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A brash, native New Yorker commits the most heinous of crimes, refusing to apologise

The man is a politician known for his implausible hair, and has certainly made some outrageous remarks about a certain foreign politician, which was no bar to high office. I refer of course to the (part-Turkish) Right Honourable Boris Johnson MP. He has made, in passing, remarks against a burka ban, with, I’m told, an allusion to it making the wearer resemble a letter box. His Party Chairman called on him to apologise, but, so far, he has not done so.

He is also, we hear, accused of breaching the Conservative Party’s Code of Conduct:

lead by example to encourage and foster respect and tolerance;

So give him some respect and tolerate his use of language. Is he not fostering tolerance by showing the Conservative Party’s leadership up for the intolerant, virtue-signalling, Lib Dem prigs that they are?

not use their position to bully, abuse, victimise, harass or unlawfully discriminate against others (see further the interpretation annex);

He wrote a newspaper article, whilst an MP, but not as an MP.

The annex to the Code defines discrimination etc.

Discrimination includes victimising or harassing any other person because of race (including colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, citizenship), sex, gender re-assignment, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, disability, age, religion or belief [which should be interpreted as fully adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism], pregnancy and maternity status.

Harassment is any unwanted physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive situation or environment for them. A single incident can amount to harassment. Harassment may involve conduct of a sexual nature (sexual harassment), or it may be related to age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. Harassment is unacceptable even if it does not fall within any of these categories. Victimisation provisions protect certain individuals who do (or might do) acts such as bringing discrimination claims, complaining about harassment, or getting involved in some way with another complaint (such as giving evidence).

Victimisation may therefore occur where a person subjects another person to a detriment because either that person has acted in such a way and/or is believed to have acted in such a way, or may act in such a way.

Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour involving the misuse of power that can make a person feel vulnerable, upset, humiliated, undermined or threatened. Power does not always mean being in a position of authority, but can include both personal strength, influence and the power to coerce through fear or intimidation. Bullying can take the form of physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct.

It seems to me that an actual person is required to be on the receiving end here, and although Mr Johnson’s article is behind a paywall at the Telegraph, I don’t think it would have mentioned any particular person as being the ringer for a letter box.

So the case against him is crock. He is of course, a ‘renegade’ having resigned over Mrs May’s Munich, and a possible threat to the FFC. And whatever the ‘crime’ is , the one thing that is expected by the media and, it seems, most of the political class, is the ritual apology for ‘offence’ found. If he can hold out, he will show himself to have considerable political courage, just what is needed these days.

And if he can face down the PC-boo-hiss crowd and sit out the storm, the curtain hiding the impotent media/politico Wizard of Oz may start to fall, and truth may flourish, like flowers in a woodland glade, just cleared by a storm.

There never was a man so hated, as he who told the truth.

37 comments to A brash, native New Yorker commits the most heinous of crimes, refusing to apologise

  • I very much hope that this affair is doing Boris as much good with the country Tories and the public as it is doing him harm with the PC brigade.

  • djm

    Boris never does anything unless it’s for the direct benefit of Boris

  • Stephen K

    “Boris never does anything unless it’s for the direct benefit of Boris”
    Doubtless, but he might do some good by accident.

  • Mr Ecks

    He is not intrinsically trustworthy BUT he has had to nail his colours to the mast re Brexit and a govt with he as PM and Rees Mogg in Cabinet carrying out a WTO Rules Brexit is the best that could happen in the present situation. And would be an election winner for the Tories. Whereas Treason May is a sure loser even to Jizza.

    Boris must know if he crawls to the FFC’s demands that is the end of his leadership bid. Therefore he can’t. Nor should he. The bitch has increased her own unpopularity via this affair–which she seems to consistently manage to do regardless of circs.

  • Mr Ed

    (Who is) (T)he bitch has (who) increased her own unpopularity… …–which she seems to consistently manage to do regardless of circs.(?)

