Saturday, August 04, 2007

Who Put Doreen Lawrence Up to It?

Doreen Lawrence, mother of Stephen, has made some outrageous remarks to day about Boris Johnson, virtually accusing him of being a racist. She's clearly been put up to it by someone close to Ken Livingstone, as her remarks mirror some comments he made recently too. James Cleverly critiques her remarks HERE.
The comments that Doreen Lawrence made about Boris Johnson yesterday are deeply unfair. She implies an attitude towards the Macpherson report which is just not born out by the facts, her words are clearly designed to taint Boris with a whiff of racism and to claim that "there is no way he is going to get the support of any people in the black community" is ridiculous.That she used exactly the same phases as elements of Livingstone's recent remarks and mirrors his line of attack reduces the credibility of her comments even further. She didn't criticise Boris at the time he wrote the articles, she didn't criticise him when he became an MP, she didn't criticise him when he was promoted to the shadow front bench, she didn't even say anything when he put himself forward to be our candidate. So why now?

In his conclusions he's kinder than I would be.


David Boothroyd said...

Boris was just another journalist and backbench MP back then. Now he's a declared candidate to be in charge of the Metropolitan Police.

The Lawrences are on the left, to the extent of speaking at several SWP events. But they are no stooges of anyone, and I think it's a demeaning charge to make of them.

Iain Dale said...

Not quite on the same scale as accuusng someone of being a racist on completely spurious grounds, though, is it?

backtobasics said...

The problem with Johnson's Wodehouse-esque persona is that he has so many politically incorrect remarks, whether intended satirically or not, that his Labour opponents will be able to mine his articles for the next 10 months for offensive remarks about numerous groups.

Incidentally, why assume that Doreen Lawrence was put up to this? She surely would remember remarks about the McPherson report of the kind Johnson made.

And perhaps the reason she is making these comments now is that Johnson is seeking to become Mayor of her city. She has been critical of a number of Labour figures in the past, so to try and portray her as a tool of Livingstone is not very convincing.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Look, I don't like Boris. Under that faux blundering upper class twit routine is a nasty but intelligent man who is as egocentric as the bloke he is running against, Ken Livingstone, of whom Neil Kinnock famously said that the only party Ken was in was the Ken Livingstone party.

He has made racist comments, but that is irrelevant. He has a superiority complex bigger than a HAL 9000 computer, and he gives the impression that anyone who is not a PLU is beneath contempt.

Poor Doreen has been transformed into a media tart, due to the unfortunate and tragic death of her son. But she is still a media tart and frankly has no right above you or me to express opinions on anything, or to be considered credible.

This is all just nasty, underhand electoral trickery and spin.

Watch out for the entry of Brian Paddick (the not so straight Lib Dem choice) into the arena, and see how many times the MSM can discreetly make sure everyone knows he is gay.

Unsworth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unsworth said...

Is Mrs Lawrence a spokesperson for the entire London black community? Since when? Or is this merely the expression of opinion of a lady who clearly believes she has unfinished personal business with Mr Johnson?

It would not be the first time we've seen private vendettas being pursued by whatever means may fall to hand. Still, she's obviously learned a few political moves. Why did she not put herself forward as a candidate, then?

But perhaps she's just happy to allow herself to be used.

Unknown said...

One of the reports I saw this weekend cited an article of Boris' which mentioned the "watermelon smiles" of black people.

Does anyone have a link to this? I would like to see it in context before I slate the guy - but if it is as distasteful as has been made out then his campaign is dead in the water.

I also agree with the first poster that it is unkind to make remarks about the Lawrence's in the way you have Iain.

The kind of forensic checking of past newspaper columns being carried out by Livingstone's team is precisely the kind of thing the Tories should have done before allowing Boris to be liked with the post - but such oversight was impossible due to the unseemly difficulty they have ad finding a candidate and the last-minute parachuting in of Johnson.

Man in a Shed said...

Bonfire of the vanities anyone ?

nadds said...

Clearly red ken and his trot mates are going to try every dirty trick they learned at polytechnic to try and stop boris

Still there's lots to go at ken with and no doubts there is a lot of the clunking fist slagging him off in the past

Lets see:

He's anti Jewish
Anti Spanish
Anti anyone who tries to make a decent living
Anti cars

Pro suicide bomber supporters
Pro any trendy lefty crap

Got a few problems coming up when it all comes out

fairdealphil said...

why now?

because Boris is putting himself up to be a candidate for Mayor of our most diverse city.

is it acceptable to describe black people as 'piccaninnes' and Africans as having 'water melon' smiles.

these comments might have been acceptable in our parent's 1950s generation, but thankfully, Britain has moved on.

Boris's comments are deeply offensive and unacceptable not just to London's black population, but to white people too.

We shouldn't be too surprised. The Tory Government point blank refused an inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence. The inquiry - and some of the change - only happened thanks to the Blair government.

fairdealphil said...

mark asks for a link.

there's one here.

Spurious grounds...? Judge for yourselves...

ahs benton said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hughes Views said...

"She's clearly been put up to it by someone close to Ken Livingstone" - oh yeah? You Tory boys like certainties don't you? They perhaps helps you to feel you've made sense of this frighteningly complex world.

Any proof Mr Dale or is this just another of your regular possibly "deeply unfair" allegations? Unfounded allegations and rumours are rather your stock in trade are they not? And what a loathsome trade some of you bloggers are making it are you not? (NB this is clearly written in a style to parody the patronising attitude that you are being accused of. The phrase is used perhaps "for stylistic effect" )...

pxcentric said...

Doreen Lawrence was awarded an OBE for services to community relations almost 10 years after the murder of her son Stephen.

The inquiry into Stephen's murder concluded that the Metropolitan Police were "institutionally racist".

Good to see you Tory fanboys maintaining the tradition.

Eric said...

For once I agree with you Mrs Dale.

