Over the years, the character of Boris Johnson has proved to be a vehicle for some pretty horrible rhetoric. The man has a history of making inflammatory statements that appeal to a particular audience and then denying, obfuscating or simply ignoring any subsequent outcry. One might almost think he has learnt this tactic from across the Atlantic
Some examples –-
His declaration that a Muslim woman wearing the niqab resembled “a bank robber” and that it was “absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letterboxes”.
He has called homosexual men “bum boys”.
He has – unbelievably – written about “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”.
He blamed single mothers for “producing a generation of ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate children”, saying that social housing was an enticement for them to become pregnant – plus some fairly racist comments about Nigerians.
His trick seems to be to scuttle behind the increasingly tattered defence that he is only trying to be funny, that his remarks have been taken “out of context”, that he is the victim of our old friend, political correctness gone mad.
There have been a few other problems too –
He has been fired not once, but twice, for dishonesty
The Sun helpfully publishes a guide to his many children
And lets not even get into prorogation and lying to the Queen.
If the country elects a man with this character on 12 December – we can’t say we haven’t been warned.