    Should I be asked ‘If Mrs May is the answer, what on Earth was the question?“, I think that Mr Ecks has given us the question as above.

  • terence patrick hewett

    @ djm

    And you are Mother Teresa of Calcutta? Pull the other one it’s got bells on.

  • llamas

    That definition of ‘harassment’ immediately put me in mind of the rules of the pedagogical penitentiary in which I spent some of my formative years. After an exhaustive excursion through every sin of omission or emission to which little boys the world around are subject, it finished up with the delightfully-simple yet all-encompassing ukase:

    “Any breach of common sense, is a breach of the School Rules.’

    That’s a hell of a Catch, that catch-22.

    Under that policy, as written, any action, or any lack of action, that you can possibly conceive of, can be considered as ‘harassment’, and punished. Any. There’s no act. word, thought or deed, or lack of same, that cannot be easily shoehorned into that definition. I find the colour vermilion subjectively offensive. I really do, it offends me. So wearing a vermilion tie, one time, would count as ‘harassment’.

    One can only hope that, Alinsky-style, this fatuous and ultimately-totalitarian policy ends up quickly ensnaring a few of the ‘great and the good’, at which point, its speed of transit down the memory hole will become incapable of measurement with any known instrumentation.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Rudolph Hucker

    Fascinating that Dr Taj Hargey, Imam of the Oxford Islamic Congregation, has joined the debate. In very traditional style, with a letter to the editor of The Times. In support of BJ.

    Sir, Boris Johnson should not apologise for telling the truth. His evocative analogy is unfortunate but he is justified in reminding everyone that the Wahhabi/Salafi-inspired fad of female facial masking has no Koranic legitimacy. It is, however, a nefarious component of a trendy gateway theology for religious extremism and militant Islam.

    The burka and niqab are hideous tribal ninja-like garments that are pre-Islamic, non-Koranic and therefore un-Muslim. Although this deliberate identity-concealing contraption is banned at the Kaaba in Mecca it is permitted in Britain, thus precipitating security risks, accelerating vitamin D deficiency, endorsing gender-inequality and inhibiting community cohesion.

    The retrogressive Islamic clergy has succeeded in persuading ill-informed Muslims through suspect secondary sources that God wants women to cover their faces, when in reality it is a toxic patriarchy controlling women. Is it any wonder that many younger women have internalised this poisonous chauvinism by asserting that it is their human right to hide their faces? Johnson did not go far enough. If Britain is to become a fully integrated society then it is incumbent that cultural practices, personal preferences and communal customs that aggravate social division should be firmly resisted. For this reason Britain must emulate France, Belgium, Austria, Bulgaria and Denmark in banning the burka.

  • pete

    So Mrs May is bullying me when she undermines and threatens my beloved Brexit, so making me upset?

    Discipline her!

  • Mr Ed

    RH

    The burka and niqab are hideous tribal ninja-like garments that are pre-Islamic, non-Koranic and therefore un-Muslim. Although this deliberate identity-concealing contraption is banned at the Kaaba in Mecca it is permitted in Britain, thus precipitating security risks, accelerating vitamin D deficiency,…

    So the campaign against Boris is built on rickets-y foundations, then? 😆

  • Sam Duncan

    “I very much hope that this affair is doing Boris as much good with the country Tories and the public as it is doing him harm with the PC brigade.”

    It would appear so:

    The majority of Britons think describing women in burkas as looking like “letter boxes” and “bank robbers” is not racist – but are split as to whether Boris Johnson should apologise for doing so, according to a new Sky Data poll.

    Six in 10 – 60% – say it is not racist to compare Muslim women wearing burkas to bank robbers and letter boxes, as Mr Johnson did in an opinion column earlier this week, while 33% think it is.

    However, people are split as to whether the former foreign secretary should apologise for his remarks – 45% think he should do so, 48% think he should not.

    So, short of a majority, but more think he shouldn’t than should.

    Mr Johnson made the remarks in an article opposing a ban on wearing burkas in public places, with such a law recently having been passed in Denmark.

