The campaign by London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson to to prove that he is a fit and proper person to occupy the Top Job and therefore be allowed to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister has once again progressed not necessarily to his advantage, as a mere mention of his lamentable track record has provoked a most unseemly row in the House of Commons.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford used his allowance at today’s Prime Minister’s Questions to probe the character of The Man Who Would Be PM, kicking off with “Does the Prime Minister agree with the frontrunner set to succeed her, that the Scottish people are a verminous race who should be placed in ghettoes and exterminated?”
He was referring to an article published by the Spectator at the time Bozza was editor. As Politics Home has told, “It contains the lines ‘the Scotch – what a verminous race!’ and said it was ‘time Hadrian’s Wall was refortified to pen them in a ghetto on the other side’, finishing by saying Scotland ‘deserves not merely isolation, but comprehensive extermination’”. Ms May bodyswerved that one. But then came the follow up.
Ian Blackford MP
“Does the Prime Minister realise, not only is the member a racist, he is stoking decision in communities and has a record of dishonesty?” Cue uproar from the Tory benches. Speaker Bercow was forced to intervene. He suggested, but did not insist, that Blackford withdrew. Blackford did not withdraw. He doubled down - and rightly so.
After referring the House to Bozza describing Africans as having “watermelon smiles” and referring to Muslim women as looking like “letterboxes”, he concluded “If that’s not racist I don’t know what is”. Wallop! The very idea! Calling a racist a racist? What was the world coming to (who said “Ravel’s Bolero”? Go and stand at the back)?
A complete Muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street
The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog were incandescent with, well, something. “Tory MPs were seething with rage after Bercow intervened to tell the SNP’s Ian Blackford to withdraw his description of Boris Johnson as ‘racist’, only for Blackford to double down on his remarks while Bercow turned a blind eye. Bill Wiggin furiuosly [sic] took the Speaker to task over his inconsistency, Bercow responds in characteristic fashion that he’s not a ‘delicate flower’ and doesn’t feel ‘any concern’. Another big fat middle finger to Parliament”.
As opposed to a big fat middle finger to investigative journalism, or indeed any kind of journalism. But Blackford could have gone much, much further, for instance citing Bozza’s clumsy smear of former US President Barack Obama as “Part Kenyan”.
The reality is that the Tories know Bozza is a racist bigot: their way of resolving the problem is to reassure themselves that, at least, he’s their racist bigot. For everyone else, as the Guardian’s Andrew Sparrow has concluded, they are going to have to get used to rather more of the same. “If Johnson does, as expected, become PM towards the end of July, expect a lot more of this. PMQs is going to liven up considerably”. Quite.
The Prime Minister’s a racist! The Prime Minister’s a racist! There you go, Blazing Saddles updated for the 21st Century. Welcome to our new … racist.
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