Friday, 4 November 2016

Freudian Slip (Ship)

Boris Johnson won an award for 'comeback of the year' in glitzy ceremony hosted by the Spectator magazine the other day, but the foreign secretary rather spoiled the occasion with the claim in his acceptance speech that the UK's exit from Europe would be a "Titanic success".

Now Bojo's got form in this area, as regular readers know, not least during the great EU referendum when Nicholas Soames, Winston Churchill's grandson, said:

“Boris Johnson has really bogged it and showed himself up as an ocean-going clot.”

I have to say, I couldn't agree more.


Bojo's Lost His Mojo (16/05/16)

Boris Johnson has done the Labour Party a great favour by coming up with another ridiculous comparison involving the fascist leader Adolf Hitler.

According to Boris the European Union (EU) is behaving in much the same way as the Nazis all those years ago which is a monumentally stupid thing to say, even for the former London Mayor.

Seems like former London Mayors have a thing about Adolf Hitler, especially after Labour's Ken Livingstone made such a fool of himself by claiming that Hitler was really Zionist before he "went mad" and authorised the killing of 6 million Jews.

Yet another sign that Bojo's lost his touch, if you ask me.

Dog Whistles and Equal Pay (25/04/16)

Boris Johnson has been getting pelters all weekend, and rightly so in my opinion, over his dog whistle comment about President Barack Obama being "part-Kenyan", a phrase Bojo used in writing a very hostile, anti-EU article for The Sun newspaper.  

Now I laughed my head off at this latest piece of buffoonery from the outgoing London Mayor because Barack Obama's ancestry (his father was Kenyan) has nothing whatsoever to do with his track record as American President or his ability to comment, as a friend, on the European referendum.  

In fact, the last time I heard such stupid and reactionary views being expressed, they were used by Unison in a Scotland-wide newspaper advert which made a similarly pathetic attempt to smear and discredit someone - my colleague Stefan Cross, now a highly respected QC of course.

But back in the day Unison were so worried about the impact Action 4 Equality Scotland was having that any old tactics would do, hence the attack on Stefan for the terrible crime of being English.

Boris Johnson and Unison: who would have thought these two unlikely bedfellows have so much in common?

Dog Whistles (29/08/13)

Here's another post from the blog site archive which, if I remember correctly, was prompted by a Scotland-wide newspaper advert from Unison.

Now strangely the advert had nothing to say anything about the situation in South Lanarkshire - where the trade unions, including Unison, actively discouraged their low paid members from pursuing equal pay claims.  

Now that is funny.

But funnier still is the fact that the whole business has come back to bite them in the ass - after all these years.  

Dog Whistle Attacks (2009)

I’ve had lots of comment about the recent ‘attack’ advert from Unison – people are curious about their very deliberate use of the word ‘English’ in relation to Stefan Cross Solicitors.
Is the union becoming paranoid and xenophobic – because why else would they mention race and nationality - when these terms are of no relevance to equal pay?

‘Dog whistle’ politics is about sending a hidden message – one that you don’t want to admit to, up front at least, but the underlying intention is perfectly clear – emphasise a point (a negative one, of course) that you think will play to the prejudices of your audience.

In this case, a rather bizarre anti-English sentiment – it would appear - which is to be pitied, not admired.

Mark Irvine and Carol Fox are both Scottish – Stefan Cross lives and works in Newcastle, but does anyone (other than Unison) care?

We’re not motivated by people’s politics or where they come from – to paraphrase Martin Luther King: “It’s the quality of a person’s character that counts”.

As you’d expect, we’re happy to defend our colleague Stefan’s right to be English – to support Newcastle United, rather than Celtic or Rangers, Hearts or Hibs – or anyone else for that matter.

And here’s another amazing revelation - Mark Irvine was actually born in Canada, but so far at least no one has held that against him.

So, to lighten the mood we’re highlighting 10 good things to have come out of England and helped make life that little bit better for many Scots: 

1. The Road to Scotland
2. Emmeline Pankhurst – women’s rights activist and suffragette
3. Cockney Rhyming Slang
4. JRR Tolkein and “The Lord of the Rings”
5. Liverpool Football Club (1977 – 1987 vintage)
6. The Tolpuddle Martyrs – transported to Australia for trade union activity
7. The Beatles
8. The Daily Telegraph – for its scoop on MPs expenses
9. Gin and Tonic
10. Stefan Cross and Action 4 Equality

If you have any other suggestions, let us know – I’ll share the best (and worst) on the blog site.

PS If Stefan Cross had been Welsh, does anyone think Unison would have mentioned that in their advert?
Obama hits back at Boris Johnson's alleged smears
BBC - EU Referendum

Image copyrightPA

US president Barack Obama has hit back after Boris Johnson's comments about his "part-Kenyan" ancestry.

Mr Johnson said the removal of a bust of Churchill from Obama's office was seen by some as a sign of an "ancestral dislike of the British Empire".

The comments in an article for The Sun were branded "idiotic" and "deeply offensive" by Churchill's grandson.

Mr Obama made clear his admiration for Britain's wartime leader in pointed remarks at a press conference.

He did not mention Mr Johnson by name but said he had a bust of Churchill outside the Treaty Room - his private office on the second floor of his official residence.

"Right outside the door of the Treaty Room, so that I see it every day - including on weekends when I'm going into that office to watch a basketball game - the primary image I see is a bust of Winston Churchill," he said.

"It's there voluntarily because I can do anything on the second floor. I love the guy."


