He misses the point that BoJo's friends continue to press for him to be leader of his party and, if there is no general election, therefore prime minister. Mocking other people's cultural customs is not what one expects from a government minister let alone the head of UK's government. I agree with Guido to the extent that other Conservative back-benchers have made worse racist remarks and not had the whip removed or their membership suspended. But they remained on the back-benches, and so should BoJo.

Or is Guido arguing for comedians to enter government, as has happened in Italy? Should we look forward to Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean) as Foreign Secretary and Jim Davidson in charge of the Home Office?

The basic premise of Boris Johnson's column I agree with. There should be no ban on all-enveloping clothing or veils if that is what a woman chooses to wear, except on the occasions when there is a conflict with our own time-honoured practices, such as giving evidence in court. We have accepted nuns in full habit on our streets for many years, with concomitant jokes about them from the likes of the late Dave Allen, who was neither charged with an offence nor promoted to government. If only Mr Johnson had not mixed a liberal sentiment with offensive comparisons!

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