This is MOST CERTAINLY a put up job

Find the culprit and expose the motive.

Unknown said...

My post has a direct link to the "offending" article. Please read it Phil, you will clearly see that it is written in a satirical tone and in no way indicates that Boris is a racist.

Hughes Views said...

Sorry to see you've removed Andrew's 10:15 comment - he seemed to have summed up your little problem in a nutshell...

Nick said...

It looks like you are on to something here Iain given the ferocity of the astroturfers' response.

Keep up the good work.

fairdealphil said...


yes, i've heard it called satire and i've heard it called parody.

whatever you choose to call it, many people both black and white find Boris's writings about 'piccannines' and Africans with 'water melon smiles' offensive.

There's nothing clever or funny about describing people in this way.

Andrew: I fundamentally disagree with Iain Dale on this - and on many other issues too.

But using offensive language when complaining about offensive language is counter-productive and that is why Iain has quite rightly removed your nasty comment...

please don't abuse the opportunity to have a sensible debate...

Sea Shanty Irish said...

Every reason to believe that Mrs. Lawrence's disdain for Borish Johnson is genuine, and that her remarks on his unworthiness to be mayor of her city are sincere.

BJ is hoist upon his own carefully crafted image as the scrouge of the less breeds from Dacca to Donaghadee. For you simply cannot go around writing about "picanninnies" and "watermelons" and expect not expect to reap the backlash when you declare for public office.

Now I can hear many of yez saying, Borish is a decent bloke at heart, he didn't mean to offend, and what he said was just a joke. Well, those kind of jokes may seem innocuous IF your not on the firing line, but very often they truly do ENRAGE the people that are targeted. For this very reason, satire is a very UNWISE art form for the aspiring politico!

Great example was craze for anti-Polish "polack" jokes in the US years ago. Everyone thought they were good clean fun EXCEPT for every Polish person (in US or Poland) that I've every met. To a man and a women the Poles LOATHED these "jokes" and (even if they didn't say so) were personally hurt and unfavorably impressed by anyone who told them.

The Lawrence remarks are fair comment in a political campaign, given BJ's own role in commenting on the Lawrence case along with his other publications. And her words will have an impact upon voters of all hues. Sadly for Borish AND the Tory Party, they will dissuade many voters who otherwise would find either his politics or his persona appealing.

Which is why I've been telling yez that nominating a candidate best known by most electors for insulting people, is a MAJOR unforced strategic error by "David Cameron's Conservatives". In such weighty matters 'tis MOST unwise to rely upon yer own Giggle Meter!

Ross said...

Doreen Lawrence is the Cindy Sheehan of race baiters. The misrepresentation of of the tone of Boris Johnson's comments is so major that it could not be done by an honest pesron.

Judging by some of her other comments it is clear that she has a rather fascistic mindset:

She added: "He felt that people should be entitled to say what they want. It sounds to me that what he believes is that because something is said and done in private it is acceptable

Yes, she is opposing Johnson because he bleives in free speech!

AndyR said...

I'd never heard the word before, sheltered life that I lead. Trawling the net, I found this page...

List of offensive words that should be avoided

Perhaps the government should make an official website containing all banned words, so that nobody ever uses these words again for serious discourse.

That way, the only time they will ever be uttered is in parody, satire or for comic effect...

Oh wait...

Newmania said...

Unfounded allegations and rumours are rather your stock in trade are they not? And what a loathsome trade some of you bloggers are making it

..and what about the utterly unfounded allegation that Boris Johnson is a racist which is in effect what this is . I do not comment on the disgusting immorality of those responsible for using Stephen Lawrence’s death for the tawdry aim a slurring a kind man who is entirely without prejudice that Stephen`s own parents should feel this is a fitting epitaph sticks right in my stomach. What sort of people are they ? What kind of empty self love persuade s you that your moment on the front page is worth this. The nasty little creeps who have organised it they fall beneath the lowest possible estimation of a human being .
I would myself say that this is the single most repugnant front page I have ever seen . For the Guardian to collude in stirring up racial hatred for the purposes of trying to get Ken Livingstone, friend of the IRA and unreconstructed hard left refugee back in ,astonishes me . I have never said this before because it is so often used by pontificating pleaders ,but I expected better , I really did .

I know Boris Johnson and as it happens my wife and son are black as are many of the Islington Conservative Party Mrs. Lawrence speaks for no-one . NO ONE. Only the racist pity addicts of the platitudinising left think that Black is a homogenous slab of opinion that they can slice up anywhere they think fit and I can promise you that it is not appreciated . To put this on the front page is flabbergasting. Boris is absolutely not a racist as the Guardian well know and as everyone here knows as well . Polly Toynbee was first to start the lies quoting Boris hopelessly out of context on education so as to claim he was an elitist. He was at the time defending David Willets and saying Grammar schools are not the answer but competition is . I thought then if Paultry Filler is sinking to this then we are in for a dirty campaign to rival Bermondsey’s “ Straight Choice” Simon Hughes .
Just when you think the left of this country cannot be any more vile they prove you wrong and for anyone else I can tell you that this is the way London Labour is ,a cess pit of the unreconstructed hard left to rival Liverpool’s in the 80s .Meanwhile Enver Hodge is over in Barking talking about the blacks taking all the Council houses , Brown wagging a new found flag and on about British jobs for the British and Hazel Blears complaining about al the darkies that have turned up. They have been pretty damn quick to shore up their weakness to BNP defections ,, not a problems the Conservative Party have
And !
“They perhaps helps you to feel you've made sense of this frighteningly complex world“ … are there really still adults that spout this sort of puerile clap trap ?. You Hughes Views are in no position to comment on the complexity or otherwise of the world because you think on the level of a teas-made .This much is at least certain . Oh .. that’s ironic you see blah blah..drivel sputter
And David Boothroyd
” to the extent of speaking at several SWP events. “ Another child , what , do you think the SWP give a toss about anything expect the publicity and that speaking at their events is proof of anything . Have you ever met anyone form the SWP do you realise the sort of madness we are dealing with.? Clearly not .Over a long journalistic career it is not surprising that Boris may have written things that he might now regret. What he has not done is pick on the Jews so as to suck up to the Muslims who are busy plastering leaflets all over London suggesting we bury homosexuals alive and , in many cases, tacitly approving or denying the bombing of their fellow citizens . Neither has he had tea with the IRA so as to abase himself before a strand of Irish opinion in the Capital .
Is it worth hoping that Ken will condemn this poisonous stirring and allow London to debate the future of our City without lies and filth pervading the atmosphere ?( Are you listening you pompous toad FairdealPhil , who do you work for then ? ) It occurs to me that he may not because , like a lower league team , he can only beat Premiership Boris in the mud,. That is what this is all about. I `ll admit it sometimes I rant for fun or effect but this is different a new low . It occurs to me that the Labour Party are likely to have more to embarrass them from Ken` SWP and hard left gangs than the Conservatives do from Boris .