It had been in the Oval Office, he said, but: "There are only so many tables where you can put busts otherwise it starts to looks a little cluttered."

As the first African American president, he said, a bust of Martin Luther King would be "appropriate", to remind him "of all the hard work of a lot of people who somehow allow me to have the privilege of holding this office".

He added: "That's just on Winston Churchill. I think people should know that, know my thinking there."

Mr Johnson said he was "delighted" by Mr Obama's backing for Churchill, but did not respond to questions about whether he had been trying to suggest the US President had a grudge against Britain. 


Speaking earlier on a visit to a fast food restaurant in his Uxbridge constituency, Mr Johnson said: "The crucial point is that I'm a big fan of Barack Obama - I was one of the first people to come out in favour of him ages ago.

"But I think there's a weird paradox when the President of the Unites States, a country that would never dream of sharing its sovereignty over anything, instructs or urges us politely to get more embedded in the EU, which is already making 60% of our laws.

"I think the issue really is about democracy - America guards its democracy very jealously and I think we should be entitled to do so as well."

Downing Street said Mr Johnson was recycling "false" claims in relation to Churchill's bust.

Churchill's grandson, Conservative MP Sir Nicholas Soames, who is campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU, called the article "deplorable" and "completely idiotic".

'Unacceptable smear'

He told LBC Radio: "I like to think, possibly - I'm mad enough to think - that it was probably written by some little twerp who works for Boris. I can't believe that Boris would really have done something so stupid, but whatever it is it bears his name and it is deeply offensive."

Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell called for Mr Johnson to withdraw his comment, writing on Twitter: "Mask slips again. Boris part-Kenyan Obama comment is yet another example of dog whistle racism from senior Tories."

Former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Campbell of Pittenweem said Mr Johnson's comments constituted an "unacceptable smear".

But UKIP leader Nigel Farage defended the comments, saying: "I think Obama, because of his grandfather and Kenya and colonisation, I think Obama bears a bit of a grudge against this country."

Stories about the removal of the Churchill bust were described by the White House in 2012 as "100% false".

"The bust still in the White House. In the Residence. Outside the Treaty Room," a senior adviser said in a rebuttal.

A Churchill bust lent to President George Bush by Tony Blair was removed from the Oval Office along with other art lent to the Bush presidency after Mr Obama's 2009 inauguration "as is common practice at the end of every presidency", the White House said at the time.

A separate bust of Britain's wartime leader, that has been in the White House since the early 1960s, remains on display.

Mr Johnson said in his article: "No-one was sure whether the president had himself been involved in the decision", adding: "Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan president's ancestral dislike of the British Empire - of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender."

The London mayor, who penned a best-selling biography of Churchill, was born in New York but recently said he intends to renounce his American citizenship to prove his "commitment to Britain".

Bojo's Lost His Mojo (24/04/16)

Image result for Boris Johnson on a skip wire + images

Boris Johnson is under attack from all sides after his disastrous attempt to attack President Obama for being "part-Kenyan" and for having the temerity to replace a bust of Winston Churchill with another of his heroes, Martin Luther King.

Churchill's grandson (an old friend of Bojo's apparently) spoke for the nation when he said:

“Boris Johnson has really bogged it and showed himself up as an ocean-going clot.”

Churchill's bust, by the way, has not been chucked in the skip, but has been moved to another part of the White House which President Obama passes every day on his way into the Oval Office. 

Boris Weighs The Options

Boris Johnson has been having a hard time in the press over recent days with much of the criticism focusing on his character and personal life.

But my complaint about Boris is that he's a complete 'chancer' whose views change like the weather to suit his purpose or which country he's in perhaps.

Compare this extract from an article in The Sunday Telegraph in which Boris 'celebrates' the liberation of Palmyra with Boris's comments from September 2013 compare President Assad to Adolf Hitler.   

Bravo for Assad – he is a vile tyrant but he has saved Palmyra from Isil (The Telegraph - 28 March 2016)

The Syrian regime, with military help from Russia, is succeeding where the West has failed

I suppose it is bizarre to feel such joy at the military success of one of the vilest regimes on earth. But I cannot conceal my elation as the news comes in from Palmyra and it is reported that the Syrian army is genuinely back in control of the entire Unesco site.

There may be booby traps in the ruins, but the terrorists are at last on the run. Hooray, I say. Bravo – and keep going. Yes, I know. Assad is a monster, a dictator. He barrel-bombs his own people. His jails are full of tortured opponents. He and his father ruled for generations by the application of terror and violence – and yet there are at least two reasons why any sane person should feel a sense of satisfaction at what Assad’s troops have accomplished

The Metro - 3 September 2013
The west should not make the same mistakes with Syria as it did with Nazi Germany, Boris Johnson has said, as he compared Bashar al-Assad to Adolf Hitler.

The mayor of London wants MPs to ‘think again’ on military intervention in Syria if Congress backs US president Barack Obama’s call for strikes after last month’s suspected chemical weapons attack.

Mr Johnson, echoing David Cameron’s comments last week, said a targeted bombing campaign would show that ‘in the end, when a tyrant decides to use unlawful weapons, gas, to murder innocent civilians, we will not stand idly by’.

Now on balance it's a good thing that the Islamic State are no longer in control of Palmyra, but this is not a cause for celebration because Syria's civil war is down to President Assad's tyrannical regime and his ruthless use of the army to suppress  demands for political change.

And for all the harm done to rare archeological artefacts in Palmyra, this is as nothing compared to the treatment of the Yazidis many of whom have been killed, with women and children sold into slavery.