Burka Boris

I know there are some who will argue that Boris just utters the public grumbling and what the man on the street says, but I don't personally see that as a virtue. I can't really understand why he is still around at all. This isn't the first time he's let his racist opinions leak and I doubt very much it will be the last. Other MP's have uttered things and been suspended fairly promptly, so why not Boris? Why does Boris have to go through a protracted enquiry before suspension (and later, possible expulsion)? Why not just suspend him now and limit the further damage he can do, have the enquiry and expel the court fool? What is it about Boris that makes him so untouchable, as if no matter what he says or does, nothing sticks?
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Comments

  • The argument is that he didn't attack the burqa, but that he was defending it in the article - original Telegraph article is behind a wall - unlike the wall to wall coverage.
  • I find it strange that Boris can say what he does about Moslem women (insulting Moslems and women - so 2 counts) but dare anyone criticise Israeli politicians, (not the Jewish community) there is all hell to pay.

    Boris doesn't rant against people who wear masks against pollution and motor bike helmets (do they really need visors - cyclists don't)? Don't they just look like post boxes too - or worse because you can't see their faces at all? It seems that there is one law for Moslem women in the street and another for others in Boris's book - and that smacks of Islamaphobia and also misogyny.

    Boris may have had an expensive education but he has as little common sense as the haystack he wears on his head. He is the joker of the Government but the Joker can be very dangerous.
  • On the Radio 4 PM programme the other day, Eddie Mair read quite a long extract from the Daily Telegraph article Boris wrote and his remarks, set in context, are nowhere near as dreadful as they are being made out to be. In fact, they sounded quite reasonable.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    Boris isn't stupid. He knows full well that his remarks are defensible, at the same time as knowing that his remarks are a dogwhistle to every racist who hears them.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Mr Johnson - I no longer refer to him as Boris; it makes him sound cuddly - is long, long past his sell-by date. Mrs May made a big mistake including him in the cabinet in the first place when he'd just fouled up with his own leadership pretensions after the referendum. I wondered if at the time, she might have been subtly and cleverly setting up to fail, but when the first time he did, he wasn't out on the ear he should have landed on. He's been given far too much rope already. I don't understand why he seems to have an immunity that other lesser politicians do not have.

    It isn't just this present row. It isn't even just his failures as Foreign Secretary. There's all manner of other reasons why he is unsuitable to carry the responsibilities of office. He's got away with too much, for too long. It is unjust to lesser mortals that he should continue to do so.
  • I still maintain his arguments are illogical. He doesn't complain about others who cover their faces in public; just Moslem women. His remarks aren't defensible. They aren't evenhanded. Whether we agree with Moselm women wearing the burka isn't the point. You can't condemn one group, when other groups do the same and get away with it.

    He doesn't like Moslems and he doesn't like women. He is dangerous.

    As to Foreign Sec.! What possessed the PM to give this loud mouth the post when you need diplomacy in spadefuls to be FS. What he did with his stupid ignorant comments (as FS he should have checked facts before he opened his big mouth) in extending that poor woman's prison sentence in Iran, instead of trying to get her freed, is indefensible.

    He seems to be made of Teflon - but even that looses its efficacy after a time. Ask any cook.
  • When you pile up the hoarde of offences he's amassed for himself over the last couple of years, it's not a pile of gold. That to me is the problem. He gets a fools pardon; again, and again, and again. There seems to be an attitude of 'Oh we all know underneath he's racist and contemptible, but so long as he never fully crosses the line and we can all look at him dotingly as the court jester, then it's ok.' I honestly thought he'd be gone by now; that the amassed hoarde would start to smell so awful that it could no longer be ignored, but no, he seems utterly untouchable.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    Boris is there to attract the ignorant yob (and yobette) vote. It isn't unique to the Tories by any means but they rely on that and the Grey Vote to stay in power, despite their policies being exactly opposite to anything that would benefit those groups. The burka row is just the sort of cheapshot that will keep these demographics onside despite everything else.
  • It's been said that his article contains good arguments for not banning the burkha, and I won't disagree with that. It's also been said that he was making a serious contribution to the discussion - on that I will disagree. As everyone here knows, including stupid comments about letterboxes creates a focus on those comments to the exclusion of anything else you say, with subsequent comments descending rapidly to just about the stupidity. It's a dynamic we've seen on the Ship countless times and regularly leads to suspension since the stupidity spoils the ability for any sensible discussion.

    Boris also had his article published just before disappearing on holiday, so we don't get anything else from him. A dynamic very similar to many jerks and trolls here.
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    Boris might make a passable politician when he grows up.
  • I suspect he will grow up into a deeply dangerous politician.
  • WildHaggis wrote: »
    I find it strange that Boris can say what he does about Moslem women (insulting Moslems and women - so 2 counts) but dare anyone criticise Israeli politicians, (not the Jewish community) there is all hell to pay.

