by Chauncey Tinker – 5 Sep 2018
Image credited at the end of this article.
There seems to be growing support for a Boris Johnson leadership bid. Boris is certainly a popular chap and he has served as Mayor of London for 2 terms (8 years). He would probably win people over to the Conservative Party and he might well win an election against the far-left Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn. I suspect that a BoJo led government might be better at negotiating with the EU, although by the time he had won a leadership contest there wouldn’t be much time left for negotiating as there are only just over 6 months left to go. I will come back to this question, but first I want to explain the many issues I have with Boris Johnson.
My biggest objection to the idea of Boris as Prime Minister comes from his enthusiasm for immigration. I am truly baffled as to why Boris supporters who are opposed to mass immigration seem to have forgotten about Boris’s desire to grant an amnesty to illegal immigrants, an act that would surely encourage more illegal immigrants to come. Such an act would also gerrymander the electorate even further to the left at a time when Corbyn’s Labour is riding dangerously high in the opinion polls. The last thing that we need is an amnesty for illegal immigrants, but this is what Boris has called for:
Johnson ‘repeats call for amnesty for some illegal immigrants’ in wake of Windrush
Casting our minds back to 2010, readers may remember that the Conservative Party was elected on a promise to reduce immigration to the 10s of 1000s, a reduction they have of course completely failed to deliver. Boris’s support for such an amnesty is also therefore a slap in the face for those who voted Conservative at the last 3 elections.
Trying to keep up with which side of an argument Boris is on has at times been a bit like watching a game of ping-pong (the game that Boris calls “whiff-whaff”). Back in 2015, our contributor Sam Hooper also expressed his concerns about the prospect of a Boris led Conservative Party:
Anyone, Anyone But Boris Johnson For The Conservative Party Leadership
Boris Johnson’s political views seem to shift around, tilting with the prevailing political weather, and it is incredibly hard to pin him down to any discernible political philosophy other than the fact that he decided to play for Team Blue when he entered the world of politics.
The “living wage” is voluntary in general, but Boris apparently said that those applying for government contracts would have to pay their workers at or above that rate or else they would not be eligible to apply for government contracts. Sam comments on this:
Johnson talks about the wealth gap having been “allowed” to get too big, as though it were the role of some supervising authority (government, naturally) to intervene to prevent this from happening. And although the Spectator interview made clear Johnson’s preference for empowering the poor rather than kneecapping the rich, it is also now clear that he has no qualms about rolling up his sleeves and indulging in some big government-style meddling to produce the “desired outcome” where necessary.
Of course the cost of Boris’s generosity would have to be funded by you and me the hard-working taxpayers (because money doesn’t grow on trees). Boris has also called for a rise in the minimum wage as well:
Tory Conference: Boris Johnson calls for a rise in the minimum wage
While the minimum wage is an attractive idea on paper, the problem is that it tends to lead to more illegal immigration as unscrupulous employers bring in more people to work in the black economy at below the minimum wage. More illegal immigrants who will not be paying tax, more illegal immigrants that Boris will therefore then want another amnesty for, and so the cycle continues (Boris likes immigrants, he told us so).
Boris also supports the idea of a period where new arrivals cannot claim benefits:
Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants should wait a year for benefits, says Boris Johnson
As I have tried to explain to people before, all that these kinds of periods do is help to encourage the myth of the hard-working immigrant, because they force immigrants to work hard in the initial period after which they can become like the “lazy British” who live on benefits. Thus people will continue to claim that immigrants are more hard-working, and that therefore we must have more immigrants in the future, more replacements. Once the immigrants are properly established they (and their future children) can relax and claim benefits like everybody else, in fact they are more than likely to do just that because they tend to be the poorest people in society. The law of unintended consequences applies to these government policies, as it does to so many other government policies.
Boris has wavered on the question of leaving the EU. Even though David Cameron’s attempt to negotiate a better agreement with the EU fell short in February 2016, Boris did not decide to back the Leave campaign until the very last minute:
David Cameron’s EU reform deal scorecard
Boris has also flip-flopped on the subject of Islam. It seems he had a pretty good grasp of the problem back in 2005 when he said:
Islam is the problem, the problem is Islam
Just 4 years later he was encouraging people to fast during Ramadan:
Boris Johnson: ‘fast during Ramadan to understand Muslims’
I could go on at length on this subject, there are a lot of other articles about similar incidents, but I think you get the idea. Boris has changed his tune because he feared the political consequences of publicly opposing Islam. Maybe he has even secretly CONVERTED to Islam! That might sound like a silly accusation to throw at that nice fluffy Boris, but you know when people start telling us to fast during Ramadan and visit our local mosque, and telling us we need to “understand Muslims”, then maybe it’s not such a silly accusation after all. Has he been telling us that we ought to meditate so that we can get a better understanding of our Buddhist neighbours? Has he urged Muslims to contemplate that maybe Allah doesn’t even exist, so that these Muslims can get a better understanding of their atheist neighbours? Apparently there are a lot more atheists (39%) in the UK than there are Muslims (5%), but Boris is more anxious for atheists to fit in with Muslims than vice versa:
”That’s why I urge people, particularly during Ramadan, to find out more about Islam, increase your understanding and learning, even fast for a day with your Muslim neighbour and break your fast at the local mosque. I would be very surprised if you didn’t find that you share more in common than you thought.
