It was only last month that Reuters reported that “U.S. President Donald Trump’s former political strategist Steve Bannon has been in contact with three potential rivals to British Prime Minister Theresa May … Bannon said he had been in direct contact with [Boris] Johnson and two other potential challengers to May”. And there was more.
“‘Boris Johnson is one of the most important persons on the world stage today,’ Bannon said. He described Johnson as ‘his own guy’ and said he had ‘texted a lot’ with him and spoken by phone with him during this month’s London trip”. Just how much “his own guy” London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson really is, we found out when his latest “chicken feed” generating column for the Telegraph appeared.
Steve Bannon is a white supremacist bigot who worked for an alleged President who demonises Muslims. So, to no surprise at all, as the BBC has reported, “Mr Johnson … was commenting on the introduction of a burka ban in Denmark … He said he felt ‘fully entitled’ to expect women to remove face coverings when talking to him at his MP surgery - and schools and universities should be able to take the same approach if a student ‘turns up... looking like a bank robber’”. Bozza feeling “fully entitled” with women, eh?
Then he lost it completely. “If you tell me that the burka is oppressive, then I am with you … If you say that it is weird and bullying to expect women to cover their faces, then I totally agree - and I would add that I can find no scriptural authority for the practice in the Koran … I would go further and say that it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letterboxes”. Whistle those Gammon Doggies™!
The condemnation was swift to arrive. “The assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, Miqdaad Versi, said Mr Johnson was ‘pandering to the far right’”. Pandering? He’s positively baying for attention.
Why that might be was explained by Labour MP David Lammy. “Muslim women are having their burkas pulled off by thugs in our streets and Boris Johnson's response is to mock them for 'looking like letterboxes’ … Our pound-shop Donald Trump is fanning the flames of Islamophobia to propel his grubby electoral ambitions”.
The Right Honourable Member for Tottenham was correct, with Adam Bienkov coming to the same conclusion: “The fact that Boris Johnson believes comments like these will help him win the Tory leadership tells you everything you need to know about the Islamophobia problem in the Conservative party”. And he had one more observation.
“While at the Spectator, Boris Johnson defended Islamophobia as a ‘natural reaction’ to Islam and questioned the loyalty of Muslims in the UK”. How to get away with the anti-Semitic “disloyal Jew” trope? Change it to “Muslim” and hey presto! All is acceptable.
Bozza has always been a bigot, and thus far has been able to laugh it off. Small wonder Bannon targeted him. And this latest outburst means one thing.
Boris Johnson believes this will help propel him to the Tory leadership, and then to electoral success. That means the Tories are still the Nasty Party.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at