Sunday, June 22, 2008

Boris and His Absent Backbone

For those of a sensitive disposition, be warned. I am going to pour a bucket of the brown stuff over the Mayor of London. This evening Boris Johnson "let go" one of the most decent, loyal, honest members of staff a politician could ever hope to find. His Chief Political Advisor, James McGrath, has left his job this morning over an alleged remark he is supposed to have made to someone called Marc Wadsworth. Wadsworth details the exchange HERE. His article is headlined

BLACKS SHOULD 'GO HOME IF THEY DON'T LIKE THE MAYOR'.

The headline, however, does not match the quote in the article. Note the position of the quotation marks in the title and then contrast those words with those in the article. Read on...
McGrath was far from politically correct, David-Cameron-new- cuddly-Conservative Party, when I pointed out to him a critical comment of Voice columnist Darcus Howe that the election of “Boris Johnson, a right-wing Conservative, might just trigger off a mass exodus of older Caribbean migrants back to our homelands”. He retorted: “Well, let them go if they don’t like it here.” McGrath dismissed influential race commentator Howe as ‘shrill’.

James McGrath is a no-nonsense Aussie. He doesn't beat about the bush, but these remarks could have been made about any group who "don't like it here" - white, black, whatever.

I'm told that McGrath honourably fell on his sword. But I am not sure he was given any choice in the matter. All Boris has done is attempt to appease people who are quite frankly not capable of being appeased. What he should have done is stand by the man who has stood by him through thick and thin over the last eight months. Instead, Boris has hung James McGrath out to dry - apparently either with the connivance of or at the behest of the Party leadership - in the most despicable and and cowardly manner possible.

Boris needs people who are loyal to him in City Hall - there are precious few of them. Too many people have their own agendas. If those loyal to you make an error, you ball them out and move on and then defend them in public. You don't "let them go" at the first whiff of incoming. Livingstone loyalists will be crowing this evening.

Having defended Boris over his 'piccaninny' and 'watermelon' comments I am now wondering why we all bothered. What he has done today is create a rod for his own back. All anyone needs to do in future is for anyone to shout 'racist' for the most spurious reason and the subject of the accusation will be toast.

It may be a good thing that Boris has made a rod for his own back. It can go where his backbone should be.

Boris has just released a statement...

"It is with great regret this evening that I have accepted the resignation of my political adviser, James McGrath. James has been a loyal, committed and highly professional colleague. I will always be grateful to him for his skills, advice and support in helping elect me as Mayor of London. Unfortunately, his remarks in a conversation with an Internet journalist, published this weekend, made it impossible for him to continue in that role. James is not a racist. I know that. He shares my passionate belief that racism is vile, repulsive and has no place in modern Britain. But his response to a silly and hostile suggestion put to him by Marc Wadsworth, allowed doubts to be raised about that commitment. London is blessed with a rich ethnic and cultural diversity. It is one of the main reasons why I regard it as the greatest city on earth, and I am determined, as Mayor, to serve each and every community with equal passion and commitment. James's remark was taken out of context and distorted, but he recognises the need for crystal clarity on a vital issue like this. We both agree that he could not stay on as my political adviser without providing ammunition for those who wish to deliberately misrepresent our clear and unambiguous opposition to any racist tendencies. I wish James well in the future, thank him for his contribution and urge everyone not to misrepresent his view or misinterpret his intentions any further".


As I said, get a backbone, Boris. During the campaign, in an interview with me you said you "reserve the right to continue to make gaffes". What's good for the goose, is clearly not good enough for the gander, eh?

166 comments:

Jonathan Sheppard said...

I have had the pleasure to deal with James on a number of occasions and have to say that not only was he always professional, and an experienced political operative, but a thoroughly decent person!

I have no doubt in mind mind that accusations of racism towards James are total nonsense!

Tony Sharp said...

"All anyone needs to do in future is for anyone to shout 'racist' for the most spurious reason and the subject of the accusation will be toast."

Not just the future, Iain. This has been happening up and down the country for years.

What angers me most is that efforts to tackle actual racism are diluted by these faux offences.

You are absolutely right. Boris has bottled this and he should have stood up for what was right. He should have stood up against a deliberate and malicious misrepresentation of the facts.

Ken Livingstone's (empty) Whisky Bottle said...

I agree with you Ian - i've read the article now - nothing particularly offensive about it at all. Boris is taking a ridiculous position here. I thought he was all for common sense? It seems not...

Zeddy said...

I'm afraid, Iain, that your blog is increasingly becoming a huggy love-in where you tell us how absolutely lovely your friends are and expect us to accept that their loveliness should outweigh any political mistakes they make.

This latest contribution smacks of your claim the other day that DD is the gay man's best friend just because he happens to be one gay man's best friend.

Just because someone is your pal is no excuse for him behaving badly. No-one (and especially not someone in politics) can be unaware of the historical ramifications of suggesting that blacks should go home or go and live somewhere else (whatever he said).

Either he's a racist or he's a fool. Either out to be justification for his departure, especially given the racists accusations that Boris has had to overcome.

HamishHunter said...

But Iain, you seem to ignore what would have happened if Boris hadn't dispatched him straight away. If he had waited, Boris would have been accused as dithering, and if he had kept him on, he would have been accused of being 'soft' on racism and being sympathetic to those views expressed. Then we would have seen the 'watermelon' quotes rehashed yet again. By making this swift, decisive action, Boris is trying to combat the falsified image of him as a racist. All power to him.

verity said...

Of course the remark could have been about any group or, indeed, any person. The thought "If they're so unhappy, why don't they go back to where they came from?" is universal and could equally have been made about a discontented Polish plumber. How stupid of Boris to reduce the human race to skin pigment.

This is cowardice of the highest degree.

I also didn't like the comment that London is "blessed" with rich ethnic and racial diversity. Pull the other one. Suck-up.

Anyway, we now know that Boris is a paid-up member of the Thought Police and lives in a strange,Kafkaesque world where it's advisable to be seen to punish people for things they didn't say.

I've never been able to stand the man and am absolutely unamazed by this. Boris is one of THEM. Mr McGrath should go to the United States where there are no thought police and you can say anything you damn well choose. The Americans are freer breezier and their spirit is more akin to the Aussies' than tight, judgemental, bossy Britain.

verity said...

Zeddy, your comment makes no sense in the context. "Just because someone is your pal is no excuse for him behaving badly. No-one (and especially not someone in politics) can be unaware of the historical ramifications of suggesting that blacks should go home or go and live somewhere else (whatever he said)."

9:47, eh? Had a bibulous Sunday evening dinner?

Wallenstein said...

Of course it's not racist, but equally in the current climate (and with the level of scrutiny on Boris as the vanguard of the "non-nasty Torys") it suggests a stunning lack of policitical nous to make such a comment.

Tony Sharp said...

Now the wholly unbiased BBC has jumped on the story with this quote:

The adviser, James McGrath, told Marc Wadsworth that "black people who didn't like it here could go back".

We pay handsomely for this rubbish (sure to be stealth edited several times), yet the BBC cannot ever be bothered to read and report the correct quote.

ranter said...

Marc Wadsworth and Darcus Howe? Does anyone actually care what these two have to say about anything today....if they ever did? Didn't Joan Rivers sort old Darcus out last year?
Boris is probably scared of Cameron who would probably have made him apologize AGAIN!

Luca's Toni said...

So how much of this guff is written by Conservative Central Office Iain?

Iain Dale said...

I assume you are referring to Boris's statement rather than my own words!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the man's not a racist. But it takes astonishing political naivety to say blacks "can go home if they don't like it here". It smacks of saloon-bar wisdom.

I don't know what it is with these ex-John Howard advisers in London, they should realise we're not so bluff here and the dog-whistle doesn't work.

And it is for all that they should be sacked.

Scary Biscuits said...

Welcome to the new Conservative party, Iain.

What was called the Loony Left in the eighties is now mainstream. Such is their power and intellectual attraction that the Cameroons compete to out do their political correctness.

Traditionally the right has believed in the power of reason, the left in empathy and image.

Boris says that his ex-employee wasn't a racist but then goes on to explain why he had to be sacked for the sake of Boris's image.

What was the point of thousands of Conservative activists and millions of voters getting out of bed to help the Conservatives if they just carry on as though Ken was still in City Hall?

Peter McGrath said...

'bawl' them out

(no relative)

but probably am, somewhere down the boggy line...

Tim Montgomerie said...

Those accusing Iain of creeping are talking nonsense.

If Iain's aim was to maximise influence he'd be backing the Mayor of London not a man who has just lost his job.