    Almost 60% of participants would support enacting such a ban in the UK, with 26% opposed.

    Worth bearing that in mind, by the way: it was in an article opposing the Danish ban. But now its all, “racist anti-burka bigot Boris”.

    “So the campaign against Boris is built on rickets-y foundations, then?”

    Wahey! But you know what this means, of course? Burkas Cost NHS Millions Each Year. You can’t argue with the great National Elf.

  • Mr Ecks

    “However, people are split as to whether the former foreign secretary should apologise for his remarks – 45% think he should do so, 48% think he should not.”

    The above figure was I believe in house to Sky’s own remainiac resource rich viewers/supporters survey. The 60% support was from much wider –Twitter”?–based British folk. They were also were asked if BoJo should apologise and said NO massively. The pukes at Sky have mixed the results in true fake news style.

  • Yet when Ken Clarke made similar remarks… where was the outrage?

    Gosh, it is almost as if this actually has nothing to do with burkas and all about some people trying to do the legs of the main threat to Theresa May & her cabal of Remain toadies 😉

  • Mr Ed

    I’ve just noticed an unfortunate turn of phrase in the Conservative Party’s definition of discrimination:

    Discrimination includes victimising or harassing any other person because of… …religion or belief [which should be interpreted as fully adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism],

    It reads to me as is the ‘belief’ here is ‘anti-Semitism’ (the definition of which is so difficult for the current Labour Party: So victimising someone because of that person’s ‘anti-Semitism’ (as defined) is prohibited as that is a protected ‘belief’ for the Conservative Party. Sir Oswald, you may return, even if you might just prefer the current Labour Party.

    Whereas it perhaps meant: [which should be interpreted as discrimination being prohibited including defining ‘anti-Semitism’ on the basis of the adoption the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism].

    Why not use your knowledge of the English language to define anti-Semitisim? After all, UK law allows for findings of unconscious discrimination? You can, in certain situations, be found liable for discrimination even if a court accepts you didn’t know that you were doing it.

  • Pat

    So under this code isn’t May guilty of harassing Corbyn?

  • Regional

    “Boris never does anything unless it’s for the direct benefit of Boris” All politicians.

  • JadedLibertarian

    Anna Soubry has announced that if Boris becomes party leader, she’s leaving the Tories. I call that as ringing an endorsement as could possibly be hoped for.

    I had to go away and read up on the history of the Tory party to get my head around the so called “one nation” Tories who call Disraeli their inspiration. What a bunch of wets. If Boris can dislodge that bunch of third way socialists he’ll have done everyone a favour.

  • Laird

    “Victimisation may therefore occur where a person subjects another person to a detriment because either that person has acted in such a way and/or is believed to have acted in such a way, or may act in such a way.”

    Is there any substantive content to this sentence?

  • Mr Ed

    Laird,

    Is there any substantive content to this sentence?

    Allow me to bore others to tears with a point about ‘equality law’ in the UK. This is a definition taken up from 40-odd years of anti-discrimination legislation where there is the concept of victimisation, which is founded on prohibiting (or rather penalising) conduct that arises from person A doing a ‘protected act’ such as giving evidence in a discrimination claim, alleging that unlawful discrimination is occurring and so on. The full definition is in section 27 of the Equality Act 2010.

    You can victimise someone on the ground that you believe someone has complained about discrimination even if they have not done so. Here, the ‘detriment’ could be saying to someone anything related to a ‘protected characteristic’ could be a detriment, as that could create an offensive environment on the ground of religion (or the perception of someone following a religion). E.g. suppose someone with porphyria comes to work covered in dark cloth from head to toe on a sunny day, to avoid direct sunlight, and someone says ‘Crikey, Watch out. Boris Johnson is out for you, you look like a walking letterbox’ that could be a detriment as creating an offensive environment on the ground of (i) religion – attributing Islamic belief to someone, or, indeed disability, if the reason for the comment arises from the porphyria being a disability (or being perceived as a disability).