    As a contrast, let's look at the Times column on the affair and imagine the same thing said with other communities and parties substituted in:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DkEyaTqWsAA0d71.jpg:large
    sionisais wrote: »
    Boris is there to attract the ignorant yob (and yobette) vote.

    I think it's more than that, he's also attracts the average middle aged conservative supporter (the type who always looks close to apoplexy and goes on QT to say that you 'cannot say things anymore' - things that they are at that point mentioning on TV).
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    sionisais wrote: »
    Boris is there to attract the ignorant yob (and yobette) vote.

    I think it's more than that, he's also attracts the average middle aged conservative supporter (the type who always looks close to apoplexy and goes on QT to say that you 'cannot say things anymore' - things that they are at that point mentioning on TV).

    Tht's also true, but they are core, natural Conservative supporters who wouldn't vote LibDem and probably wouldn't trust UKIP either. My mum was one. The Tories don't need Johnson for that; the usual culture of meanness espoused by the rest of the cabinet can see to that.
  • BoJo The Clown is a dangerous dickhead.

    Before we know it, he'll be Leader of the T**y Party, and Prime Minister.

    I'm booking my ticket out now.

    (BTW, people with haystacks instead of hair should not be rude to neat and decorous Moslem ladies. They should, instead, cover their own shortcomings - or should that be longcombings ? POTUS, please note.)
    :rage:

    IJ
  • I suspect he will grow up into a deeply dangerous politician.

    I suspect he will never grow up
  • Indeed. He's shown no signs of being a responsible adult, so far.

    How the f**k does our poor benighted country end up with barmpots like these in 'power'?
    :rage: :cold_sweat:

    IJ
  • Indeed. He's shown no signs of being a responsible adult, so far.

    How the f**k does our poor benighted country end up with barmpots like these in 'power'?
    :rage: :cold_sweat:

    IJ

    They stand for election. People vote for them.
  • sionisais wrote: »
    The Tories don't need Johnson for that; the usual culture of meanness espoused by the rest of the cabinet can see to that.

    That's true - but it's also the constituency he wants to appeal to in order to become leader.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    Indeed. He's shown no signs of being a responsible adult, so far.

    How the f**k does our poor benighted country end up with barmpots like these in 'power'?
    :rage: :cold_sweat:

    IJ

    Is it just me or are countries more and more likely to elect entirely unsuitable leaders? FFS, elections are not reality TV shows!
  • Maybe not, but Bad Hair seems to appeal (BoJo, trumpkin, Kim Jong Un, Hitler, Gaddafi....Mussolini shaved his head IIRC, but who knows what he might have looked like?).

    IJ
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    I am neither Muslim or female I do not understand what they find insulting, so I tend to listen to those who are. Baroness Warsi is both Muslim and female, and a member of the same political party as Johnson. She finds Johnson's words unhelpful. That's good enough for me.
  • I was staggered that he would use such inflammatory language, as Muslim women are vulnerable to thugs who try to pull their headscarves off. But it will go down well with the Tory grassroots, what do they care about vulnerable people?
  • BoJo always looks as though someone's tried to pull his hair off.

    Scruffy, useless git that he is.

    IJ
  • LeoLeo Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    He's been given far too much rope already. I don't understand why he seems to have an immunity that other lesser politicians do not have.

    Rope is far too good for him. Try chicken wire.
  • mr cheesymr cheesy Shipmate
    edited August 10
    I was on a South Wales beach the other day. I've also been on a lot of buses around Cardiff recently. And I've been to Eisteddfod (Welsh language festival) in Cardiff Bay a few times.

    I've seen a lot of Burkas in these places. And no point did I feel under threat and never did they bring to mind a letterbox.

    If anything, seeing these made me feel quite proud. Proud that these women want to be part of our community and experience playing on the beach and listening to Welsh rock and roll like everyone else. And proud that I didn't see anyone (even those wearing a lot less clothing and drinking a lot of alcohol) give them any grief whatsoever.
  • mr cheesymr cheesy Shipmate
    Leo wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    He's been given far too much rope already. I don't understand why he seems to have an immunity that other lesser politicians do not have.

    Rope is far too good for him. Try chicken wire.

    Enough with the political violence speech. Even in jest.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    Mr Johnson - I no longer refer to him as Boris; it makes him sound cuddly

    I think a measure of how infantile the political culture in the UK can be is how far Johnson has been able to get by deploying the stereotype of the upper class bumbler.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    edited August 10
    Leo wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    He's been given far too much rope already. I don't understand why he seems to have an immunity that other lesser politicians do not have.