Well done Iain. A powerful, on the money blog.

Anonymous said...

The idiots who are defending the knifing of James McGrath just don't get it, do they?

Had David Cameron taken the same craven attitude towards Boris's equally innocuous 'piccaninny' comments then Boris would have been sacked as Mayoral candidate.

As Conservatives we are trying to change society so that there is no longer an irrational Salem Witch Trials-type atmosphere around accusations of racism.

The hypersensitivity about racism (which reached its nadir with the disgraceful Macpherson Report - "A racist incident is one perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person") must be challenged, not pandered to. By feeding the tiger Boris has make the situation much worse.

On the basis of this travesty I'm afraid that Nick Boles, Guto Harri and his other close advisers inspire little confidence.

Praguetory said...

I could barely read Marc Wadsworth's write up. Just saying...

Prentiz said...

It was a cock-up - but it shouldn't have been a fatal cock-up. You can tell a lot about people by how they treat their staff - (one of the reasons some are a bit suspicious about David Davis...) It's a shame that, in this case, Boris didn't try harder to find a way to protect his staff - particularly so far from an election for him...

Rohan said...

This is Alice in Wonderland stuff from the Mayor. The need for 'clear and unambiguous opposition to any racist tendencies' trumps even the truth. Feeble.

Tony Sharp said...

Now the BBC has moved to change its original version of the story, the link in my comment above is worthless.

However, thanks to the technical joy of capturing a screenshot, the original can be viewed on my blog.

I hope City Hall and Millbank are satisfied with getting their sacrifical lamb. Heaven forbid anyone turns on the lights in those offices, in case certain people are frit by their own shadow.

verity said...

Anonymous 10:05 - " But it takes astonishing political naivety to say blacks "can go home if they don't like it here"."

Indeed. And that isn't what he said. Did you read Iain's piece or not?

verity said...

Well said, Scary Biscuit!

Flipside said...

A few people in the upper levels of City Hall will be delighted to see McGrath go. He often behaved in an aggressive and charmless manner which endeared him to few. Consequently, those who might have stood by a colleague, haven't.

And frankly Iain, people who behave like that will fall - one way or another. He was the architect of his own doom.

Anonymous said...

So the political class are fine with MP's who regularly steal from the taxpaying public via their practically unlimited expense accounts.

They are also happy for fine men and women of the armed forces to be taken to war and lose their lives (or their limbs) on the basis of lies from the senior politician of the time.

They are also happy to completely ignore a referendum (albeit in a 'foreign' country) about the EU with absolutely no problem whatsoever.

But saying someone can go home if they don't like it here - well that's equivalent to mass murder and must be punished by your head being presented to the powers that ne on a platter.

Seriously, you couldn't make it up! And the same goes for all this politically correct claptrap. The masses have had it up to their eyeballs - they've had enough.

Daily Referendum said...

Surely the only racist comment in this whole sad episode came from Darcus Howe. Why should anyone feel compelled to leave London because a white conservative is Mayor?

Henry Mayhew said...

You are absolutely right Iain. What a shocker from 'picaniny' Johnson. They are all the same after all.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Darcus Howe that rentaquote gob-on-a-rope that used to populate a great deal of Channel 4's late night output back in the nineties ??

Surely it is he who should be sent to live abroad for being so unwilling to fit in to the mores and values of this country. Few would miss him.

Anonymous said...

When I was a senior local government officer many of my colleagues made it clear to me that they were extremely racist.

The important thing was that when dealing with the press, outside officials or the general public they were very careful not to give the slightest indication of their racist views. They dealt with members of the ethnic minorities with the utmost courtesy and were unfailingly helpful.

Some may say it is hypocrisy but really it is 'professionalism'.

James McGrath has fallen at the first hurdle. He has shown that he cannot cope with the reality of present-day local government.

conand said...

Let's just analyze the Howe quote:

“Boris Johnson, a right-wing Conservative, might just trigger off a mass exodus of older Caribbean migrants back to our homelands”

This seems quite racist. In saying a 'mass exodus' Howe assumes that every older Caribbean migrant is anti-Boris and/or anti-Tory. This is stereotyping. I have read & heard other commentators from that part of the community say they are inately conservative.
To make such assumptions about people's politics 'en masse' is patronizing, undemocratic and dangerous. It is scaremongering and divisive.
I imagine he was talking about himself.
It's also a bad political analysis. Boris isn't from the right-wing of the party.
I can see why James McGrath was annoyed. Should he have responded in the terms he did? Probably not, because it is politically clumsy to suggest you can't govern for the benefit of the whole community. Better would have been:
'You should stick around for a bit at least. You might find you like it.'
I think it's a yellow card. I see it as approximate to the left saying non-doms should bog off. Damaging and stupid.

Anonymous said...

tony sharp - another incident like this was seen in Wales recently, where a member of the assembly had to 'fall on his sword' [where do they get them all from ?] for an unwise remark about Italians, in relation to Euro 2008.

Whilst rude and rather derogatory, he did offer an unqualified apology, and many Italians in Cardiff couldn't really see what all the fuss was about, once the guy had said sorry.

Will people soon be hanged, drawn and quartered for phrases such as 'soft southern ponce' or rude-ish remarks about the Scots ?

If so, 'The Lives Of Others' and grassing up your neighbours to the police cannot be far behind. Mind you, David Cameron set the ball rolling by firing Patrick Mercer, and the problem is that will set a precedent which it becomes ever more difficult NOT to follow..

word ver.. bkwop.. easy, easy..

verity said...

Flipside: Oooooohh .... "the architect of his own doom"! Boris threw him under the bus for something he didn't say, but what the hell! He was "aggressive and charmless", which is an equal offence on the mad planet of political correctness (aka 'thought fascism').

Mr. Stop Boris said...

In Boris's defence (and that's not something I find myself typing very often), there's no evidence he had anything to do with this decision or even knows about it having happened.

He certainly didn't know about the axing of the anti-racism message from Rise, even after it had attracted two days' controversy and at least one national newspaper article, for instance. (See here and related posts.)

I've no idea who's really running London but it's not Boris, so one assumes it's not *his* lack of backbone to blame here either.

Newmania said...

Having read the article I can see it was very difficult for Boris ,perhaps it was an error of judgement but London politics is dirty and impure and I hardly feel it merits the splenetic frenzy you have unleashed upon him Iain.

It has always been my impression that you resented Boris’s easy success .You fight to make your name from the ground up , he delivers wisdom from the proscenium arch of her majesties Daily Telegraph. You struggle financially to get a seat , he drifts into Henley. You work , he seems to dabble , I can sympathise . You were noticeably slow in expressing any enthusiasm for his candidacy in the first place , I watched with interest .You would have vastly preferred someone like Nick Boles and busy little beaver in Political think tanks and a court insider. Boris has not done his time …… Boris is not serious enough , Boris does not deserve it !!! This is what you feel
You cannot deny that some of this is true you would hardly be human if it were not . Cameron dumped Mercer and concocted a revolting narrative about his sick kid which , in a good world , would have had him hung for hamming it up alone . About these errors of taste and judgement you have been comparatively circumspect and rightly so . A man`s gotta do.. so to speak
So I take you point , but there is a vindictive tone and sham, outrage at the roughty toughty world of London Politics that springs from monsters lurking deep within the Dale Id.


( BTW this all goes for that Po faced Nazi Montgomerie too)

Toodles

Jeremy Jacobs said...

I agree with you comments Iain. Why did we bother?

Iain Dale said...

Newmania, I was going to delete your comment because of the last para, and I apologise to Tim Montgomerie for not having done so. Your comments are delusional.You attribute views and motives I do not have. You pretend to know me but you frankly haven't a clue.

Roger360 said...

It is just possible I suppose that this country will grow up instead of indulging in these adolescent spats about who said what to whom. The only strategy the left has these days is to try to get tories to say something - anything - that can be twisted out of context. I hope David Cameron does not fall for all this PC tosh. It feels like the end of the English Commonwealth and I await the Restoration and the liberation of the country from this bunch of misfits who dare to call themselves a Government.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Iain, Leave newmania's post up there - we [and I suspect you and Tim] need something to laugh at !

IanPJ said...

There appears to be no sign of the comments on Wadsworth site posted by McGrath as reported by the BBC.

Mr McGrath then wrote a comment on the website in reply: "The columnist suggested that older people from the Caribbean might migrant back to their homelands if Boris Johnson became Mayor.

"I felt that this suggestion was ridiculous and intended as a slur and responded by saying with words to effect of 'let people go if they don't like it here'.