Sea Shanty "that her remarks on his unworthiness to be mayor of her city are sincere." Surely you can see that this is not the point. Surely !!!

Diane Abbott MP said...

It is a little patronising too assume that Doreen could not form her own opinion on Boris's articles on the Lawrence Inquiry without someone "putting her up to it" She is actually a highly intelligent woman. Also James Cleverly accuses me of calling Boris a racist. Just for the record, I did not say that. What I did say is that Londoners will not find Boris's 1950s views on race acceptable. And the last politician to call black children "grinning picanninies" (apparently Boris's favourite phrase) was Enoch Powell

Iain Dale said...

Welcome to the blog. I am sure Doreen Lawrence is a highly intelligent woman. I have seen her on many TV programmes and she is highly eloquent. She would have known exactly how incendiary her remarks would be. No one, who has read the articles she mentions could possibly accuse boris of being racist. There were clearly some political motives behind her remarks otherwise she would have made them well before now.

It is not patronising to ask if she was put up to it by someone. It is an entirely reasonable question to ask.

Thank you for clarifying your alleged remarks re Boris. I have forwarded them to James Cleverly.

Newmania said...

Dianne Abbot .Do you or do you not think Boris Johnson is racist . Yes or No.

Thought not

David Lindsay said...

No one has done more than Ken Livingstone to give aid and succour to the enemies of the Welfare State, workers' rights, progressive taxation, full employment, and the partnership between a strong Parliament and strong local government.

And no one has done more to undermine London's character as an English-speaking, monarchist city with a Christian heritage.

Don't these things matter to the Afro-Caribbean community at least as much as to several others? (For that matter, no one has done more, in his day, to make life difficult for Londoners from Irish backgrounds.)

But everybody knows about Livingstone, and even so he's already won twice. Bringing up anything about him now, as if anyone didn't know it, would just be silly, and if the specific instance had never been mentioned before, would raise the question of why not.

Boris is dead in the water. Get rid of him. A Tory was never going to win an all-London, one person one vote ballot anyway. You might as well lose with dignity, around and behind a serious candidate, which Boris simply isn't. Newmania can protest at this assertion all he likes, but no one is ever going to believe him: only a buffoon casts himself as a buffoon, and that is what Boris has done.

In the meantime, where is the Independent candidate of black and white unity on the basis of the Welfare State, workers' rights, progressive taxation, full employment, the partnership between a strong Parliament and strong local government, and London's character as an English-speaking, monarchist city with a Christian heritage?

That candidacy is key to the national building of a new political movement, so do get in touch:

Wrinkled Weasel said...

How do we know you are THE Diane Abbott?

I can't see you waving your pointy fingers around like you do on This Week.

The point is, surely, that Boris talks disparagingly about all walks of life but his own. He has made racist comments, but in the context of Boris I don't see them as being heinous. He has form and it is not surprising that he makes odious comments. He strikes me as being an odious man. But, somebody is trying to do a Patrick Mercer stitch up job on him, just as someone tried to stitch up Ken as being anti-semitic.

I don't see what Doreen Lawrence has to do with it.

Newmania said...

Independent candidate of black and white unity on the basis of the Welfare State, workers' rights, progressive taxation, full employment,...( are we there yet)

My son is two next week we were looking for a clown....

Newmania said...

stitch up Ken as being anti-semitic.

NO that was electorally advantageous to Ken for very obvious reasons . Just how far from London do you live Weasel? Do tell!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the link - just read Boris' original article and really did find it in very poor taste.

Whether he's adopted a persona or not for the article is matter of opinion to but these eyes it reads something like how I imagine Boris' interior monologue - a privileged old Etonian sailing close to the wind with his jumped up attempt at moral indignation. Not very appealing at all.

He's toast.

Another fine mess...

Old BE said...

In history lessons I was always told to "criticise the source". That didn't mean to belittle and demean the source but to analyse it to discern whether the "facts" supposedly put forward by a particular piece of evidence.

Take Diane Abbott for instance - anyone who is happy for a situation to arise where schools in inner London are systematically run into the ground in order to make it easier for the elite to run rough-shod over the electorate and then to send her own children to selective independent schools so that they can get a decent education does not really deserve to be listened to in my humble opinion.

Iain Dale said...

Mark, Doreen Lawrence wasn;t accusing him of writing a poor taste article. she was accusing him of being a racist.

I would find it surprising if in 20 years of journalism Boris hasn't written several poor taste articles.

That doesn't justify someone calling him a racist when anyone with half a brain knows it to be a ridiculous accusation. Even Dianne Abbott has more or less admitted it on this thread.

fairdealphil said...

Diane's comments were clear, as reported by BBC:

Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, said: "David Cameron is fooling himself if he thinks that Boris Johnson's 1950s attitudes to race will be acceptable to Londoners, both black and white."

