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?