"To imply that I meant that all black people who didn't support Boris Johnson should leave the country is utterly absurd and incorrect. And I would ask please that this insinuation is immediately retracted."

Auntie Flo' said...

I'm going to go against the concensus here. McGrath committed the cardinal error from which no spin meister can recover: he became the story. I think he therefore had to go.

Mostly Ordinary said...

Welcome to the modern Conservative party. They are acting like someone who got the wrong change in their favour, keep quite, walk softly and you'll get away with it.

Common sense has left the building.

verity said...

10:47 - You 'n me both.

11:17 - "James McGrath has fallen at the first hurdle. He has shown that he cannot cope with the reality of present-day local government." Or the reality of thought fascist Britain. He is accustomed to the free fresh air of Ozzie politics.

All hail Iain for bringing this to our attention.

11:19 - The minute the soft,squishy-faced pr man Cameron got up on his hind legs and sacked a decorated soldier with a fine record, Patrick Mercer, my worst suspicions about him were confirmed. He is a coward and a thought fascist. The fine hand of this individual is behind this latest sacking for sure.

But Boris went along with it.

Mr McGrath should go to the United States where the bracing air of liberty still blows across the continent (excluding Canada).

Anonymous said...

If he is as smart as you say he is, McGrath should have seen Wadsworth's race googly coming a mile off.

Why on earth did he have him any time at all?

It's clear from the CV Wadsworth is at pains to set out that he's really very much a clapped out telly journalist who, judging by his writing facility, is very unlikely to get another job in journalism.

In another words, another scummy race warrior, a protege of Lee Jasper no doubt, who so enraged many of us that we turned out in numbers to get Livingstone out.

saddenedtoseethis said...

Afraid this one was coming

McGrath was a relatively junior figure at CCHQ (chief of staff is in reality an admin title as you will know iain)

For some reason there was a concerted camapign to get him on the Boris team - and ConHome and varous trade journals tried to portray him as a senior adviser.

In reality he was a very decent hard working bag carrier as are many at CCHQ.

I'm afraid he just was not experienced enough to handle this position.

Anonymous said...

Aunty Flo - you are a moron twice over.

To say any aide who 'becomes' the story has to go is an invitation to the extremist scum who worked for Ken and hanker for his return to smear Boris's advisers. If they spread lies on their blogs, and perhaps persuade the Mirror to repeat these then - according to your absurd doctrine - we should shove the man overboard.

As I said, you're a moron.

wrinkled weasel said...

Darcus Howe is an arsehole. Unfortunately, you can't say that because he is black.

The same goes for Marc Wadsworth, a hack who saw a big story looming and grabbed it without thinking about the damage it would do. As quoted, there is nothing racist about a retort triggered by the man with a sack of french fries on his shoulders about his race. If anything, McGrath should have grounds for criminal libel.

The race card gets played with earlier and more desperately these days, just like poor Naomi Campbell did, but somehow, even though she is a serial offender, she gets community service for assaulting a police officer. Mmm, I wonder why?

As for Boris, he is only following Cameron's lead, who as you well remember, sacked Mercer for a lesser misdemeanor. As long as the Tories run scared on confronting the tyranny of minorities drunk on power, I shall despise them.

Mog said...

As a pure 100% total Boris fan I agree with Iain that he got this very badly wrong.

This was a golden opportunity to stand up to these rabble rousing "victims" who have vast chips on their shoulders and love to cause trouble.

Boris failed his staff, he failed his Party and he failed the decent majority.

Bad move Boris.

David Lindsay said...

Where race is concerned, James McGrath is the last person who should worry anyone about his newly former boss, Boris Johnson, the de facto joint Tory-BNP candidate who only won on the BNP's second preference votes.

For McGrath was simply stating a fact. If Darcus Howe is right (and I don't believe that he is) that elderly West Indians will simply return to the Caribbean rather than live in Johnson's London, then they should do just that. There is more to Britain than London, and those who would rather live in a different country should go there.

The same is true of those who wish to live under Sharia Law. The same used to be true of those who idolised the Soviet Union, or apartheid South Africa.

And the same is true of the Boris-backers (including many of the old Moscow-worshippers and all of the old Pretoria-worshippers) who now prostrate themselves to what they imagine America or Israel to be like, by definition including all three people who ever supported the Iraq War.

They should clear off to America or Israel, not only because the shock of what those countries were really like would probably kill them, but also because those of us who want to be British could then get on with being British.

Anonymous said...

What a shame - such a promising start from Boris and ALREADY he's showing a yellow streak - you're right Ian he needs some REAL backbone or is this what we're going to get?

verity said...

Dave has filleted Boris, a fellow white man.

Now Boris's former spokesman belongs under the bus. (So although a white woman, Obama's mother, was thrown under the bus by Obama ahead of a black man, Rev Wright, at least a white man will be thrown under the bus after a black man.)

In wilder land of Thought Nazi identity politics, it counts.

Chantelle Osili said...

I was part of Boris' campaign team (alongside James McGrath, who was really great to work with), and I have to admit that after hearing this news, I am so, so disappointed in Boris.

As a mixed race person myself, I had dozens of conversations with people during the campaign about the accusations of racism thrown at Boris. I always defended him, explaining how his comments were taken out of context, and how such claims in politics are usually nothing more that dirty tactics.

After all this, I cannot believe that he has not supported James. If he honestly believes that allowing McGrath to stay would be "providing ammunition for those who wish to deliberately misrepresent our clear and unambiguous opposition to any racist tendencies", then why did he stand as Mayor, since such claims have also been made about him?

Francis said...

I absolutely agree with Iain Dale. Very well said.

newclear war said...

What racist comment?


If you don't like the Government the laws of the country or even Boris take a hike.Simple.

Anonymous said...

Keep this up Boris and I may hae to vote BNP next time.

Craig said...

I'm afraid that I'll be a dissenting voice here when I say that I support James McGraths' right to say whatever the hell he likes.

He was, in his answer to that sh!t Wadsworth, simply replying to a comment made by the Caribbean rent-a-provocative-quote Darcus Howe.

Darkus Howe, who I'm surprised has never been arrested for damaging race relations (or at least attempting to) is an agent provocateur for the left and as such should be treated with the contempt his laconic firebrand status and postulations deserve.

His article in the New Statesman seems to be used to portray himself as some Che Guevara of 1960s London http://www.newstatesman.com/199812040012 - a totally misrepresentation of the facts of the matter.

That James McGrath is to be sacrificed on the altar of such misanthropic (Howe) and mischevious (Wadsworth) behaviours speaks volumes as to the twisted minds of journalism in our time and the entrapment used both by "commentators" and the idiots in the political hothouse that is the London of the chattering classes is a sickening indictment on our nations political health.

Boris - you should have stood behind James.

James - you shouldn't have quit, you should have fought this tooth and nail

Darkus / Marc - shame on you; I hope that you hang your heads in rightful shame at your actions.

tapestry said...

Boris can do better.

Politics is not and should not be about who likes who.

canvas said...

What Boris said is right and proper.

James McGrath said a very stupid thing and he has to accept the consequences. What's the problem?

I don't understand this over-emotional post by Iain.

Cassius said...

"Get a bloody move on, have some bloody sense, learn the bloody art of self-de-bloody-fence."
Words by an Oz poet which McGrath might have quoted to Boris. What a disappointing display of pusillanimous nonsense by Johnson, and what a missed opportunity to show strength of character in nailing the PC shibboleths of the left.

Unsworth said...

Iain

"I'm told that McGrath honourably fell on his sword. But I am not sure he was given any choice in the matter. All Boris has done is attempt to appease people who are quite frankly not capable of being appeased"

You've discussed this - and his reasons for leaving - with McGrath, then?

Scary Biscuits said...

I hope David Cameron does not fall for this tosh.

Roger360, I'm afraid he already has - hook, line and sinker.

You can tell a Conservative by his attitude towards equality. Conservatives believe in equality of opportunity. Lefties believe in equality of outcome. Unfortunately, the logic of the latter is incompatible with the former (as free people with always make different choices, resulting in inequality of outcome). From his clearly heartfelt comments about positivie discrimination (e.g. on the A List) Cameron is a fully paid-up leftie.

Now that he is ahead in the polls, the Cameroons seem to think they can be more left wing. They're in for a rude shock, as the working class who voted for them in such numbers in Crewe and London, will stay at home. If Cameron doesn't get his head around this, David Davis's resignation will be just the beginning.

TIME FOR A CHANGE. WE DON'T WANT MORE OF THE LAST 10 YEARS.

Anonymous said...

Newmania....the moral of the story is "don't blog when pissed."