BBC didn't - unfortunately - use the full comment from Diane which hit the spot for me:

"Boris is still stuck in the era of Bedrtie Wooster and Enoch Powell...Doreen Lawrence is right to say that no thinking black person will vote for Boris Johnson. But I believe that very few thinking white people will either."

Game set and match.

Bird said...

As I pointed out elsewhere on this subject, Patrick Wintour's story in The Guardian tells us that Doreen Lawrence has "launched a ferocious attack on Boris johnson".
There is no mention of a speech or newspaper article, so we must conclude that the "ferocious attack" was made after Wintour rang the good lady to wind her up.
Like other left-wing media types, Wintour had been trawling back numbers of the Telegraph and Spectator to find incriminating evidence or Boris's involvement with Hitler and the Friends of Ghengis Khan.
Bingo! "Scoop" Wintour came up with the fact that Boris used the words "piccannini" and "melon-like smile" as he attempted to add colour (Oops, hush my mouth!) to his writing.
Aha! thought Scoop, we got Enoch on colourful language.We can get Boris on the same rap.
Our Doreen does not need much winding up; she has been fair game for exploitation from lefty journalists since the death of her son.
If she wishes to be involved in in political/social affairs, she might consider the problem of black on black gun crime.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

About 350 miles.

David Lindsay said...

Boris is done for. He'll never shake this off, and there'll be plenty more to come. It's not as if he was ever going to win, but even so: not only can there be only one winner, but clearly there can be only one star. Or else.

But, and here's the rub, his candidacy itself was a JOKE. It was just something dreamed up in the Spectator office on what one can only asume was rather a slow and rather a drunken summer's afternoon.

The Honourable Toby Young (The Honourable, whose father invented the word "meritocracy"...) as "Campaign Correspondent"? Come on! And this was about BORIS JOHNSON! Have you got the message yet? It was a JOKE!

But now, the joke is over. Ho, hum.

Unknown said...

Iain, it's a fair point to say that the ugly terms used in the article do not mean Boris is a member of the KKK - but I agree with 'fairdealphil' that Diane Abbot's comments about Boris belonging to another era really hit the spot.

If I was a Boris supporter I'm sure I would mount a vigorous case for his defence, and I would be frustrated that overblown media coverage is likely to make it a major issue for a couple of weeks at least when it possibly isn;t deserving of that.

But Abbot is right - it reads like Bertie bloody Wooster. I have to admit that I had to look up 'picanniny' on wikipedia because it was not a term I had encountered - and among the terms linked to from the page on that word was 'Golliwog' - I believe they are basically similar terms.
I know language and attitudes evolve - and for what its worth I remember cutting out the 'golliwog' tokens on Robertsons marmalade for a doll of the character when I was very young (and I'm still under 30 so I'm not talking ancient history) - so I'm not saying any reference to these out-moded terms makes you a defacto racist.

But really - can you imagine another politician in the UK that would include terms such as 'picaninny', 'gollywog' or anything of the sort in a newspaper article? I can't - some cite this out-of-kilter perspective as part of Boris' charm....but for many others of us its a sign he is stuck in the past.

The tories have to lose this jolly hockey sticks image or they are doomed. Cameron seems to realise this with his opportunitic attepts to bring Mr Lit and Ms Warsi into his 'big tent' - but the sheer cynicism of thes emove simply suceed in highlighting that an inordinate number of teh party are white posh rich men - with little conception of the experiences of the poor, gay, or ethnic minorities.

Perhaps I'm drawing too big a conclusion from this - and I don;t want to start a flame war on the thread - but its just my main feeling is one of disappointment that parts of the your party remain decidedly part of the 'nasty' image of years ago.

Newmania said...

"Boris is still stuck in the era of Bedrtie Wooster

A fictional character created by England`s greatest humorous writer PG Wodehouse, whose patriotism was unjustly slurred over an ill judged broadcast in a manner since universally agreed to be a shameful episode for the Left. Enoch Powell made few appearances at Blandings as I recall, being real and decades later

and Enoch Powell...

A man unable to remain a Conservative. A disgrace to the right and the very antithesis of Boris Johnson who , as you well know , is not a racist.( Enoch Powell was also a bloddy awful poet incidentally )

Doreen Lawrence is right to say that no thinking black person will vote for Boris

Really , I`ve got three and counting so far how about you and perhaps you would like to explain what you know about it and why you think Doreen Lawrence speaks for Black people . Tell you what I `ll speak for white people shall I….
“Fairdealphil will now be regretting his silly remarks and wishing he knew what he was talking about.As a white person I have a special expertise so you can take it I know”

Johnson. But I believe that very few thinking white people will either.

How interesting

For you

Newmania said...

Boris is done for. He'll never shake this off,
Shake what off ?An invented slur of racism. I think people are a little bit more wary of this endlessly regurgitated tactic by now

It's not as if he was ever going to win,

The only poll so far says different and so does analysis of previous polls and its not as if Ken had it all his own way last time

But, and here's the rub, his candidacy itself was a JOKE. It was just something dreamed up in the Spectator office on what one can only asume was rather a slow and rather a drunken summer's afternoon.

The word assume has clearly become interchangeable with the word “ invent” for you David.It was inevitable that the left were going to attack on this front as they generally with the palm for being the most boring and self righteous . Now what commentator can I find to refute this ..hmmm

1 Boris Johnson would be a "formidable" opponent in the mayoral race.

2 he wanted to concentrate on policies rather than celebrity."My job in the next eight months or so is to focus on what Boris actually believes in,"

That would be the well know anti-semite IRA fan self publicist and scourge of Local democracy Ken Livingstone. I am greatly encouraged to see the fear Boris provokes and I trust he will feel the same way

Newmania said...

"But Abbot is right - it reads like Bertie bloody Wooster."