    Rope is far too good for him. Try chicken wire.

    Hellish at best, leo, and maybe not even there. You ought to know better, No more violent incitements, even in jest.

    Barnabas62
    Purgatory Host

    (And I see you got called to the Nether Regions)
  • Enoch wrote: »
    Mr Johnson - I no longer refer to him as Boris; it makes him sound cuddly

    I think a measure of how infantile the political culture in the UK can be is how far Johnson has been able to get by deploying the stereotype of the upper class bumbler.

    Just to add to this - if someone paid 250K acts recklessly in the course of their employment and keeps their employment, you can reasonably assume that they are paid to act recklessly.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Is he going to follow Ken Livingstone along the path to a well deserved obscurity?
  • Peter Hennessy* argued tonight that Boris suffers from limelight-itis and using inflammatory language has put him back into the limelight that he has missed for the last two weeks since his last gaffe and since he left the Foreign Office.

    * Lord Hennessy on the Radio 4 Any Questions? programme
  • It is a frequent thought, also recently expressed in Newsthump "Boris Johnson successfully gets in the news".
    It is thought that when Mr Johnson’s words are no longer deemed newsworthy, he will conjure up another collection of words that are deemed newsworthy and get back in the news.
  • For all the sound and fury people seem to forget one thing, which is that the article that BJ wrote argues for the right of people to wear the burqa or niqab: he was commenting on the ban in Denmark and the furore created there.

    In fact there are many, many countries where a face covering is banned in public, either at all times or while undertaking certain jobs (such as teaching) or doing certain tasks (driving): countries where there is a total or partial ban include: France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Congo, Egypt, plus the province of Quebec in Canada.

    People may deplore the terms used by Boris, but to gently poke fun at the more outlandish things some people do in the name of faith is nothing new, comedians and popular entertainment have been doing it for years. In the case of the Johnson remarks, I can't think they're potentially any more offensive than, say, many sketches on the Dave Allen Show films such as Nuns on the Run (loved Robbie Coltrane in that) and The Life of Brian, TV shows such as The Vicar of Dibley. As a leading Islamic scholar and imam from Oxford, Taj Hargey, points out, there is nothing in the Quran to support the wearing of a face covering; and to support the right of people to claim that mocking the wearers of such to claim Islamophobia is unjustifiable and obtuse unless one accords other religions the same rights. I haven't heard anyone arguing that poking fun at ultra-orthodox jews in Stamford Hill should be banned, so where is the problem?
  • But the wall to wall coverage following Boris' inflammatory phraseology is now preventing "the nuanced discussion" that could, maybe even should, be had about the burqa and/or niqab and whether there are places that it should not be worn.
  • Well, BoJo is fortunate, perhaps, in that he has at least one supporter.

    God help us if The Man Wearing A Haystack ever becomes PM....

    IJ
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    so where is the problem?

    The problem comes when a woman wearing a burqa was attacked by youths trying to post 'letters' in her face, in the street, in broad daylight.

    But you know how it works, don't you? Boris can deny any culpability, while still sniggering behind his hand.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited August 11
    O God - please don't say BoJo has been cloned (and that's not a typo for clowned )....
    :flushed:

    IJ
  • I haven't heard anyone arguing that poking fun at ultra-orthodox jews in Stamford Hill should be banned, so where is the problem?

    Oh really - so where are all the columns poking fun at ultra-orthodox Jews ? I must have missed everyone protesting against something that literally doesn't happen. And given the current environment no one is going to write one, and few will excuse the writing of the same.

    Johnson knows the tiger he rides.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    so where is the problem?

    The problem comes when a woman wearing a burqa was attacked by youths trying to post 'letters' in her face, in the street, in broad daylight.

    But you know how it works, don't you? Boris can deny any culpability, while still sniggering behind his hand.

    Well, the right wing often deny being bigoted or racist, yet applaud Johnson's dog whistle, or say it's gently poking fun, or that he's speaking the truth.
  • I haven't heard anyone arguing that poking fun at ultra-orthodox jews in Stamford Hill should be banned, so where is the problem?

    Oh really - so where are all the columns poking fun at ultra-orthodox Jews ? I must have missed everyone protesting against something that literally doesn't happen. And given the current environment no one is going to write one, and few will excuse the writing of the same.

    Johnson knows the tiger he rides.

    Well, if a Labour member started mocking the physical appearance of orthodox Jews, I suspect that they would be under suspension, before their feet could touch the ground. Why is it OK to mock Muslim women - they are unpersons, physically attacked by the thuggish right, and derided by the upmarket right.
  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Boris isn't stupid. He knows full well that his remarks are defensible, at the same time as knowing that his remarks are a dogwhistle to every racist who hears them.