Why the nasty attack on Iain?

Anonymous said...

So, Boris reckons James McGrath is not a racist - a valuable endorsement from the man who's talked about "watermelon smiles" and piccaninnes" and who called for a new era of colonialism, "but this time without the guilt".

There's this insidious section in the Tory party just doesn't get how repellent and inflammatory this kind of talk is.

Iain - you might ponder about how you would feel if a Labour SpAd said something similar about "poofs".

simon said...

I'm not interested. 'Race'/'immigration' will NEVER be talked about honestly because we all know what the answer will be if a referendum was put to the country: effectively- get rid.

Mark Clarke said...

I'm mixed race and of Caribbean descent. And I have worked with James McGrath and know that he is a good and decent man without a shred of racism in him. He is also very talented.

The left wing literati will find it really hard to come to terms with losing Ken. They will try to pick off our good people by using the rules of their discourse against us. It is going to take us time to change that discourse and we mustn't let them take out our good people along the way.

Broon's Talking Bawgie said...

Could anyone who thinks McGrath deserved to be fired please come up with an alternative answer to Wadsworth's question that is a/ honest and b/ not equally certain to have got him fired?

Think about it for as long as you like. There is no answer to that question that the left would be happy with.

As Iain has said, Boris is trying to appease people who cannot be appeased. What a coward.

My own suggested answer to Wadsworth, which I think meets my own two criteria, would be:

"How dare you threaten the voters for electing someone you and your scumbag camp followers don't like, you impertinent little f*cking student politician pipsqueak. Well, f*ck you, f*ck them, f*ck the horse you all rode in, f*ck your manky party and its ugly bogey-gobbling leader, f*ck that philandering wife-battering drunkard who just got creamed in the mayoral election and, just in case you didn't get the message before, f*ck you ten times over, because the whole f*cking lot of you together don't add up to the shit on my shoes. C*nts."

I think that would have been a suitably statesmanslike retort.

Newmania said...

Newmania....the moral of the story is "don't blog when pissed."

Why the nasty attack on Iain?



For whatever reason, I have noticed that ‘Mr. Dale’, was not very supportive of Boris until a late stage and now he has launched what I consider to be an attack our of all proportion to the supposed crime . He has also done it in personal and confrontational terms implying that Boris is self serving coward ,with no loyalty where it is due. I speculated as to why that might be for reasons of symmetry ,shall we say. I do not as “Mr. Dale “ says , have a clue really .
I have always been a great admirer of Boris and I also had great difficulties explaining his satirical reference to Blairy delusions of a Common wealth tour of the 1950s , my family also being of mixed race. Part of the defence was that if you have Compass look up everything he has written since he was six you were bound to find something. That no longer applies and the poisonous accusation of racism cannot be allowed to infect his Mayoralty at this stage .
If this is harsh on some junior , so be it .By allowing himself to expose Boris to this particular criticism he screwed up . Well if I screw up that badly I can expect to be unemployed , so I don’t worry overly about that. The Conservative Party nationally cannot , absolutely cannot , have a motif of racial antagonism developing in London.

David Cameron has done quite a few things that I find pretty revolting and politically unattractive but one thing I have never doubted is that he means business and so in another sense I admire his winners determination. . Mr . Dale thinks Boris lacks backbone ,. Well I think this shows he is ruthlessly determined to achieve things in London and if he has to lose baggage then he will.
Anyone who wishes the Conservative Party well should applaud his realism and I doubt he enjoyed it anymore than David Cameron enjoyed wheeling his child out for a demonstration of his humanity .Boris has made a fantastic start he is a great asset to the Conservative Party and he deserves continued support and certainly not vitriolic attack.

I should probably have kept my thoughts to myself the motives behind about what I consider to be a grossly unfair post fom “Mr. Dale “. So sorry about that .


Scary B- That discussion is for after the election IMHO

Richard Nabavi said...

Calm down, folks! [I think I've said this before on this site...]

It is simple political reality that the Conservatives cannot allow themselves to be tainted with even the slightest chink of association with racist views (real or exaggerated). Whether it's right or wrong or over-sensitive is largely irrelevant. The plain fact is that very large numbers of potential voters - especially the younger ones - are still acutely suspicious of the Conservatives on this issue. David Cameron has done an excellent job in allaying those suspicions, but they haven't gone away completely.

We've still got to win the next general election, right? It's looking extremely hopeful, but it's not in the bag yet. It could still be torpedoed, and race is one of those issues where something could go spectacularly wrong. So very sensibly Boris is not leaving anything to chance on this. No doubt it's unfair on Mr McGrath. Tough - that's politics, and, given his position, he can hardly be surprised.

canvas said...

Iain, forget your misplaced hysterics on this Boris story. It's really cringeworthy.

Boris did what Boris had to do - McGrath made a stupid mistake. He had to go. End of...

If you want to talk about something that really matters then why not have a go at Jacqui Smith.

"Iran is safe for 'discreet' gays, says Jacqui Smith"

Does Jacqui Smith live in a parallel universe?

I cannot believe someone from the government could say such a stupid thing. Is that the best we can hope for from Gordon Brown's government ?

Alex said...

Rising to the bait of a quote from Darcus Howe shows extreme stupidity. Darcus Howe provokes, Wadsworth allowe dhimself to be provoked. Should have known better.

Letters From A Tory said...

Indeed. His remarks were hardly offensive. Anyone who emigrates to another country can always go home if they don't like it, surely!

Boris has impressed no-one with this appeasement.

Jilted John said...

It wasn't racist, and the world would be a nicer place if Boris had stood by his man. He can't though, can he? Thanks to a couple of minor misjudgments (nor slurs) of his own coupled with some vicious disinformation from the spiteful left, the one flank that Boris himself is spectacularly open on is race relations.

It is inevitable that McGrath had to go to save Boris' hide, but Johnson should remember that that is what it is, and act accordingly.

Anonymous said...

The question that does not seem to have been addressed here is:

Why would there be a mass exodus of older Caribbean migrants back to our homelands?

It does not make sense. Can anyone provide an explanation?

I would certainly like Mr Howe to provide that explanation.

Anonymous said...

Broon's Talking Bawgie said...
"Could anyone ... come up with an alternative answer to Wadsworth's question ..."

There wasn't a question to answer. Wadsworth simply drew McGrath's attention to a remark made by Darcus Howe, i.e. “Boris Johnson, a right-wing Conservative, might just trigger off a mass exodus of older Caribbean migrants back to our homelands”.

McGrath displayed his political naivity by responding in the way that he did, i.e. "
“Well, let them go if they don’t like it here.”


Anyone with any political acumen would have said something like "Well, that's his opinion."

McGrath demonstrated that he wasn't up to the job of Political Advisor to the Mayor of a city with 2,000,000 foreign-born residents.

Anonymous said...

Newmania....you are someone who posts comments most days on Iain's blog.

Sometimes the comments are good, sometimes not and they are rarely brief and to the point. Your latest is a perfect example.

What surprises me is that, having so obviously harboured such a long-term jealousy of Iain (as shown in last night's comment) you dare to comment on his blog at all.

Anonymous said...

prentiz-it wasn't about protecting Boris---it was all about protecting fellow Bullingdon DAVE.

Anonymous said...

Cameron Press Conference 10.30am

Re: Boris Johnson 'race row'

Cameron says James McGrath, the adviser who resigned, is not a racist. But he committed a "lapse of judgment".

In politics you have to face the consequences for that, Cameron says.

Ralph said...

Iain,

Shouldn't a Chief Political Advisor be competent enough not to be saying things that could so easily be misrepresented as racism?

Anonymous said...

Broon's Talking Bawgie said...

Could anyone who thinks McGrath deserved to be fired please come up with an alternative answer to Wadsworth's question that is a/ honest and b/ not equally certain to have got him fired?


What question? There was just a provocative comment. In time-"honoured" fashion he could have ignored it, or gone on the attack, not swallowed the bait.

E.g. answers could have been
- (attack) Darcus Howe is an old fashioned racist / should be ashamed / etc etc
- (sober denial) Darcus Howe was wrong. Older people are particularly in favour of banning booze on buses / etc etc
- (ridicule) I'm sorry, what is your question?

etc etc

I don't think he should have been fired, though, and am disappointed with Boris. Prince Hal is not turning into Henry V - more like Toby Belch.

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

BoJo needs to step carefully.

neil craig said...

I like Boris but you are right Iain. Apart from the ethics it is a tactical mistake. The "anti-racist" industry, like the "environmentalist" & "caring" industries can never be appeased because they depend on extracting ever more Danegeld from us. If he can't stand up to them in his honeymoon period when will he.

