Friday, 11 April 2008

Boris Johnson: I have no more views for you

Boris Johnson has taken the bizarre move of referring to quotations from his published work as 'smears.' The successful and popular columnist accused the Mayor of 'demeaning his office' by quoting from his previously published comments. The Conservatives have also cited it as evidence of 'dirty tactics' from the Livingstone campaign.

The complaint came in the LBC radio debate after Ken Livingstone referred to a Spectator article written shortly after the 7/7 bombings. In this article Boris stated that Islamophobia was a 'justifiable reaction' to the Koran and that 'Islam was the problem.' He also described Islam as the 'most viciously sectarian of all religions' and asked 'when is someone going to get 18th century on Islam's medieval ass?'

Now there are many people who would agree with Boris' sentiments. The BNP for one, who would be quite happy to get 'medieval' on Islam's ass right now.  In fact the possibility of any future medieval behaviour was probably a factor in their endorsement of Boris for Mayor. Yet there are others who say that Boris has changed his mind. Again, this may be true. He now says that Islam is a religion of peace, and he has made frequent references to having a Muslim grandfather (well that's all right then.)

Yet rather than claim a conversion, Boris has bizarrely accused Livingstone of 'traducing' him. He makes the extraordinary claim that for Ken to repeat his own published words is a 'deeply offensive' act, because it does not relate to 'what is in my heart.'

Now quite what is in Boris' heart I wouldn't like to say, but it does seem to be a uniquely irrational argument. In fact to claim that his own words and writings bear no relation to his beliefs is almost as illogical as this infamous comment from Tony Blair in 2004. In a party conference speech Tony Blair said to the slightly scared crowd of Labour supporters that: "I only know what I believe."

In this one reckless sentence Blair defied the entire history of empirical thought and brought British politics to a new low. By denying a link between his words and beliefs Boris is performing a similar sleight of hand. All previous beliefs and views are to be slipped down the memory hole and a fresh new Boris will emerge.

In this respect it is Boris Johnson who is now the true 'heir to Blair.'


stevep said...

Is it a smear to point out that he has written that he doesn't believe in climate change, or in the minimum wage, but that he now pretends to?

Surely this goes to the heart of whether this man has any integrity or not. How can he go from having all of these views before being asked to run for mayor to having none of them after being asked to run for mayor?

If we vote for him, what will we REALLY be getting?

Anonymous said...

The difference between Blair and Boris is that Boris keeps his promises. New LAbour lies will not keep out Boris.

angelneptunestar said...

Mr. Tory Troll, I abhor any type of racism, with an absolute passion. If I thought Boris was in any way racist, no way in a million years would I support him as strongly as I do.

Isn't it the INTERPRETATION of his articles that Boris feels are smears, not the articles?

Boris Johnson is a very peaceable guy. It is when murders are done in the name of religion that he becomes extremely upset, because he is so placid by nature. He became very upset when he saw what was happening to young Africans. That is why is is so wrong to tar him with racism.

To see how good natured and peaceable he is, you only have to look at him.

He has written equally strongly condemning early Christians who murdered others in the name of their faith. He abhors violence and that is what is behind these articles. He is of mixed race, like me, (well I am English, Dutch, French, italian mixed blood). His kids are a quarter Indian. He also has Turkish blood.

It is not any race he condemns and I believe that from the bottom of my heart. it is violence in the name of religion that he condemns and I believe he is totally right to do that.

The Tory Troll said...

The fact that he is of mixed race is completely irrelevant to any beliefs he has or pretends to have. The fact is that neither I nor you has any idea what is real beliefs are if he has any at all. For years he made a career out of being an popular but outspoken right-winger who was willing to say what many on the right dare not say. But now that he is running for mayor, he pretends that he never had these views despite the fact that they are still in print and in heavy circulation.

I do not know if he is racist or not, although his articles and the articles of others that he has published in the Spectator could be seen as such. However, what I do accuse him of is dishonesty, and for a candidate for mayor that is a far worse accusation.

Because for all that Boris campaigners smear Livingstone as a 'crook' there has been no evidence produced. Boris' dishonesty however, is proved everytime he says Islam is a religion of peace or that he believes in the minimum wage, or the fight against climate change. The evidence? His own words.