    Indeed. He's ramping up his CV for his next attempt at becoming Prime Minister. And having Trump's thumbs-up of approval will stand him in even better stead for the next contest. Completely conscienceless, completely consumed by ambition, completely without integrity. He's perfect for the times we live in.
  • Yes, poundshop Trump.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    edited August 11
    @TheOrganist, the issue isn't (well for me it isn't) whether a person should be free to express themselves in this way. Of course they should. And journalists have to some a extent a licence to be provocative to stimulate debate and to sell their papers.

    The issue, though, is whether by writing in the way he has, Mr Johnson demonstrates himself as a statesmanlike sort of person, someone with the calibre and personal qualities appropriate to holding and occupying, senior public office, possibly a future prime minister? Is a person who shoots his mouth of in such an offensive, prejudiced, inflammatory and divisive way the sort of person capable of uniting and taking forward a nation that at the moment is traumatically divided in all manner of ways?

    He isn't 'just a journalist'. He's a politician earning a bit of money on the side and using his journalism so as to keep his ambitions in the public eye. We're entitled to judge, and if necessary, condemn him on that parameter

    There's even a question, raised by a senior politician on his own side less than 72 hours ago, whether by going back to his old job so quickly after ceasing to be a Minister of the Crown, Mr Johnson has committed a serious breach of the code that is supposed to govern former ministers of state.

    Nor can he be described as having 'gently poked fun at the more outlandish things some people do in the name of faith'. He's either deliberately or unthinkingly poured paraffin on an issue which is already smouldering, apparently so as to win the support of those whose interests are to see society become more divisive, by encouraging antipathy against a racial/religious minority.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Leo wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    He's been given far too much rope already. I don't understand why he seems to have an immunity that other lesser politicians do not have.

    Rope is far too good for him. Try chicken wire.

    Can we back this train up one stop? Call me crazy, but it was Enoch's post which started us down this track, with his reference to "rope." I took his post to refer to the old saw about giving someone "enough rope to hang himself with." That phrase has nothing to do with murder, but a purely figurative self-immolation due to sheer pig-headedness. Someone given "enough rope" may or may not use it in the manner implied, but even if he does, there's no violence involved. Nobody, however adamant, has ever committed suicide-by-stupidity with a sharpened metaphor.

    Then along comes Leo and suggests substituting chicken wire for rope, and somehow Leo is now inciting violence. (Whereas suggesting someone might hang himself isn't?!) What am I missing here? Precisely when and how did Leo magically transport us from the realms of metaphor to the horrific realities of political assassination? While admittedly a far more grisly image, how does "Give X enough chicken wire to hang himself with" bring out the pitchforks-and-torches brigade after Leo, but not Enoch?
  • mr cheesymr cheesy Shipmate
    I'm happy to discuss this with you in hell, but in brief there are allusions to the Holocaust which clearly are much more graphic than using the (rather less colourful, but also problematic) phrase about rope - which is more about a person sowing the seeds of their own destruction.

    The first is problematic, the second is unacceptable.
  • Whether it be sexism, xenophobia, racism, cultural or religious slurs, the responses from Boris are always the same. He claims he spoke too quickly, wasn't thinking, it's funny, it has some truth in it, but I really was saying something else...and so on, usually ending with 'I have nothing to apologise for.' The list of offences is long; very long. This isn't about the burka; it's about the bad behaviour of an MP who seems untouchable no matter what he says or does. I do wonder if people have been listening to the horrific rhetoric of UKIP et al for so long that they now accept this type of bigotry as a 'gentle racism' we can accept as normal. It isn't, it's not acceptable and he should be expelled.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    @ Ohher

    Some posts cross the boundary of what is acceptable in a serious discussion forum and what belongs in Hell. I thought Leo's post crossed the acceptable boundary, hence my call.

    But feel free to open a thread in the Styx if you want to explore the issue further.

    Barnabas62
    Purgatory Host

  • There's a point about face coverings. Which makes interaction more difficult. Facial expression beyond eyes. And reading lips to supplement that which is imperfectly heard.

    I had the experience of a niqab wearer who I couldn't understand. She kindly moved the covering so conversation could occur. Though I admit I feigned more embarrassment than I felt as I didn't want to make her uncomfortable. It is perhaps different in different contexts and ages?

    As for your Boris, he does seem to be one who likes to demonstrate to himself how brilliant he is. Or is it another level of intellect?

    (I listen frequently to BBC4 during older adult insomniac nights; it's either radio or pills. The Boris brilliance was featured on any answers/any questions somewhere.)
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Boris the loveable buffoon seems to hide a particularly nasty underside. Not sure whether he believes it or is playing to the crowd, but it is equally repellant. Why action isn't taken astounds me at one level, but I've become accustomed to the lack of accountability down here.
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