    A more concrete example might be a white ‘Front-of-house’ manager at a restaurant being victimised for complaining if told not to allow any black people into the restaurant by making up excuses such as there being no tables free. He would be victimised if he were sacked for complaining, and it would be on the ground of race (not his race, but race generally), as ‘race’ motivated the detriment of being sacked.

  • Paul Marks

    It is interesting to remember that Boris Johnson wrote an article DEFENDING the right of Muslims to dress up in a certain way – unlike (for example) my own Member of Parliament who wants the face covering banned. But because Boris Johnson used light hearted language (“letterboxes” and so), i.e. the type of language that was normal among British people up to only a few years ago, all-Hell-has-broken-loose.

    It is hard to know what to make of this. Mr Johnson has NOT attacked Muhammed (the personal conduct of Muhammed) or the doctrines he taught, or even suggested that the face covering be banned – he just used a few light hearted words in an article DEFENDING the right of Muslims to dress up in this way. Nor was Muhammed himself very interested in total covering of the face (indeed, off hand, I can not think of any verse of the Koran or the Hadiths where Muhammed formally suggests full face covering) – Muhammed had more pressing concerns (such as the execution of anyone who mocked him).

    So what is this fuss about? What is Prime Minister May, and Ruth Davidson, and all the rest of them, so upset about? My own view of the British establishment is not very high (to put the matter mildly) – but I did not expect them to behave quite like this. The British establishment, including the Prime Minister, are acting like a bunch of Frankfurt School of Marxism university students (“Social Justice Warriors”).

  • Zerren Yeoville

    Would it be deemed racist to refuse to acknowledge or communicate with a person so garbed unless one had first donned a balaclava to conceal one’s own facial features and expressions?

    If such an accusation was made, could it be deflected by claiming that one was actually empathizing with their cultural identity in order to make them feel more at ease?

    And while accusations of ‘dog whistling’ are being thrown at ol’ de Pfeffel, would it be impolite to wonder out loud whether Labour’s anti-Semitism travails are deliberate ‘dog whistling’ aimed at shoring up their vote among Muslims, given that 85% of Muslim votes* were cast for Labour at the 2017 General Election?

    *Source: http://www.brin.ac.uk/2017/religious-affiliation-and-party-choice-at-the-2017-general-election/

  • Paul Marks

    By the way – it is fascinating (in a horrible way) to see Mr Ed show Laird that British law can be even more weird than American law.

    Although, of course, none of us want to win the “whose system of law is the most twisted and weird” contest.

  • Paul Marks

    Of course it is even more disturbing that some aspects of the Code of Conduct of the Conservative Party mirrors the “odd” (to put the matter mildly) aspects of British law and establishment fashion (with a duty to push “tolerance and respect”, not something that Winston Churchill could have signed up to – as he attacked his political opponents with a passion, and so on). However, the Conservative party contains some lawyers who are in no way what an American (or even British people from a few years ago) would have called a conservative – they are, instead, people who have accepted the leftism they were taught at school and university (and see in their professional life), but, for some reason, still want to be members of the Conservative Party, indeed to run the Conservative Party. There does not seem to be a British version of the American Federalist Society – i.e. a society for lawyers who are interested in conservative IDEAS (rather than just running the Conservative PARTY).

    Such Progressives (for that is what they really are) do indeed threaten to resign of Boris Johnson becomes leader of the Conservative Party. Now Boris Johnson is actually a moderate (far too more moderate), but it would be very nice indeed if these Progressives did resign from the Conservative Party – rather than a few people (and there are only a few of them) continuing to boss everyone else about.

  • Mr Ed

    That good and radiant man, Mr Rowan Atkinson, had waded into the debate urging Boris not to apologise.

    Rowan Atkinson has defended Boris Johnson over his comments on women wearing burkas and said the former Foreign Secretary’s remarks were funny.

    Mr Johnson is facing an investigation and could be disciplined by Conservative party bosses after saying women in burkas looked like ‘letterboxes’ and ‘bank robbers’.