Oh for god sake , because it was meant to. Boris is a professional writer and unlike Ken has to "earn " a living. Polly filler did the same thing ie taking words intended ironically or framed with self mockery and pretending she spoke English as a second language and took it straight . This is called lying ,unless she spends so long basking in Italy nowadays that she has forgotten .She was an undistinguished student actually ( failed the Eleven Plus examination, read history at St Anne's College, Oxford, but dropped out ,many years at The Guardian before joining the BBC where she was social affairs editor (1988–1995). Hope the direct descendant of George Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle enjoyed my money…shows how wrong we are to complain about BBC bias doesn’t it . I suspect her pudgy patrician fingers are involved here , she hates Boris .
Boris had a glittering academic career and made the Spectator into a must read..( oh boy has it changed) he got a scholarship to Eton.

Mr Lit and Ms Warsi into his 'big tent' - but the sheer cynicism of thes emove simply suceed in highlighting

Errmmmm, Mark are you aware all of the relationship between the congestion charging parking ticket handing out Newt freak and the Labour Party . Perhaps you would look it up and then see if you can find a better example of cynicism. It is been a tad tempestuous but no more clues !

David Lindsay said...

You've lost, Newmania. Give it up. "Piccannines"? In PRINT? It's only because he's a member of the Bullingdon Club that he still has the Whip, never mind that he is still being allowed to enter the contest for Mayoral candidate. If, that is, he is allowed to enter it in the end. And that will depend on what next comes out about him...

Ross said...

Diane Abbott's comments are quite worrying. If there are MPs who are genuinely too thick to spot the glaringly obvious satirical tone of Boris Johnson's comments then we should be horrified. Thankfully I believe that she is simply a liar rather than an idiot.

Newmania said...

David said etc.

-You are clearly of the opinion David that the electorate of London are illiterate PC slaves delighted to have an international embarrassment represent London to the world.I do not.
They are a tolerably sophisticated electorate attached to their Coucils (which Ken has been bullying) , and they are not either poltically correct or socialists. Its a London thing , you wouldnt understand.

BTW I was a bit nasty about your Party sorry , got carried away. If you took the socilaism out of it I quite like the rest of it .

fairdealphil said...


you asked why has Mrs Lawrence made her comments now, suggesting a political motive.

well, i suppose she could have waited until boris was endorsed by David Cameron, but by speaking up now, the Tories have a chance to pull the plug on Boris and go back to the drawing board. Again.

Clearly, no-one was pulling Mrs L's strings as you suggest when she expressed her opinion that Boris would be an inappropriate choice to run a multi-cultural city like London.

If anyone was pulling strings, it would have been better to wait until his annointment as tory candidate before pishing on his chips.


yes, i'm still listening, despite your insults...

i note that after claims that boris's slurs were acceptable because they were only 'satire and parody', your latest justification for boris's offensive retro-remarks has shifted.

Now your defence for the indefensible is that Boris is a professional writer...

oh, that's ok then.

er, no.

this farce appears once again to be about David Cameron's judgement as leader of the Tory Party - or lack of it - following his spectacular double-barrelled blasts to both feet: first Grammar Wars and then his disastrous personal selection of the hapless Mr Lit to stand for "David Cameron's Conservatives" in the Ealing Southall by election...

Remember Mr Lit...? He was the Tory candidate who was happy to take a table at a Labour Party fundraising dinner, authorise a £4k cheque for Labour and queue to pose with his best mate Tony Blair - all just a few days before Dave parachuted him as Tory candidate in the Ealing Southall by-election.

Now Boris for Mayor could prove even more disastrous than Jeffrey 'you just wait til I'm Mayor, you just wait' Archer...

More seriously, if Dave really thinks Boris could be the answer, he's got the question all wrong...

Newmania said...


Now your defence for the indefensible is that Boris is a professional writer...

No you have confused two separate issues “Sounding like Bertie Wooster” and “ Being a racist”

this farce
Oh please find another word ….its agony

Grammar Wars
You mean the debate about how to fix the failing comprehensive system ? Yes Lit was a mistake . Yes I remember . This is all of course irrelevant unless the point of Mrs. Lawrences agony is only to smear the Conservative Party as you have now made entirely clear it is. Glad we cleared that up

More seriously, if Dave really thinks Boris could be the answer, he's got the question all wrong...
The Labour party and especially you, sitting in all white Lincs,obviosuly think it is a good idea to inflame racial antagonisms in a City you know nothing of .You misquote , drag a dead boy`s carcass onto the stage then continue to sermonise.

It stinks

Blogging for the hell of it said...

Why now you ask? Because Johnson has the gall to think he could get the support of multi-racial London, that's why.

As for his racist remarks - quelle surprise, shock horror etc etc. Who'd have thought it from a Tory, those champions of equality?

I'm not much of a fan of Ken anymore and he certainly isn't 'Red Ken' these days but he has my vote hands down over any arrogant ex-public schoolboy buffoon who has the cheek to think he can represent me or any other Londoner.

Old BE said...

"Piccannines"? In PRINT?

If it was really that offensive, why did the Telegraph let it go out? Why did no-one highlight its offensive nature before?

This idea that the Tory party is "riddled with racists" is deeply offensive in itself - suggesting that a single brush may be used to tar an entire political party.

Unknown said...


I asked why now because there have been many occasions since the article was written When Doreen Lawrence could have spoken out. Including the point when Boris launched his bid to become Mayor.

What worries me is that she did it just after Livingstone's attack and used the same theme and very similar wording.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Newmania. I have re-read all of your comments because they are interesting. But why are you reacting so vehemently?

I agree with you about Doreen Lawrence. She is irrelevant and should stay out of it. She does not, as you quite rightly say, speak for "black" people. I doubt if she speaks for herself.

I think Boris has made racist comments. The problem is about what that is supposed to imply, in terms of censure/punishment. I think the stuff is pretty mild in the context it was written, because I look at Boris as a whole, and as a whole, he is given to making remarks that offend people. In fact, as I have said, he takes a superior view of everyone not like him. I don't buy the buffoon act.

