Snipe - The Scoop

Monday, 30 June 2008

Team Boris take the Rise Festival for another spin

Two weeks after it was revealed that the anti-racist message would be removed from the Rise Festival and that Boris Johnson did not even know about it, City Hall now insist that the event 'is still an anti-racist event' after all.

There will be no anti-racist message in the promotional material of course and most people attending the event will be completely unaware of the change. But as far as Boris and his team are concerned, they will now be 'doing anti-racism for real.'

In a written statement Boris is quoted as saying:

'Rise is still an anti-racist event. But I see Rise as a celebration of what unites the diverse communities of London, not a negative event highlighting differences and focusing on grievances.'

Yes, there will be no highlighting of grievances this year. If you're a racist or a xenophobe then you can attend Rise without fear. Because this year, everyone is welcome. This year, the theme is 'bringing people together.' 

The fact that all unions have pulled their sponsorship from the event, and that anti-fascist groups have condemned the move, is neither here nor there. Because as long as you're not a left-wing campaigner or a union activist, then this year's Rise is the place for you.

The BNP's Richard Barnbrook for one, has said he will be attending, and Boris Johnson will presumably turn up when he's told to. And with Munira Mirza on hand to calculate the percentage of white people, it should all be a rather jolly event...

Join Boris and Munira in celebrating their diversity, without highlighting their differences, at the freshly re-spun Rise festival on 13 July. Go along. Come together. Be diverse.

17 comments:

Stevep said...

Bluewater shopping centre is very good at 'bringing people together.' Does that make my weekend shop an anti-racist event?

eric ray said...

Sorry - I can't keep up with this Boris speak - it's not an anti-racist festival because that's negative, but it's still anti racist, but there's no message? And everyone can attend evne if their racists because its bringing people together, including people who don't want to be brought together, as that will make them anti-racist without them realising it?
Yup, sounds like Boris.

The Tory Troll said...

It's the David Cameron own-brand of doublespeak. Commit to as little as possible, whilst including as many on-message buzzwords as you can..

It's the sound of a man sitting on a fence, with a foot in both camps, whilst hedging his bets.

Just think. We have four whole years of this bunkum to look forward to when the Tories get in.

Sunny said...

Brilliant post

The Tory Troll said...

Thanks Sunny.

angelneptunestar said...

I totally agree with the argument Boris and Munira are putting forward. A festival is meant to be a joyous occasion, a celebration, so to have a festival that is anti anything is a contradiction in terms. We don't have Anti Nazi festivals, or Anti Anti Semitism Festivals, or Anti Sexist Festivals, nor, I am sure, would the people who have suffered from these vile things want them.

Anti Homophobia Festivals...... nobody wants those either. GAY PRIDE! That is the spirit, celebrate and be proud of what you are, this festival is in the right spirit.

I can't understand why you are opposing a positive spin on this situation, we all want to get over these things, don't we, so surely a good way is to celebrate our diversity, not concentrate on the negative? The attitude of Munira and Boris Johnson is the same attitude adopted in the Gay Pride Festival, THEY ARE BEING CONSISTENT.

The Tory Troll said...

Angela, did you read the post? Here's the quote from Boris again:

'Rise is still an anti-racist event'

So is it an 'anti' event or is it not? If Boris isn't against anti-racist festivals (as he didn't seem to be when asked by the BBC) then why has he scrapped the message? If he is against them (as Munira clearly is) then why still insist that you're not.

The spin they're putting on this is completely incoherent.

NoToBoris said...

Their position is indeed incoherent. That's because they obviously thought up this "celebrating diversity" stuff on the hoof, in order to defuse complaints about the anti-racist message of Rise being abolished.

For Munira Mirza to be promoting the celebration of diversity is a joke. In November 2006 she published an article in the Guardian entitled "Diversity is divisive" in which she attacked "the principle of diversity, where all cultural identities must be given public recognition".

The Tory Troll said...

This is true. When they sent out the original press release there was no mention of 'celebrating diversity' in it, (because as you say Munira doesn't believe in it) but when Dave Hill and others questioned them about it, they got a bit worried and sent out a slightly adapted press release with the 'diversity' thrown in. The original press release was then hastily thrown down the memory hole.

pastyface said...

What we need to know is if all the unions have withdrawn their support - who pays now.

Is Boris putting his hand in his pocket to cough up?

We are only 8-9 weeks in and already I"m losing the will to live with this lot. If this is the future then god help us

The Tory Troll said...

Pastyface- Mike Tuffrey of the Lib Dems asked Boris just that question. It appears that budgets will have to be cut elsewhere. We don't yet know from where.

angelneptunestar said...

Adam dear, I did read the post. i took it to mean Boris was saying he is of course anti racism but his way of demonstrating that is to concentrate on the positive not anything anti or negative, which is what I was trying to say.

I am a bit scared when you get cross, so don't flatten me too hard!

The Tory Troll said...

No he didn't say that he was anti racist, he said that the event was anti racist, which you then went on to say we shouldn't have.

Oh dear.It is becoming very hard to talk about something which is completely incomprehensible even to someone like myself, who has been following it from the start. I just wish Team Boris would say what they really believe rather than sitting on the fence on almost every contentious issue.

pastyface said...

they don't believe in anything - that's the problem. They do of course know what they hate.

Helen said...

Maybe the BNP'll fund the festival, wouldn't that be super - all the food would only contain ingredients "indigenous to these islands" (nettles and gravel), there'd be workshops in traditional Lewisham Bovver-Boot Dancing and Putting The Non-Indigenous Filth Who Have No Business Being On Our Islands On A Pitchfork and the music'll all be patriotic songs about how great it is to be Anglo-Saxon (in Anglo-Saxon, which nobody understands).

The Tory Troll said...

You've been to Red White and Blue then ;)

angelneptunestar said...

Adam, I truly respect your commitment and the sincerity of your beliefs. However, on this Rise issue, I find it so hard that any of you would really believe that Boris and anyone in his Mayoralty had any evil intent in changing the name of the festival. Boris is not Ken. He has his own way of doing things, and he likes to put a positive spin on things. Saying that you are holding a festival for anything that is "anti" does seem illogical and since no other festival being held is "anti" it does seem more consistent to be more celebratory. I'm pretty sure there is no more to it than that.