Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Boris Johnson and the Lawrence Case

A lot has been made of Boris Johnson's suitability, or lack of, in his candidacy for the post of Mayor of London, with regards to how he is seen by the Black community (see here and here).
Personally I don't think Boris Johnson is anything more than being his usual thoughtless self here. By that I mean I doubt he intended to be malicious, rather he just charged into a debate and highly important issue without stopping to consider all the facts, without stopping to think about the sensitivities of the case, and generally without stopping to think. Now some people think that Boris Johnson's bumbling behaviour is a political asset, that he is some kind of 21st Century Bertie Wooster! Certainly his former Bullingdon friends do, or else it would not be suggested to him that he stand for Mayor of London. But such silliness is not in tune with the demands of a political post, such as that of Mayor, nor are they an asset when it comes to needing to fundamentally deal with any form of racism or building bridges between communities. Boris Johnson may be in his element in a University or Sixth Form debating society, or even in the time of Ancient Greece or Rome, but certainly not in this day and age.

4 comments:

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

It is a bit of a mess, and not having read the articles I'm reluctant to comment much on it.

All I will say is that some years ago Johnson sat down and read the entire Macpherson report himself and noted that not all Macpherson's conclusions are the same as the set in stone account that exists in ertain quarters.

But why has Doreen Lawrence only spoken out about this now? I doubt she's kept a Boris Johnson article scrapbook - did she only see these when presented with the results of a researcher's trawl?

Paul Burgin said...

I see your point but it is an issue that, for a no of reasons, Johnson should have steered clear of

Miranda said...

Doreen Lawrence has come in for some absolutely disgraceful criticism since she dared to speak her mind. Tory bloggers may delude themselves that she has no influence but Doreen Lawrence is a symbol of dignity and strength in my community and so if she says "Don't vote for Boris Johnson" Black people will not bote for him. Simple. Boris may have only have been writing in a personal capacity as a journalist then but now he is standing for Mayor of London and should be (rightly) scrutinised for his views. The Tories now have no chance of winning this contest. If they are silly enough to pick Boris there will be a mass mobilisation of people from within all the groups (probably all of London) that's he's insulted - and yes, Black people make up one third of our great capital city. If they don't pick him Ken will trounch whichever third choice candidate they try and lump London with. Happy days ahead for all Ken supporting Londoners!

Paul Burgin said...

True indeed. If those who dislike Ken Livingstone wonder why he gets re-elected constantly,who they put against him is one of the many things they want to consider