I agree that the racist thing is a political stitch up attempt, but it is no more, or no less, than trying to label Ken as an anti-semite. I am convinced he is not. That does not make me a Ken supporter or pro-Palestine.

As for my credentials as a "Londoner", I married into a political family and had rides in the official transport many times and did the rubber chicken circuit. I lived there for many years and I know this, that the boroughs fall into extreme factions and tend to harbour loonies on the left and right. In Wandsworth its Tory loonies and in 'acknee its Labour loonies. Worse still, they stifle proper debate by threatening anyone who disagrees with an Auto-da-Fe.

Unfortunately, you sound a bit like that and in doing so undermine your points. You also underestimate Ken and slur him unnecessarily. I disagree with some of his unsavoury political chums but I prefer that to suppression and censorship. He seems to have to work within a strict framework of accountability, demonstrated by his being called to account over the "camp commandant" affair.

Finally, I don't think Boris can win. If he does win he will not last. I want to know how he has changed/benefitted the country. You can argue all you like about Ken's reign but, like Thatcher, you cannot ignore his presence. (And by the way, neither could she)

simonh said...

Who put her up to it? Well, presumably the Guardian rang her up with some choice quotes and asked for her views. But the views she gave are hers, she's entitled to express them and others can be influenced by them or not, as they choose.

Who put her up to it? Why do you constantly try to present any form of critcism as a massive anti-Tory conspiracy? You're as bad as the SWP.

EML said...

Oh dear, you socialists really don't have a sense of humour, do you?

Try reading Boris's articles every week, you will soon grasp that he has his own style - he is not afraid to use most words in the English language if it helps him get his message across.

Thank God we do still have free speech in this country.

The forthcoming mayoral contest will be a good litmus test for London and the UK as a whole - are we so far down the line towards a politically correct socialist-authoritarian paradise that the likes of Boris can no longer be elected to any office other than bog-standard MP?

hatfield girl said...

To offer abuse to an Evening Standard reporter after a public function held in the Mayor's Office is what Livingstone might well do; it's his business how he comports himself with the media.

But when told that the reporter is a Jew, Livingstone chose to revile him in his Jewishness, in terms of the antisemitic utterances most calculated to evoke the images and agonies of the holocaust; and this from a politician whose every thought, calculation and utterance is political.

London Labour is shamed to have renominated such a person as candidate for Mayor.

Newmania said...

Unfortunately, you sound a bit like that and in doing so undermine your points.

I`m sorry if you doubt my sanity Weasel or the sanity of the Conservative Party in parts of London. You may be right that I have been slightly intemperate .I can only say that your picture of an even distribution of loon is not born out by my experience. It is a great mistake to split the difference with extremists . It makes their tactics obvious does it not .

The points I have made about Ken are nothing can I remind you by comparison to those thrown at him by the Labour Party and I have far more serious problems with his activities than i have mentioned in this context in particular his clandestine attempts to enforce Labour Housing Policy .
You compare Boris using an ill judged joke aimed at Tony Blair years ago with Ken Livingstone`s political encouragement of Terrorism. His anti Semitism is not a matter of an incident here and there it is his support of the enemies of Israel and ( of course0)the US over years in line with his far left Lambeth credentials . He genuinely dislikes the Jews Boris to my certain knowledge has not a fibre of racism in his body.
I feel it is a false comparison and You are quite wrong if you think I underestimate him. he is a low vicious reptilian creature who detested the light of the HOP and knows more than anyone about the corrupt game of racial warfare controlling Municipal London has become.

I think Londoners want a good man to represent them and you underestimate both Boris and the enmity that Livingstone provokes outside his constituency of those on benefits ,immigrants and the old Marxist left. Before you get too smug remember the sort of Labour Party here will be terrifying for the rest of the country to behold if they continue in this vein.

I think Boris has a chance but that’s not the point .

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Fair comment, Newmania.

I tend to judge people by their threat value. For example, Ken is noisy and significant, but he is not much of a threat. As I said, his allegiance is to the KLP. He does indeed appeal to all the loonies, but they are loonies and they cannot win, so I tend to discard that aspect. When he invites nutcases from abroad to lecture us infidels, I think it merely strengthens the case of moderation.

You are right on one thing. I don't know what Londoners really feel the issues are these days. But I don't think it matters to the rest of the country.. London has never been a microcosm of British Culture. Once you get away from it, it looks curiously parochial and full of stereotypes. Increasingly, the battleground is moving away from cities and into the regions. Labour has a big Scottish problem that will not go away, and even if Boris abolished congestion charging it would not outway the outrage with which the Scottish people view Westminster in general and Labour in particular.

I will bet you now that Boris does not win. It will give me no pleasure to win the bet, but he is puff and fluff in comparison to Ken and puff and fluff is what Cameron is all about.

Little Black Sambo said...

"Ooh Miss, Boris said a rude word."
The kind of complaint we've all heard from nasty little creeps at school. It's a shame that what ought to be a political argument is reduced to this.
Since anybody can see that Boris is not a racist, why go on pretending he is? Well, we know why.

The Hitch said...

Socialists really do seem to lack a sense of humour or proportion dont they?
They also seem to be unaware that London has a large emerging black middle class , they have what they have through hard work and are getting as p**** off as their white friends and neighbpours by all this socialiist clap trap.
They dont like THEIR city being flooded by third world illiterate benefit scroungers any more than I do. They dont like the idea of being taxed £25 a day just to drive to work.
It is also insulting to imply "black" people dont have the same sense of humour as the rest of mankind ,Boris makes a fair few quid as a comedian and he is jolly good at it.
Livingstone and his ilk can no longer rely on the "ethnic vote" as plenty those "ethnics" are now dyed in the wool Brits.
They know that , and that is the reason they encourage the mass immigration of client voters.