    Atkinson, 63, said: ‘As a lifelong beneficiary of the freedom to make jokes about religion, I do think that Boris Johnson’s joke about wearers of the burka resembling letterboxes is a pretty good one.’

    The actor, known for his comedy performances in Blackadder and Mr Bean, wrote in a letter to the Times: ‘All jokes about religion cause offence, so it’s pointless apologising for them.

    ‘You should really only apologise for a bad joke. On that basis, no apology is required.’

  • The BBC took care to run their report of Rowan’s remarks under the headline ‘Critic of Johnson receives abusive emails’. (Like Boris never ever received such an email himself 🙂 ) Only if you read down below the first paragraph did you get a summary of Rowan’s remarks.

    I am not the best judge of whether this is doing the PC Brigade – and especially Johnson’s Tory rivals – the harm it should. I think it is – but I also hope it is.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Ed – good.

    Niall – the BBC remains as vile as ever. But the other television stations are just as bad, conservative (indeed just anti leftist) television stations are, as you know, ILLEGAL in Britain. “Ofcom” de facto banning conservative television stations – there is no such thing as a neutral television news or current affairs programme, so by de facto banning “right wing” television stations, “Ofcom”, in effect, gives a MONOOPLY of television stations to the left.

    It is only a matter of time before some other Deep State body, such as the “Electoral Commission”, de facto bans all non leftist political parties – for “violating the Nolan principles of public life” or whatever. “Sargon” (over on YouTube) actually read the “Nolan Principles” recently (which politicians all sign up to, as part of the job, without actually reading them) – they are totally IMPOSSIBLE to keep to (written in order to make it IMPOSSIBLE to operate in accordance with them) – so the establishment (the “Electoral Commission” and other such vile establishment creatures) could ban anyone they did not like for “violating” stuff that it is impossible not to violate. For example politicians are not, and should not be, “objective” (in the sense that the establishment use that word) – politicians have beliefs-principles and decide policy in line with their principles (or should do) NOT in accordance with the (slanted) “evidence” that the leftist officials shove in front of their noses.

    As for treating political opponents (in other political parties – or in one’s own) with “respect” and working to create an “atmosphere of tolerance”. I have been an active member of the Conservative Party since 1979 – and I had no idea that stuff was in the “Code of Conduct”. That is NOT politics – that is the behaviour of a collection of saints, and politicians are not saints. Whoever wrote this “Code of Conduct” was either joking or is a total and absolute arse.

  • lucklucky

    Well in Portugal the right only exists to legitimize the left for them to say it is a Democracy.
    When the right wins the election they are never allowed, via Marxist journalism pressure to implement their electoral program.
    This turned the right in a just pretend to be the opposition not opposing anything and increasingly their talking points are the same as the left that even the journalists don’t need to oppose them anymore…

    It seems the Tories are now the same.

  • lucklucky

    Another thing this shows once again is that a modern political party, in this case the Conservative do not answer to their voters but to a layer of journalists, deep state types, academics. Their culture is not the culture of the voters despite needing them and talking the talk of Democracy – so supposedly representing them
    A self manufactured aristocracy that has to get votes because it still is the law of the land but if they could get away with it would just make any election a 99% election.

  • Jacob

    “You should really only apologize for a bad joke.”

    Mark Twain (in “Connecticut Yankee”) thought that the just punishment for bad or stale jokes was beheading.

  • James Strong

    Boris is right to oppose a burka ban, and made a reasonable joke about letter-boxes.
    His other comment, about looking like bank robbers, was not funny; it was stupid.

    However, he has lessened his chances of being Conservative leader because, once again, he comes across as a buffooninsh joker with no gravitas. Conservative MPs will be very wary about sending such a man, as Prime Minister, into international councils.

    The good thing is that,by exposing the snowflake, pandering Remainers for what they are there is a better chance of a Leaver who can express serious ideas in serious language becoming leader.

    All JRM’s friends, colleagues and admirers should be persuading him to stand.