James, with Boris' open support should have publicly complained to the Press council about the headline. The Press council would have done nothing, they never do, but it would have been a useful shot over their bows (& thanks to Tony to the broadcasting standards commission).

They still can.

Defending yourself means counterattacking where the ground is good otherwise they chip away at you forever.

Albert M. Bankment said...

The only person to 'win' out of all this is the increasingly ridiculous Darcus Howe. We'd all managed to forget about the old buffoon, and now he's managed to shoulder his way back into the spotlight. I suppose we can expect an appearance on 'Question Time' before long, and fawning profiles in the Press.

Yes, this shabby little incident reflects badly on everyone involved except the one man who's had to walk the plank. Oh Boris, stop listening to your media advisors, or whoever is responsible for this fiasco. You're better than this.

Londoner said...

Not for the first time, you have let your personal feelings for the character involved, Mr McGrath, who apparently you like and admire, cloud your judgement. This man made a stupid gaffe of a particularly unfortunate nature given the Boris background and he had to go (just like your friend the MP for Bexley).

Politics isn't fair. The Boris regime cannot afford such amateurism. Apart from anything else, why on earth didn't he challenge the proposition put to him (itself pretty racist actually) rather than apparently acknowledge that people were likely to "go back" over such a trivial thing as not liking the new Mayor?

Anonymous said...

Well said, Newmania and Richard Nabavi.

I bet the decision to sack McGrath was a difficult one for Boris because he knew it was unjust but he did it because it knew there were bigger things at stake.

That proves Boris is serious, deadly serious about power.

The successor to McGrath will not make the same mistake.

Nor will Boris.

Shaun said...

I was going to call this episode 'shocking' but then I realised I'm not shocked at all. Shocked would imply some element of surprise at an event but I'm not surprised, I'm just despairing.

Its like opening a mantrap and placing it on the floor, loudly proclaiming that only racists get eaten by the trap and then pushing someone you vaguely dislike into it. While they scream in agony, writhing on the floor, you gleefully chant 'look! I caught a racist!'...

Madness.

archroy said...

Any statement by a political figure involving phrases like "let them go home", "go back to where they came from", etc., etc., is politically toxic - no matter how understandable the context. McGrath should have been smart enough to realise that.

archroy said...

Broon's Talking Bawgie said...
Q: Could anyone who thinks McGrath deserved to be fired please come up with an alternative answer to Wadsworth's question that is a/ honest and b/ not equally certain to have got him fired?

A: I'm sorry, buty I just don't accept that."

Anonymous said...

It is simple political reality that the Conservatives cannot allow themselves to be tainted with even the slightest chink of association with racist views (real or exaggerated).


I think 'hint' should have been used in place of 'chink' in that one Mr Nabavi.

Yellow card on this occasion, internal exile at a diversity training gulag for you next time!

Flipside said...

McGrath was just an office boy. Not even vaguely responsible for strategy or Boris's victory.

There is nothing senior about him in any sense.

A guy with a taste for self-promotion and a bit of a general knob who nobody's going to miss.

Desperate Dan said...

Its ok to tell Peter Stringfellow, Sean Connery and anyone else to bugger off if they don't like our elected representatives but black people are incredibly stupid and only understand words of one syllable so have to be treated differently. That's the message Boris wants to send out.

Council House Tory said...

Another victim of the 'boy who cried racist'

Anonymous said...

I see that David Davis got the message about the group of people illustrated on the home page of his campaign website being hideously White and Young.

He has had it changed so that there is now a token Black and a token Old person.

Desperate Dan said...

Its very worrying. What other minority groups are going to wade in with trumped-up charges now that Boris has shown himself to be susceptible to blackmail?

Dave H. said...

Just a very non-PC comment, but if white Londoners don't find its' rich diversity a 'blessing' which homeland can they fly to?

After all, Britain's rapid demographic change was the result of a political decision. Not everyone will have liked it.

Cassilis said...

There are two issues here:

(1) What James said and what, if anything, it reveals about his character and politics.

(2) The political climate we live in and the wider context of his remark.

On (1) I take at face value the protestations of Iain and others that James is a decent bloke and not remotely racist. The remark is fairly harmless in that anyone, black, white or green is free to leave London or anywhere else they don't like.

On (2) it was a lazy and ill-conceived thing for someone in his position to have said. The argument expressed by Iain and echoed on this thread that this was somehow an opportunity to 'stand-up to political correctness' is hopelessly naive - well-intentioned but wrong.

I’m sure, in time, the Tories will de-sensitise the debate a little to a point where we can discuss race issues like adults but that can't be done overnight or via one or two high-profile Tories digging their heels in on behalf of a staff member. The reaction in the media this morning proves that. Those that believe Boris has somehow let them down or is capitulating to some left \ liberal agenda clearly don’t understand that – he’s simply a realist who knows that attitudes take time to change.

Were the storm this morning over ‘Boris stands by ‘racist’ aide’ stories then many people here might be happier but the outcome most of them long for would’ve slipped further back on the horizon…

Anonymous said...

"lapse of judgement"-a sacking offence!-assume that applies to Party leaders as well as the infantry.WATCH THIS SPACE DAVE!!!

Zeddy said...

As for the excuse that he's just a cheerful, bluff old Aussie who says it how he sees it, in Australia they don't think twice about calling Pakistanis "pakkies". But I don't think it would be too much to ask that he recognise that this wouldn't be acceptable in the UK for any number of reasons.

I don't think he was being racist (though he may have been) but his greatest crime is to present a gift-wrapped "gaffe" to the crowd who are longing to be able to justify their accusations that Boris is a racist. Excuse me if I think it's not unreasonable to expect a political advisor to show some political nous.

stuart said...

Isn't McGrath actually supporting free movement of people, which would be the opposite of what racists would want?

Also, Boris split an infinitive.

verity said...

Again, it's the officious, controlling, bossy left finding offence on behalf of other people who had failed to notice it. How many black people complained, or was it all self-righteous, bossy lefties?

[8:17] lectures: "There's this insidious section in the Tory party just doesn't get how repellent and inflammatory this kind of talk is."

Sorry, but I'll talk any way I choose in my own country. As they can in the United States. I don't remember signing over my right of free speech to lecturey, 10th rate Labourites.

This row illustrates vividly what the British have ceded, under bullying from the left, in their own country.

[10:26] beat me to it, but I too was also going to ask why older Jamaican immigrants would suddenly decide to massively disrupt their lives by packing up and going back to Jamaica (except for the weather, which is kinder to old bones). But the entire concept is laughable and should have never been noticed in the first place, except by those intent on causing problems. (And Boris capitulated to these people.)

Why would people who have lived in a country for perhaps 40 years, who own a home here, have grandchildren here and a whole familial and social infrastructure in Britain that they've developed over the decades suddenly decide to wrench themselves away from all that because someone dropped a clanger (if that was even what it was)?

London's City Hall is infested with identity politics along the toxic lines of Al Sharpton. Boris should open the windows and let in some fresh air instead of firing people for something they didn't even say.

I seriously doubt that we will lose any of our black citizens because someone in London's City Hall said something that could, at a vigorous stretch, have been mistaken for something else.

[11:00] Bullseye!

Anonymous said...

There are two issues here. Darcus Howe's views are ridiculous and should be treated as such and their absurdity pointed out, but the second issue is why should the loss of one of Boris's backroom boys is such a big issue. It will have no impact at all to the success or failure of Boris's time in office. He isn’t a politician no one has elected him and Boris should be allowed to hire and fire as he pleases.
James is not a gifted political strategist, (many would argue that his one gift was being able to chat to Linton Crosby in antipodean idiom) and his obtuseness to the potential fallout of not clarifying what he said as soon as he said it is proof in point. Hopefully, he will be replaced with someone who is able to use some intelligence in their political communication.

Zeddy said...

***why should the loss of one of Boris's backroom boys is such a big issue***

Maybe Iain is upset that someone he knows so well (as we can only assume from his heartfelt tribute) has been kicked out and so cannot be a potential source in City Hall for gossip for Iain's blog.

Anyway, there are more than enough visitors to this blog who'd still be crying "political correctness gone mad" even if he'd been sacked for saying "go back to bongo bongo land, Sambo".

Maybe even Iain would be finding excuses for it because he is a friend, after all. Be interesting to see what Iain's blog would have been like the day DD voted against civil unions for same sex couples.

Zeddy said...

P.S. I wonder whether Iain would be backing Boris to the hilt on this issue if Boris had been a personal friend.