The Hitch said...

Boris is also technicaly a blonde turkish Jew
Out diversify that newt boy.
In Boris we have our New Mrs T , ready to tear Brown head of and **** in the hole after Cameron loses the next election.

Peter Horrie said...

Many of the comments here are covering for someone who's comments cannot be justified.

James Cleverly for example argues that Johson's article 'is written in a satirical tone and in no way indicates that Boris is a racist.'

Some satire! What it really indicates is that this person never intended to run for office in a city like London with a large diverse population where such language would not be acceptable. You may be able to get away with it in places like the Daily Telegraph, but Telegraph values are not mainstream opinion in most of London.

Just to underline the point, Johnson's article in which he referred to "piccaninnies" and "water melon smiles" is also very revealing defence of rail privatisation. It is difficult to see how someone with such views is going to endear themselves to public transport users in London.

But it is worth recalling the relevant sections of Boris Johnson's original article:

'It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies; and one can imagine that Blair, twice victor abroad but enmired at home, is similarly seduced by foreign politeness.'
Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph, 10/01/02

He goes on: 'They say he [Blair] is shortly off to the Congo. No doubt the AK47s will fall silent, and the pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh, and the tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer-funded bird.'

People may try to claim that this is satire but in fact Boris Johnson seems to have form in this regard.

A search reveals this from the Observer.

'Rod Liddle recalls that when he and Johnson went to Uganda together to look at the work of Unicef, Johnson cheerily remarked to the Swedish Unicef workers and their black driver: "Right, let's go and look at some more piccaninnies".'
Lynn Barber, Observer, 5/10/03,6903,1055894,00.html

Rod Liddle would have little motivation for making up such a damaging allegation.

Johnson appears happy to casually use a phrase about black people that is offensive and grotesque.

Far from it being the case that Boris Johnson's comments are part of some amusing Bertie Woosterish act, they are grotesque and represent a pretty consistently casual use of language that many Londoners will find unacceptable.

James Cleverly and Iain Dale should stop defending the indefensible.

Gareth Ellis said...

what is offensive however, is how politicians use minority groups for photo opportunities in order to make them appear as if they care about the dispossesed etc.

During the last two general elections, it was genuine worry that the nation might run out of black and mullato children for Cherie Blair to be photographed next to.

It is clear that Boris is using the term piccaninnies in a way, that objectifies them as they are used by politicians. Politicans love smiling grateful black people, it makes them feel warm and fuzzy.

Carl Eve said...

Iain said in response to Diane Abbot: "It is not patronising to ask if she was put up to it by someone. It is an entirely reasonable question to ask."

But you didn't ASK a reasonable question.

You said "She's CLEARLY been put up to it by someone close to Ken Livingstone"...

That's not asking, that's stating.

Little Black Sambo said...

Peter Horrie: "Johnson appears happy to casually use a phrase about black people that is offensive and grotesque."
This is manufactured outrage on behalf, naturally, of somebody else. Bossy-minded humbug.

Chris Paul said...

Boris has made a number of quite outrageous remarks down the years. He is a throwback. Bunter had Hari Jamsat Ram Singh. Johnson dreams of cannibals and savages. His ridiculous application form does not mention London's communities. Just bicycles, bored city commuters, Boris' job.

This is fair comment Iain. Black London MPs have also had a go today - coming up with two or three outrageous comments without mention9ing the cannibals of PNG.

Fidothedog said...

Maybe she is going to get a peerage of Nu Labour?

Edison Smith said...

re Diane Abbot's post

Just for the record, I did not say that. What I did say is that Londoners will not find Boris's 1950s views on race acceptable. And the last politician to call black children "grinning picanninies" (apparently Boris's favourite phrase) was Enoch Powell.

That IS an insinuation that you believe Boris IS a racist as you are referring to the 1950s as a time when societal attitudes towards ethnic minorities were rather less - for want of a better word - 'informed' than it is now.

Come on Diane, I thought you were cleverer than that. Boris is an eccentric fuddy but he is no racist.

This is clearly a put-up job instigated by a left-wing media worried that Johnson is running higher than Livingston in - albeit very unscientific - recent polling.

Steven_L said...

Of course these slurs are part of Livingstone's mouthpiece sounding off.

I back Boris to come back on it very soon.

I wonder if the Guardian will give him a platform? If they have any decency whatsoever they'll allow Boris a 500 word retort.

Livingstone will fight this election of dirty racial politics.

Unknown said...

Has Boris come under attack for his satirical (or allegedly racist) use of words or because he had the temerity to attack some of the recommendations of the Macpherson report? I suspect it is really for the latter

Initially was was sympathetic for the sorrow felt by Mrs Lawrence, but I have to say that that this has waned over the years.

Hard cases make bad law.

The Macpherson enquiry reached some extreme conclusions thanks to the agitation of some very extreme left-wing lawyers.

The effect on policing has been disasterous, creating no go areas for policing. Even Mohammad Sarwar, one of Labour's Glasgow MPs criticised local police back in 2004 for failing to tackle Asian gangs in the city, for fear of being accused of racism.

Unless there is a very serious offence such as murder, no sensible policeman is going to go out of his way to tackle crime in minority areas, when there are much softer targets elsewhere, free from the risk of a complaint of racial harassment. The creation of no-go areas for policing was one of the foreseeable consequences of the enquiry's recommendations.Sir William Macpherson may be highly intelligent but some of his recommendations were foolish. Proof indeed that there is a difference between intelligence and wisdom.

Millions of Londoners (including many in minority communities) will heave a huge sigh of relief if Boris boots out all the charlatans of multiculturism (Red Ken, Sir Ian Blair, Lee Jasper et al)and starts treating people as people (and long suffering taxpayers), rather than as sectarian interest groups.

Newmania said...

Peter Horrie
1 Are you black ?
2 Are you a member of the Labour Party ?

