When the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr is attracting abuse from all the right people, it’s clear she is on the right track. It was true all through the Cambridge Analytica exposé, and it’s true today, as she is revealed to have been part of a team nailing the far-right links of London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson - links that Bozza lied about in order to avoid questions. It didn’t work.
Come in Bozza, your controller wants a word
So it was that when the deeply unsavoury André Walker, one of those intimately involved in the Tory Bullying scandal, sniped “Carole Codswallop reveals yet more evidence that people know each other”, we knew she had hit the nail squarely on the head once again.
When Labour MP David Lammy told the host on The Andy Marr Show™ “We do know that Boris Johnson is with Steve Bannon who is a white supremacist”, Bozza and his pals were contemptuous. It was a mere conspiracy theory. The Great Man put the boot in, blustering “As for the so-called association with Steve Bannon, I am afraid this is a lefty delusion whose spores continue to breed in the Twittersphere”.
A total Muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street
It wasn’t a “lefty delusion”. Bozza, as so often, lied his way out of it. We know this as Ms Cadwalladr has obtained footage from Alison Klayman’s new documentary The Brink. Bozza’s resignation speech as he left the Government had Bannon’s fingerprints all over it: “the headline, the framing … the ‘rallying call’, these were the themes he said he and Johnson had ‘gone back and forth on text’ about over the [previous] weekend”.
Ey up, look who's on the case
Ms Klayman asserted that Bannon was “unequivocal” about that. Bang to rights - especially, as Ms Cadwalladr noted, “even up until last week, [Bozza’s] team was keeping to the line that the contact was restricted to ‘one text – an invitation to meet that Johnson declined’”. He lied once. He lied twice. Now he’s been caught again.
Of course Bozza and Bannon have been in contact. Regular contact. Hence his claim that a Muslim woman dressed in a niqab looked like a “bank robber”, and that such people went around “looking like letterboxes”. Ms Cadwalladr again: “Tamsin Shaw, a professor of philosophy at New York University who has been researching Bannon’s world view, said: ‘He collaborated with publishers of neo-Nazi white nationalist websites to turn Breitbart into a platform for the alt-right. And his main initiative in the White House was the Muslim ban.’”
OH WHAT A GIVEAWAY
That’s who is advising Bozza. Someone who told the European far-right that to be branded racist was something they should “wear with pride”. As Ms Shaw put it, “Bannon’s MO - winning people over to racist views by making them laugh along … people laugh along with Johnson’s one-liners, they’re effectively disclaiming responsibility for racist views and policies and the people who aren’t laughing are derided as humourless”.
Small wonder Bozza didn’t take kindly to Matthew d’Ancona letting the world know that Bannon was behind his “letterboxes” and “bank-robbers” column. Thus the danger: the idea that Bozza is some kind of benign one-nation Tory is bunk. He’s a shameless opportunist, and if he believes he has to be a racist bigot to get himself into power, then a racist bigot he will be. Backed by a white supremacist. And lying about it all the way.
Boris Johnson may be a clown. But he’s a very dangerous and determined clown.
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