Iain, as splendid a chap as you are, and as much as it's a relief to find a right-of-centre blogger who doesn't make Melanie Phillips look like Graham Norton by comparison, most of us visit your blog in the expectation that you may have some interesting political insight into current affairs. We're not looking for something resembling the letters page of Jackie. And, before anyone asks, it was my sister used to get it.

verity said...

[2:12] says "There are two issues here ...". No. There are three. The third is, Johnson is a bully and a coward.

Yak40 said...

UK is becoming such a humourless place, today we have this nonsense and also even Guido describing a photo on Davis' website as "hideously white".

johnny tantrum said...

Do you know what, I'm in such a paddy about this myself I could give that Boris a right old going over with a feather duster.

He'll need a bloody cycle helmet if I catch up with him, the scruffy little monkey.

simon newman said...

mark clarke:
"The left wing literati will find it really hard to come to terms with losing Ken. They will try to pick off our good people by using the rules of their discourse against us. It is going to take us time to change that discourse and we mustn't let them take out our good people along the way."

I agree completely. They are out to hurt the Tories any way they can. Don't play their game by sacking good people who fall into their nasty traps.

haddock said...

anon 12:58 23rd June

"being hideously White and Young."

perhaps you would like to set up a blog and tell us all exactly what is hideous about being white and/or young in that constituency.... or indeed anywhere in England.
I would love to know.

Anonymous said...

It was a pretty crass statement for a 'Chief Political Advisor'. What's wrong with saying 'Why would Black elders want to leave London? They'll soon realise that under Boris it's a better city for everyone'? This is the sort of pressure judgment you need from a Chief Political Advisor. If he can't do it he's merely nice but dim.

Anonymous said...

Thwack !

Another century for Dale after a few hours at the crease..

Applause rippling around the ground..

Time to retire to the cafe for some tea and some sticky comestibles..

Anonymous said...

Umm whats all the fuss about if you don't like your job GET ANOTHER

If you dont like your City/village/cave GET ANOTHER

If you dont like your wife/boyfriend/girlfriend GET ANOTHER

What utter utter rubbish.

This country is about choice.

If you dont like it theres always bongo bongo land!

Anonymous said...

Will be interesting to see who gets the job.
Someone's "friend"???

Anonymous said...

most people think of verity as bully and a coward.

mayor johnson has a job to do so let him get on with it.

to verity, just because you are the loudest person in the room doesn't mean that you are always right.

verity said...

"go back to bongo bongo land, Sambo".

Oh, Zeddy, you are so witty! Have you ever met a conservative thinker? They have them over in Africa, too, you know. And they have conservative thinkers in the W Indies.

Why do you think black human beings think any differently from white human beings?

More Conservatives than socialists voted in the London election. Accept that and stop whimpering. It's so irritating.

Anonymous said...

If you really want to know how Boris's decision was the correct one then take a look at Dave Hill's posting on the Guardian.

The dead-beat leftie just can't get his head around it. He's been outthought and outflanked by Boris.

It's unfair and a pity about McGrath, as was acknowledged by Boris.

But to give dead-beat leftwing baldies a scintilla of critical ammunition just cannot be tolerated.

There's an election to win and much to much is at stake for McGrath not to have been professional enough to avoid being stitched up.

Anonymous said...

haddock said...
"perhaps you would like to set up a blog and tell us all exactly what is hideous about being white and/or young in that constituency"


I think 12:58 was echoing (maybe ironically) Greg Dyke's use of the phrase "hideously white" (decribing the BBC).

On the David Davis website the people shown were exclusively young and therefore older people are likely to feel excluded.

The fact that the picture was changed suggests that David Davis accepted that it would upset a lot of people.

James Fisher said...

Why is anyone surprised about the double standards? Boris thinks its fine for him to make gaffes, not others. Similarly, he may take outside paid work but not others.

The guy is totally unfocused on doing this job, has given huge chunks of it away to unelected others. And that's just two months.

Anonymous said...

It's no suprise that Boris is doing the Multi-Culti Cringe - he has already appointed his own race-mongers.

neil craig said...

Cassilis said

"it was a lazy and ill-conceived thing for someone in his position to have said. The argument expressed by Iain and echoed on this thread that this was somehow an opportunity to 'stand-up to political correctness' is hopelessly naive - well-intentioned but wrong.

I’m sure, in time, the Tories will de-sensitise the debate a little to a point where we can discuss race issues like adults but that can't be done overnight or via one or two high-profile Tories digging their heels in..."

Well no. This was a very good position to desnsitise the debate precisely by taking on the argument.

1 The guy clearly said nothing 1evil
2 by comparison I have heard various promises by named Tories to go & live abroad if Labour get in as (humourously) reasons to vote Labour.

3 Nobody thinks (I grant on here isn't a random sample) that he was being intentionally racist.

4 Boris is in his honeymoon period.

5 Boris is particularly known for gaffs, which is part of his popularity (the definition in politics is saying something true when a lie is safer).

6 The headline clearly lied in that he didn't use the words it claimed.

You don't get to the point of being able to discuss things like adults if you never try talking like you aren't in the nursery.

Anonymous said...

Sorry guys, Boris was right to ditch McGrath. We've spent years investing in the decontamination brand and it is working.

We can't allow someone prominent to be perceived to be off message. Unfair etc etc but that is life. Better an unfairness to McGrath than to the Conservative Party and if he is as decvent as people say (I have no reason to doubt it) he will know that. We aren't strong enough to carry people who make this kind of gaffe, however innocently it was intended.

These are the rules for the time being. Get used to it.

Anonymous said...

What happens the next time Dave has a "lapse"--(he would have been shot eight or nine times already) do we just ignore it and say what a weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze?

Chris Miller said...

I bow to no man in my dislike of Political Correctness, but this man had to go. It has nothing to do with racism or otherwise. The fact is, in his answer he effectively accepted the proposition that a Boris Johnson mayoralty was bad for black people. Since Boris claims to represent ALL Londoners, this could not be allowed to stand. The man showed gross incompetence in answering as he did and was clearly not up to the job.

Mr C said...

Well for what it's worth I'm black and from London and think Boris has made a big mistake on this one. Fancy getting a senior political adviser to resign over this innocuous rubbish.
I hate that phrase "PC gone mad" but in this case it's entirely apt.

Marc Wadsworth? Now there's a name from the past. This guy's been a Labour Party hack for years - if my memory serves me right he was on that Black sections thingy in the 80's and 80's and is an erstwhile playmate of Lee Jasper (though I don't think their mates). Anyway hardly an impartial witness to any conversation with a Boris aide...

http://www.blackinbritain.co.uk/MarcWadsworth.htm

http://www.the-latest.com/why-mayor-who-fired-corrupt-aide-should-also-go

Boris - stop treading on eggshells and grow some balls! You've been suckered one this one in a meaningless attempt to appease those who do not seek appeasement a move going to backfire anyway. Mcgrath simply shouldn't have sacked over this piffle.

Some of us broke the habit of a lifetime and voted Tory to bring a sense of decency and order - financial and otherwise to City Hall - not this nonsense.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Unless I am mistaken the vast majority of postings on Wadsworth's Guardian piece are hostile to him. Even the lefties are fed up with being told what to think.

Newmania said...

to verity, just because you are the loudest person in the room doesn't mean that you are always right.


Why must you whine about Verity ? She relishes a good debate but all you ever do is adopt this craven defeated ad hominem cringe.You must bore her terribly

some english bloke said...

Get that Naomi Campbell into Boris' City Hall; she'll soon root out any Residual Racists.

http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/lifestyle-fashion/stylenews/naomi-4761.html

Get a grip Boris, we voted for you to put a stop to this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your site and I’m glad I did, please tell me exactly when James Mcgrath said “if blacks don’t like it they should go home”
Yet again we have “whitey” standing up for the black population, when they can quite easily speak for themselves.

And let me let you into a little secret a lot of them do go Home when they retire, my friend’s parents for one did a few years ago, and loving every minute of it.
And with twats like you in this country, I think I might go join them.

Anonymous with no account

lewini said...

Massively disappointed in Boris. He's sacrified all of his principals to be London Mayor. But this is what the times have given us, this is what it's like to be a land of frightened rabbits trotting about on eggshells. And to think of all those marvellous and intelligent articles I read about the dangers of multiculturalism in The Spectator when Boris was editor.
A sad day.

Anonymous said...

Bring back McGrath ASAP!

Having had the opportunity (I regret to say) to see Wadsworth's piece of 'journalism' in which he changed the manner of the supposed conversation umpteen times in subsequent follow-up pieces - I have no other opinion than this - the only victim in all this is the truth.