1 no
2 Yes

Do you think you are not transparent

Newmania said...


We want someone from outside the dirty politics of London at this point his subject would have to be himself. God knows what you think youknow about London`s communities but I shall assume that white English people do not count.

Newmania said...

Livingstone and his ilk can no longer rely on the "ethnic vote" as plenty those "ethnics" are now dyed in the wool Brits.
They know that , and that is the reason they encourage the mass immigration of client voters.

Indeed Hitch Labour thrives on perceived victim hood and racila /clas envy. If there is none they will do their best to create it . That is why they are trying to infame racial tensions in London.

I think it is probably fair to say that Boris regrest these light heated remarks aimed at the assumptions of the Imperialists but to continually and deliberately misprepresent the position can have only one motive . Damn the consequences.

I honestly think that so many im,,igramts are now anglicised that a lot will dioslike the sheer tattle telling oo miss of the Labour campaign

Sir-C4' said...

I don't like Boris, but Stephan Lawrence would be so ashamed of his mother.

Mrs. Lawrence has shamelessly exploited her son's brutal and barrbaric death to create a fascist politically correct apartheid system where a small and evil cabal of ethnic minority Islamofascists terrorise the libertarian majority with their failed socialist ideology.

Unsworth said...

'Dianne Abbot': "It is a little patronising too assume that Doreen could not form her own opinion on Boris's articles on the Lawrence Inquiry without someone "putting her up to it""
Ah, so this is about the 1999 articles by Johnson on the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry rather than the Mayoral elections and rather broader matters?

"She is actually a highly intelligent woman."
And this is a matter for comment? Apart from its irrelevance to the debate (an Abbot speciality, perhaps?), just how patronising is that? If Doreen Lawrence was not "highly intelligent" what difference would that make?

Who is making 'assumptions' here?

Tim said...

She's clearly been put up to it by someone close to Ken Livingstone...

One of these days, Iain, you are going to be royally sued.

Tim J said...

Sued Tim? On what grounds? For making an assertion that someone told someone else to say something? It's not defamatory, and it doesn't damage Mrs Lawrence in any physical way, so on what grounds could Iain be sued?

Whether Mrs Lawrence made her remarks very shortly after Ken Livingstone had made very similar remarks might be no more than a co-incidence, or it might be that someone in the Labour camp primed her to do so.

Speculating as to which of these is the case is entirely fair ground for comment.

NERO said...

Once again Doreen lawrenence drags her dead son's body onto the hustings in support of the far left.

There's a few things about Doreen Lawrence that I find troubling.
All those honorary awards she turns up for. Do you really think she's there to honour the memory of Stephen, or is she going along for a bit of arse kissing? Do you think she likes the attention just a teensy little bit too much? She does seem to accept quite a few of them.

How much does she get paid p.a by the Stephen Lawrence charitable trust? how much does she earn from being the Chair of the Trust and Confidence group? How much is she paid to be Vice Chair of the delivery board of the home office? How much does she get paid for being on the panel for the recruitment and Progression for Professionals within The justice system? I wonder what she did with the £15,000 she won from the libel case which she said she would "give to others"?
Stephen might have been her much loved son, but it also would appear that he is her meal ticket.

What does she feel towards the victims of the 20% rise in muggings that followed the publishing of the Macphearson report (it would be interesting to see if any of those involved a fatal stabbing)-Or is she morally ambivalent.
Oh and you can safely ignore what salad dodging hypocrite Dianne Abbot has to see about anything -it's always ill conceived s**t. She loves Ken, she was press officer at the Greater London Council under him from 1985 to 1986 ( On a purely personal and mean spirited note. I saw Dianne Abbott on the Politics Show. Now, I know they say women don't sweat they "glow" well f**k me, Dianne Abbot "glowed" like 10,000 watt Osram-She should request a little more powder next time.)

David Lindsay said...

Newmania, London Lbaour will not be "terrifying to behold" to the rest of the country, simply beacuse London anything barely is beheld by the rest of the country.

Londoners have voted for Livingstone twice now, and well might one say "More fool them", but they've done it. Yes, it IS incomprehensible to the rest of us. But most things to do with London's internal politics are, in the way that most things to do with politics outside London are incomprehensible to Londoners.

I was stunned to read your view that West Indians have only recently become "true Brits". Being more British than the British was what brought them here in the first place.

But Britishness is at least as much a Keynsian and Beveridgite concept as anything else. Look at Gibraltar, where by far the most strongly pro-Britsih party is an outgrowth of the T&G, describes itself on its own website as "Old Labour", and takes greatest pride in two things: have seen off successive Spanish threats, and having secured for its trade union base wage parity with Britain.

Or look at the arguments rightly advanced in favour of the Union in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: as long ago as the 1940s, Sinn Fein was fretting that its support was being eroded by the Welfare State; if Labour had had the wit to organise in Northern Ireland, then just consider what we all might have spared.

And lokk at the West Indians: English-speaking, monarchist, church-going, and Old Labour in not just the pre-Blair, but the pre-Scargill and pre-Militant, sense. They'd fit right in in the whitest parts of Scotland, Wales, the North and the Midlands.

Anyway, to return to the main point of this thread, the position of Mayor of London was invented specifically for Livingstone, in order to get him out of the Commons and thus prevent him from from standing against Brown when the time came.

There had to be some official Labour um-ing and ah-ing when he put up as an Independent, but everyone knew that he was going to win. And then he re-joined Labour, which, if it ever now lost the mayorality, would follow the precedent set by Thatcher over the GLC, and simply abolish the position.

I still say that Boris was never going to win. I still say that I doubt he'll now be allowed to stand, at least as a Tory. And I still say that only an Old Etonian or a member of the Bullingdon Club (and he is, of course, both) could still have the Whip after this.

But even if he did stand and win, then he'd only have the job for about six weeks, after which there'd be no such job to have.