There are valuable lessons that people of all backgrounds can learn from Islam such as the importance of community spirit, family ties, compassion and helping those less fortunate, all of which lie at the heart of the teachings of Ramadan
He is also quoted as singing the praises of Islamic finance in the above article.
Boris is listed as a founder member of a group called “Conservative Friends of Turkey”. Boris’s support for this project may have a little to do with the fact that he himself is a quarter Turkish (on the paternal side – his grandfather was Turkish). I really expected that this project would be quietly disbanded since Erdogan has been turning his country into an authoritarian dictatorship. However as recently as May this year the project website had an article on the occasion of Erdogan’s visit to the UK (a state visit incidentally that curiously passed unnoticed by the legions of hysterical SJWs who get so agitated about Donald Trump being the POTUS):
President Erdogan in London
Sam also raises the question of Boris’s commitment to civil liberties (note that the reference to “cynical and clever idealogues” here implies that the terrorism has nothing to do with Islam):
But even more disturbing is Boris Johnson’s attitude toward civil liberties in general - or “this civil liberties stuff”, as he dismissively described the right to privacy in the same breath as praising the values of “enlightenment and freedom” following the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks in Paris:
Speaking on Sky News, Mr Johnson said: “In many ways the guys who did this kind of thing are very often at the fringes of criminality, lured into terrorism by very cynical and clever idealogues. In many ways they are vulnerable to all sorts of criminality.
“You have got to have a very tough security solution, to be absolutely determined to monitor these people, know where they are, know who they’re talking to.
“I’m not particularly interested in this civil liberties stuff when it comes to these people’s emails and mobile phone conversations. If they are a threat to our society then I want them properly listened to.
The obvious problem is that “these people” could potentially be anyone. The current laws may well permit mostly well-intentioned people to monitor mostly genuine suspected extremists, mostly for the good of the country. But the same laws could just as easily be abused by a new government or rogue operator for far less altruistic motives. Once the apparatus and legal framework to conduct mass surveillance of the population is in place, it would take very little encouragement - say, another 7/7 style attack in London - for the British people to become targeted for surveillance in a far more general way.
But despite these real concerns Boris Johnson clearly sees any limits on the intrusiveness of the security services - or the establishment of rigorous standards of evidence which must be met before intercepting people’s communications - as petty and unwelcome hindrances to the work of the security services, whom he would give carte blanche to operate as they pleased. In some areas, Boris Johnson is clearly happy for the state to loom very large indeed.
Of course we all want terrorist attacks to be thwarted, but when you look at this relaxed attitude to civil liberties in tandem with the lack of opposition to Erdogan’s destruction of civil liberties in Turkey, you may start to wonder whether Boris really has much respect for civil liberties at all.
I thought writing a conclusion about all this would be the easy part, but it’s turned out to be the hardest part.
I made my views on Theresa May very clear at the time of her leadership bid in 2016, I want her gone at the earliest sensible opportunity, but obviously I also want someone who has this country’s best interests at heart to replace her. If Boris could be persuaded to change his mind on some of the above subjects then I might be a little less alarmed by the prospect of a Boris led government, but since he has such a habit of changing his mind, how could we be sure he wouldn’t change it back again? I have had enough of shallow career politicians who will say and do just about anything to get elected, it is time we had politicians who have the courage of their convictions and the ability to convince others that they are right. Unfortunately, none of the available candidates that I know of (who have been in ministerial roles at least) fit that description (though there are some who do in the House of Commons). (Jacob Rees-Mogg fans should note that he hasn’t been in a ministerial role yet and he says he must be before he can become leader, I know he is very unpopular in some quarters).
Of course people are focused on Brexit right now, and that’s entirely sensible. However if we throw our support behind the open borders maniac Boris, hoping for a better Brexit outcome, then post Brexit we may well see him carry out his threat to grant an amnesty to (edit) illegal immigrants in the UK (remember that they probably number in the millions). These immigrants once gaining citizenship will vote left in the main (if they’re not already) and then the so-called “Conservative” Party will have to swing even further to the left to stop Jeremy Corbyn and his Momentum loons subsequently gaining control of the country. Even if the UK doesn’t go full socialist immediately it won’t be long before it does. There are millions waiting to cross into Europe (some with battery acid at the ready as we heard recently), when they hear the UK is granting amnesties they will redouble their efforts to get here.
We’re in between a rock and a hard place, and I’m afraid that I can’t magically produce Conservative politician X out of a hat and say – here’s our man/woman who must be installed immediately in no.10 and all our problems will be solved. I have at least put some important facts before you that you may not have been aware of, so we can at least debate this and try and reach a conclusion between us.
The Myth Of The Hard Working Immigrant
My series on Theresa May’s leadership bid in 2016:
Theresa May - The Most Worst Candidate
Theresa May - The Most Worst Candidate - Extra
Theresa May - The Most Worst Candidate - Extra 2
Image adapted from image by Boris_Johnson_-opening_bell_at_NASDAQ-14Sept2009-3c.jpg: *Boris Johnson -opening bell at NASDAQ-14Sept2009.jpg: Think Londonderivative work: Snowmanradio (talk)derivative work: Off2riorob (talk) - Boris_Johnson_-opening_bell_at_NASDAQ-14Sept2009-3c.jpg, CC BY 2.0, Link
What do you think? Is Boris a clown? Please leave a comment below.