  • Mr Ed

    JS

    he comes across as a buffooninsh joker with no gravitas.

    There certainly is force in that point, but he got the Foreign Secretary post after his limerick about Erdogan (see the OP), and the current PM is a buffonish, vindictive coward with no gravitas.

  • bobby b

    “However, he has lessened his chances of being Conservative leader because, once again, he comes across as a buffooninsh joker with no gravitas.”

    Buffoonish jokers with no gravitas have been winning elections lately.

  • Laird

    Mr Ed, thanks for that explanation. Clearly Kafka is running your legal system.

    Paul Marks, you win that contest. I am withdrawing from the lists.

  • Thank you, Paul Marks, for drawing my attention to the Nolan Principles: I could not agree more. Not only codes of conduct are insidiously binding, they set deceptive, impossible standards that make every signatory liable. If there is a lesson in law theory that I remember is this: the terror of the French Revolution laid not in the number of guillotine executions, but in the broad definitions of the Law of Suspects passed by the French National Convention. When expanded in 1794 it had an unambiguous effect: anyone could be guillotined: the implementation and arrests based on the Law of Suspects were entrusted to oversight committees, and not to the legal authorities, while subjects had to prove their innocence.

    Codes of conduct are construed to blur the distinction between laws and morality. You may consider for example, the difference between the old criminal corruption and bribery offences that targeted clearly defined acts of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty, and codes of conduct that impose absolute public and private integrity without any clear written threshold. If not checked, this is akin to making human goodness a legal standard. This is worrying as the Codes’ definitions are by design, overly broad, and they tend at least in continental systems of law, to seep into criminal offences.

  • Buffoonish jokers with no gravitas have been winning elections lately. (bobby b, August 10, 2018 at 8:48 pm)

    There is much more force in that point, but there is yet more force in the fact that just because the bank robber remark was not quite as funny a joke as the letter box one (praised by expert-witness Rowan) does not mean it deserves the least criticism. (I note Bobby was only quoting James Strong’s word ‘Buffoonish’.)

    Recognise that Johnson was technically in one of PC’s no-win situations. Having decided to argue against banning the burka (and we on this blog can understand and respect his libertarian reasons why), he wishes nevertheless to signal his own opinions. To paraphrase: Personally I disagree with what you wear, but I will defend to the death your right to wear it. (or, if not to the death, at least to the extent of one newspaper article 🙂 ). Johnson is not one of the ‘feminists’ who flatter islam – and so reveal their inner phoniness. Naturally, in such an article, he wants to make it clear he’s no fan of the burka. So the PC pursue him for that.

    He may of course have foreseen that, or some of it at least; may, to a degree, have known what he was doing

  • Mr Ed

    lucklucky

    Another thing this shows once again is that a modern political party, in this case the Conservative do not answer to their voters but to a layer of journalists, deep state types, academics. Their culture is not the culture of the voters despite needing them and talking the talk of Democracy

    Absolutely, and it sounds like the same in Portugal. Perhaps this is the most important aspect of Mr Trump’s Presidency, apart from his bleating tweets about the abuses of the FBI and DoJ as he wallows in his self-imposed powerlessness, Mr Trump usually says things as they are and disregards the ‘narrative’ the ‘be PC and apologise/resign’ approach that the Left thought was a perfected tool. When they realise that nothing happens when they rant on in their own echo chamber, they are quite shocked, and very angry. If only other relatively pro-freedom politicians in the West realised that they can do the same.

  • If only other relatively pro-freedom politicians in the West realised that they can do the same. (Mr Ed, August 13, 2018 at 7:48 am

    One hopes that Boris is testing the waters – and/or noticing that obstacles are also opportunities. And one hopes he’s not alone in noticing.

    It is in some ways regrettable to be obliged to rely so very heavily on the Tories’ desire to win for ones hopes of a better future. Of course, both Edmund Burke and the authors of The federalist Papers could reply with disdain, “How did you think this politics thing would work?”

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