Having worked with James closely, I can categorically say he is anything but a racist. The worry for me and anyone with a heart for that matter, is that because of shoddy journalism, James McGrath's name has been sullied with the tag of 'racist' and completely unjustly.

Taking the initial reporting of his remarks as the 'original' and therefore most accurate piece, in response to a frankly ludicrous suggestion from Darcus Howe: 'Boris Johnson, a right-wing Conservative, might just trigger off a mass exodus of older Caribbean migrants back to our homelands',

McGrath said: 'Well, let them go if they don't like it here.'

Let us be clear - the first mention of race did not come from James, it came from Darcus via a Marc. McGrath at WORST played the quote with a straight bat simply saying words to the effect of 'If that be the case, no-one is stopping them from voting with their feet and they are more than entitled to leave London if they feel that strongly about it.'

Somewhere along the line McGrath's initial response has been translated as saying "Yep and any other non-whites who don't like Boris can sod off too!"

These sorts of b*llsh*t bogus 'racist' claims (like McGrath I'll call it as I see it!), make it impossible for those with genuine racist grievances to be heard above the racket of political correctness.

James McGrath may have been guilty using the initial article as a guide, of naivety in not checking the journalists credentials (and frankly faced with the Howe quote, I'd have said 'Sorry time up mate. If you want a real interview, cut that crap out right away because his suggestion borders on madness - by repeating it you simply give it legitimacy' (AS IF AN ALBINO MAYOR FROM ETON WHO HAS A SENSE OF HUMOUR IS GOING TO REVERSE 50 YEARS OF IMMIGRATION?!)

Naivety does not equate to racism - and in my opinion his resignation should be interpreted as an unnecessary sacking by a Conservative Party who SHOULD be standing steadfast in the face of bogus claims. Another victory for the ambulance chasers and another blow for humanity and decency.

verity said...

Chris Miller - His job was political advisor, not spokesman, so to say he wasn't up to his job is adolescent uppityness. There are enough old lags scuffling their feet around the corridors of City Hall to devote a lot of thought to making trouble for Boris's administration.

Too bad Boris blinked. He should have sacked this guy (can't remember his name as he appears to have had so many), but clearly Bullingdon Dave called Bullingdon Boris and had a word. Dave wants to be PM at any cost, you know.

As Mr C writes: "You've been suckered one this one in a meaningless attempt to appease those who do not seek appeasement". And that hits the nail on the head. Leeches who make their living as advocates for minority grievances treat minorities not as individuals, but as residents on the nice, big grievance reservation. They are the racists.

Indeed, the continued use of the term "immigrants" to describe W Indians who have been here for three or four generations, smacks of a louche desire to keep them cordoned off to continue to serve the needs of the grievance industry.

Dr Zen said...

Whether you think he should be sacked probably is a function of whether you think "send them home" is actually a reasonable response to suggestions that blacks do not like it in the UK. Sadly for those of us who don't, there is no home to send fucktards like you to, Iain, and we are stuck with you. We could though send McGrath home. He'd fit in much better in racist Australia.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha!

verity said...

[7:46] - Politics isn't a "brand". It is a belief system. Stop talking about "decontaminating" a belief system or you lower yourself to the level of David Cameron's public relations witterings.

Conservatism is a belief system. It cannot become "contaminated". This is, again, destructive lefty emotive terminology. Sixth Form Common Room debate.

David Cameron's life has been pr. In the television industry. One admires the depth.

Anonymous said...

I think that Verity is more than capable of looking after herself without Newmania sucking up to her as usual

wonkotsane said...

One of my kids brought a letter home from school the other day telling us that a woman was going to be giving a talk to the kids about what her own country was like because "she was fortunate to grow up in Ghana". Really? Well if it was that great why is she here and if she prefers Ghana why doesn't she go back?

It pisses me off when people come to live in our country and then immediately set about trying to change it. If you don't like it, go somewhere else.

Dr Gonz said...

dr Zen is clearly a dullard, but he is not alone on this blog, as many have also failed to spot the significant difference between "send them home" and "people who wish to leave may do so" as citizens of the former East Germany would all too readily have realised

Newmania said...

Verity... Newmania sucking up to her as usual


If you came here for anything other than making little virtual friends and enemies like the sad fatuous lonely prat you obviously are , you would have noticed that I have disagreed completely with Verity.
I support sacking Mc Grath as I have said . If he cannot do his job he has to go.
As far as you are concerned ,spend less time on your knees and you will better a perspective on sucking ...

Coward

Anonymous said...

Newmania said "Why must you whine about Verity ? She relishes a good debate.."

Erm. Have I imagined the last few years then?

I always thought that a good debate involved two sides listening to each others viewpoints and putting their point of view across in a persuasive manner....

...not hurling personal insults and abuse at anyone who disagrees with them.

Anonymous said...

verity said...
"Chris Miller - His job was political advisor, not spokesman, so to say he wasn't up to his job is adolescent uppityness."

He should have stuck to advising and should not have been allowed to talk directly to the press. That is what Press Officers are for. They know how to handle the press without making stupid gaffes.

Every organisation has people like McGraph - decent loyal, honest, etc. - who make a valuable contribution but are best kept behind the scenes.

Jilted John said...

Politics isn't a "brand". It is a belief system.

but doesn't that only work for the very few who know what they believe? Elections at the moment are largely decided by swing votes, and for as long as floating voters believe what they're told - as opposed to finding out / thinking for themselves, PR will be an integral part of politics.

McGrath did not deserve to go, he did nothing wrong. But Boris has probably done something nasty but necessary.

Politics (as in the current practice of, rather than the philosophies behind) would have to become much more sophisticated to attain the intellectual level of a sixth-form common room debate. Sadly.

Anonymous said...

Scary Biscuits said...

"TIME FOR A CHANGE. WE DON'T WANT MORE OF THE LAST 10 YEARS."

Yes we do. It's after the next Dave nulabtory government that we can get real change.

Anonymous said...

Marc Wadsworth appears to be behaving as though he is a Black Supremacist - pure and simple. He feels he is superior to all white Australians and makes his racist views known at any opportunity.

I was shocked to read his anti-Australian comments - painting every Australian of white skin colour as abusive to Aborigines.

Marc Wadsworth is so racist that he cannot hear any words without tainting them with racial hatred. Surely any word, from rain to sunshine, appears to be interpreted by him as denigrating the One True Cause (black supremacy).

Marc Wadsworth should be called upon by the government to account for his dangerous racial speeches. He is no "equality campaigner". He seems to be a black supremacist, there is a big difference.

As with any propaganda engine, most comments on his blog that point out his racial incongruence have been removed. The truth can only damage a man like Marc Wadsworth. Like a bacterial infection, Marc Wadsworth appears to be desperate to produce more and more lies to further his cause.

Quite rightly there is no way to appease any Black Supremacists. Why is the UK Government even trying? Is racial hatred so acceptable in the UK?

And what has the Cause learnt? That merely accusing someone white of an cultural minority in the UK of racism is enough to make a head roll in government?

So now the Cause will merely generate more propaganda as they learn that nothing can stop the machine.

Anonymous said...

Newmania,

Good of you to sign your last post with your real name.

angelneptunestar said...

Iain, surely the most important point is not that James McGrath is not a racist, which he obviously isn't, nor that Ken, or the BNP or anybody from the extreme left would have had a go if McGrath had stayed. The most important point is that the feelings of vulnerable people could have been hurt by what was definitely a big political mistake.

It is the responsiblity of the strong and of people in charge to protect the weak and vulnerable and vulnerable people are very likely to have been upset by remarks of this nature and this remark in particular.

Boris Johnson found out before he became Mayor that remarks taken out of context, whether satirical, ironical, or meant for a specialisted audience who would understand their gist, can hurt people. You therefore have to avoid making those sort of remarks. He learnt the lesson painfully before, and I am sure it was most painful to him because he realised he had caused pain to other people. James McGrath is tough enough and realistic enough to accept that even though he totally is not a racist, he made a mistake.

If there is one thing Boris Johnson hates it is hurting other people and if there is one thing he is not, it is stupid.

Dominic said...

What struck me particularly about Wadsworth's piece was that it was more about him - and not the lack or otherwise of any backbone.

As I think others have commented, if the adviser becomes the story, that can endanger the whole enterprise. Letting this be driven by the Wadsworth piece is regrettable - but practical politics.

Count how many times Wadsworth refers to himself in various modes. No doubt these were all interesting, but 10 paras worth is excessive.

