That part of the Tory faithful that will back London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris do Pfeffel Johnson come hell or high water has been out in force overnight, defending their hero after he wrote a column for the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph calculated to incite yet more hatred against Muslim women who wear the Burqa. But credibility can be stretched only so far.
The stretching of that credibility beyond the limits of elasticity was demonstrated by the now former hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre - the Vagina Monologue has edited his last edition - at the Daily Mail, who have told on their front page “‘Disturbingly Orwellian … a witch-hunt … and no, Boris ISN’T racist’”. Mail readers prepared to excuse racism? Well, knock me down with a feather.
Cripes chaps, it's George's ex again! Yikes! Oo-er!
Excusing Bozza in the Mail have been the likes of Stephen “Miserable Git” Glover, who has dishonestly claimed “His column in Monday’s Daily Telegraph did not reveal a cunning politician employing manipulative ‘dog whistle’ politics to win the support of backwoods Conservative racists”. It sodding well did, Steve, and well we both know it.
Also pretending it’s about something it isn’t is Janet Street Facking Porter, telling Mail readers “The knock-about jokes I can live without, but l respect his right to free speech … Boris is brilliant at one thing - flushing out the tosspots who feel compelled to pontificate on any issue of the day”. No, it’s not about free speech, or indeed tosspots. It’s about racism.
The sad reality which all these Bozza boosters are unable, or unwilling, to grasp is that their hero is, and always has been, an unreconstructed racist bigot. From “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles” to calling Barack Obama “part-Kenyan” with an “ancestral dislike” of Britain, to making goat jokes about Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he’s consistently bigoted.
And then there is Bozza’s Monkey Melon Moment. Some years ago, before he became what the late Russell Harty might have called “famous, nay, notorious”, George Osborne turned up at a party with a young black woman, Natalie Rowe. She was aware of not only being the only non-white person in the room, but also that Osborne was held in utter contempt by some of his colleagues - like Bozza.
This was because George had not been to “school”, as old Etonians call their alma mater. And his Dad had only been in the decorating business. How utterly ghastly! But when confronted with a black woman, Bozza went further. A lot further. And what he did shows that he has always been a nailed-on and indeed unrepentant racist.
Rather than actually talk with Ms Rowe - like just saying hello, for instance - Bozza instead obtained a melon, which he had cut in half (remember “watermelon smiles”?) and then brandished at Ms Rowe, making a series of monkey noises as he did so. And as with all the other racism, he didn’t even think about apologising.
It is the monkey taunts, the melon waving, and all the rest of Bozza’s bigotry, that the Mail is defending today, as are many others in and around the press. Try telling Natalie Rowe that Bozza isn’t a racist. But make sure you stand well back when doing so.
Boris Johnson is being called out for his bigotry. Because he’s a bigot. That is all.
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