3 as examples:

"I founded the all-party Anti-Racist Alliance which, among other things, with the support of high Tory Sir Ivan Lawrence MP, helped change the law on racially-motivated crimes, and established the ARAfest top music events in London parks which Ken Livingstone turned into the annual Rise festival. It has been said that this year's event, on July 13, will controversially no longer carry an anti-racist message. A spokeswoman for the Mayor said: "Boris has made a commitment to go ahead with the Rise festival this year but wants to emphasise its cultural and community dimensions."

I explained to McGrath, at his invitation, the breadth of my community links, both national and local, which were demonstrated on a micro level when the Liberal Democrat-Conservative leadership of Southwark borough in south east London, where I live, invited me to chair their anti-gun crime public meeting at the Damilola Taylor Centre in Peckham.

Not least as the father of two teenaged boys who have grown up in the inner city - one of whom was stabbed and put in hospital - I have a knowledge and keen interest in combating this sort of youth crime which blights London. But, as a motivational lecturer at university and other levels, I said that I am passionate about using education as means of tackling the issue as I have suggested with the Young Roots Creative Writing Project proposed by a teacher colleague and me to the Guinness Trust for an estate of theirs in Brixton, south London."

Where is the journalism in this? OK, we can all talk from direct experience (I 'ad that cab driver in the front going on about congestion ......), but how about transcending that and critiquing and closely questioning policies (or the lack of them) that affect London and Londoners as a whole, rather than advancing any one vested (or disadvantaged) interest?

The overall feel of the piece is not encouraging. Castigating a reasonably straight talking (and perhaps too frank) Australian for not being politically correct to Black people misses the opportunity to really challenge the new administration whether or not you're in the business of promoting a Conservative agenda.

What do London's multi-ethnic citizens want of the new regime? Wadworth may not favor this politically correct term (he uses it, but prefers 'diversity'), but given his publicised connections and relationships, and everything he had direct experience of, to offer some suggestions would have been a useful start.

kevin the gerbil said...

Newmania: "If you came here for anything other than making little virtual friends and enemies like the sad fatuous lonely prat you obviously are …"

Your petulance would do credit your "little virtual" squeeze herself and amply vindicates the well-aimed taunt of 7.13.

Desperate Dan said...

I wonder what sort of father Boris is. Perhaps every time one of his children whines: "Its not fair" he caves in so that the rest of the family have to suffer to placate the whinger.

neil craig said...

Angel
"The most important point is that the feelings of vulnerable people could have been hurt by what was definitely a big political mistake."

Not merely absolute crap but dangerous absolute crap. This is an argument that free speech is a bad thing and that anybody who disagrees with anything said has the right to censor it.

Apart from the fact that Darkus has produced no evidence whatsoever that blacks are going to go home because boris got elected (& I strongly suspect has none) it is impossible, even if desireable, for total censorship to be exercised by everybody on everybody.

Right now I would suspect Mr McGrath is feeling a little "vulnerable" - does that mean the Guardian is going to sack Wadsworth? Or when calls of this nature are being made is it always an excuse, made in the name of people who may not be that vulnerable & may not appreciated being waved as totems, by the enemies of freedom?

verity said...

angel neptune star wrote: "It is the responsiblity of the strong and of people in charge to protect the weak and vulnerable and vulnerable people are very likely to have been upset by remarks of this nature and this remark in particular."

In other words, you want freedom of speech, which is already on life support in Britain with everyone afraid to open their mouths in case they "offend" someone else and get arrested, to be curtailed even further.

You cannot run a country or a business this way. Mr McGrath should have been given a opportunity to clarify his remark when Dave took fright that he might have offended some potential voters who he needs in order to get his feet under the desk at No 10. Mr McGrath could then personally have defused the situation - if, indeed, there was any situation to defuse, and I am not convinced - by adding that if resident Scots, French, Scousers or, indeed Ozzies - were unahppy with London government, they, like everyone else living in a democracy, had the option of going home, or going somewhere else.

Dave chose jackboots at dawn.

verity said...

To the tragically misnamed Dr Zen (Zen Buddhists believe that truth is revealed within, dear thing, not on blogs), who writes: "you think "send them home" is actually a reasonable response to suggestions that blacks do not like it in the UK."

An article by Iain and around 130 posts in to the thread and you still haven't picked up that no one, not a single person, including Mr McGrath, uttered one single word suggesting "send them home". Iain's piece and 130 comments and you have not understood what we are discussing.

You have also broken our host's rules about bad language. We're on the honour system around here.

Meditate on it.

Seraphim said...

Verity and Newmania sound old and boring. Is this a blog for over-55's? Why does Iain Dale get all the oldies yet Dizzy pulls in the young hipsters?

Scipio said...

If he wasn't a racist, and the comment was not a racist remark, then he shouldn't have been sacked.

If he was a racist, and his comment was meant in a racist way, then I guess he should have been sacked.

At least, this is how it used to be when reason and logic were applied. Sadly now these have nothing to do with the decision making process. It is all about perceptions - i.e his comment might be 'perceived' as racist by some (usually white, middle class do-gooding Guardianista), and therefore, because he is 'perceived' of having made a racist comment, he should go.

Sadly, I suspect another dynamic. As an Ozzie, he is used to speaking what is called 'plainly'. This is sadly not really the best way to do things over here. We like things more 'subtle'.

He could have said the same message in a way which would have been impossible to twist into something 'perceived' as racist by the use of clever words!

However, I agree with his sentiment. Does that make me a racist?

Anonymous said...

Admittedly, the hard way James McGrath has found out the reality that Boris is in it only for himself. He can be careless, others can't.

Anonymous said...

Seraphim said...
"Verity and Newmania sound old and boring. Is this a blog for over-55's? "

Verity is 64. Newmania is 45.

Anonymous said...

Scipio said...
"If he wasn't a racist, and the comment was not a racist remark, then he shouldn't have been sacked.

If he was a racist, and his comment was meant in a racist way, then I guess he should have been sacked."

The problem for Boris was that he knew that the remark would be interpreted by many people as racist.

angelneptunestar said...

Neil and Verity,

Totally agree with you about the importance of free speech and no-one should be terrified of being accused of anything for voicing a sincere opinion. i just think it is fine to say what James McGrath said, but not for that person to be a close advisor to the Mayor of London who is seeking to unite all Londoners. There are all sorts of ramifications attached to doing that job. And I do think there is a chance of hurting a lot of vulnerable people by making such a remark if you were in that position.

AfricanMum said...

It's so sad people like Darcus Howe and Marcus Wadsworth can't just get a life. Fact is these Livingstone bag carriers are just trying to destabilise Boris' administration. By sacking this guy, he's let Livingstone have the last laugh. Darcus Howe is odious and an embarassment to Africans frankly (but then, Howe's not too fond of us as he blames us for selling his ancestors or some such silliness).
If Tories wish to govern effectively they really ought to stand up to these PC thugs. I say Boris should reinstate the guy he sacked.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4.19pm

How do you know their waist sizes? Are you in the clothing trade?

verity said...

Angel 4:53 says: "And I do think there is a chance of hurting a lot of vulnerable people by making such a remark if you were in that position."

We've just plumbed a new depth in patronising rubbish. Are you saying that black Britons are "vulnerable people"? As though, as a group, they were weak in the head, non-achieving or had no self-confidence?

As African Mum demonstrates above, black Britons are as alert to the presence of the racist grievance mongers feathering their nests in City Hall as are the rest of us.

African Mum, Boris has bet the ranch on sacking an innocent man and cannot now re-instate him. Also, pr whiz Dave wouldn't let him.

Anonymous said...

"Verity is 64. Newmania is 45.

June 24, 2008 4:19 PM"

What ? So she's old AND fat ?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Verity is 64. Newmania is 45.

June 24, 2008 4:19 PM"

What ? So she's old AND fat ?



She is old but she is NOT FAT. She must be scrawny since see often sneers at anyone who is on the plump side.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9.05 PM

Yup.

And those are two of her most endearing virtues.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10.47

"She is old but she is NOT FAT. She must be scrawny since see often sneers at anyone who is on the plump side."

What does the word "denial" mean to you?

angelneptunestar said...

Verity, I am sorry you take it that way.

Anonymous said...

There's one set of rules Johnson has for himself and another he has for others. He doesn't deserve to be the Mayor.

angelneptunestar said...

Anon that is totally not true. Journalists can write satirical articles, because it is part of their job to be controversial. When you are Mayor or work for the Mayor, it is a far more politically sensitive position.

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angelneptunestar said...

Verity, by "vulnerable people" I meant people who had suffered badly from racial prejudice. I did not mean black people, obviously.