Friday, February 06, 2009

Boris Johnson – a tad hypocritical on Carol Thatcher’s ‘racism’?

The Mayor of London has said of the Carol Thatcher / BBC race row that ‘it was wrong to sack Ms Thatcher’, though he did not condone her using the word ‘golliwog’.

Mr Johnson continued: "I don't think she should have been fired... If someone says something a bit offensive, then as a producer... you take that person to one side and you say 'Listen, you've got to understand we've all got to work together and you've got to watch what you say and you've got to be sensitive'.

"But I don't think you fire someone, I really don't," he added.


This will be the same Boris Johnson who sacked James McGrath as his political adviser, who had said nothing more than that Caribbean immigrants should go home if they did not like London. He had not made any reference to Africans having ‘watermelon smiles’, or referred to crowds of ‘flag-waving piccaninnies’, or mentioned anything of ‘Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing’.

God forbid that anyone in politics might use such offensive terminology.

The Mayor insisted that Mr McGrath was not a racist, but his view was that his continuing employment would be a distraction and provide ‘ammunition’ to the Mayor’s critics. And so he was exiled to Australia.

Surely, if someone says something which may be interpreted as being offensive, then as Mayor, you take that person to one side and you say...


Blogger Microcosm said...

then as Mayor, you take that person to one side and you say...

"All is lost, we are in a bit of a jam and its not Robinsons"

6 February 2009 at 16:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnson is a two eyed English idiot

6 February 2009 at 16:34  
Blogger Stefan said...

Your Grace,

Remember the date today. I trust you have not forgotten that today marks the anniversary of the Accession of our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth.

God save The Queen!

6 February 2009 at 16:38  
Anonymous The Bishop Swine said...

Well said Stefan instead we are more likely to hear about the golliwogs being withdrawn from sale at the Palace.

As for the sacking of Carol for daring to utter the name of this toy, its clearly an act of spite directed at Lady T. If we go further down this road then we will have to insist on an end to all blond jokes as well. I suspect that would be resisted after all it’s ok to insult blond women isn’t it?


6 February 2009 at 17:46  
Blogger McKenzie said...

I shall exert extreme effort to stay within topic boundaries.

I like Boris Johnson, I much prefer him to that odious Red Ken. Boris seems more of a real entity to me. I fully agree with what he says here, even though there is hypocrisy considering what His Grace has pointed out. But he has clearly amended his ways, and he is making, I believe, a genuine effort to make contrition for his previous words, which I believe he did not appreciate the full magnitude of what he was saying at the time. I think Boris has been keen to be seen as a funny man in the past, at the expense of choosing his words wisely.

As for Golliwogs, I have to agree after reading about the subject more closely, that Golliwogs will be offensive to black people, especially the young. Golliwogs are not acceptable anymore and belong in the dustbin, and so does all the other associated pictures and stories such as the following, which is text cut from HERE.

"In many ways the campaign to ban Golliwogs was similar to the American campaign against Little Black Sambo. In both cases racial minorities and sympathetic Whites argued that these images demeaned Blacks and hurt the psyches of minority children. Civil rights organisations led both campaigns, and White civic and political leaders eventually joined the effort to ban the offensive caricatures. In the anti-Golliwog campaign, numerous British parliamentarians publicly lambasted the Golliwog image as racist, including, Tony Benn, Shirley Williams, and David Owen.

The claim that Golliwogs are racist is supported by literary depictions by writers such as Enid Blyton. Unlike Florence Upton's, Blyton's Golliwogs were often rude, mischievous, elfin villains. In Blyton's book, "Here Comes Noddy Again", a Golliwog asks the hero for help, then steals his car. Blyton, one of the most prolific European writers, included the Golliwogs in many stories, but she only wrote three books primarily about Golliwogs: The Three Golliwogs (1944), The Proud Golliwog (1951), and The Golliwog Grumbled (1953). Her depictions of Golliwogs are, by contemporary standards, racially insensitive. An excerpt from The Three Golliwogs is illustrative:

Once the three bold Golliwogs, Golly, Woggie, and Nigger, decided to go for a walk to Bumble-Bee Common. Golly wasn't quite ready so Woggie and Nigger said they would start off without him, and Golly would catch them up as soon as he could. So off went Woggie and Nigger, arm-in-arm, singing merrily their favourite song - which, as you may guess, was Ten Little Nigger Boys.

Ten Little Niggers is the name of a children's poem, sometimes set to music, which celebrates the deaths of ten Black children, one-by-one. The Three Golliwogs was reprinted as recently as 1968, and it still contained the above passage. Ten Little Niggers was also the name of a 1939 Agatha Christie novel, whose cover showed a Golliwog lynched, hanging from a noose".

6 February 2009 at 18:16  
Blogger McKenzie said...

Trying to stay on course again, but making a related point.

If, when my daughter was a young kiddie, she chose a little girl who was black to be her friend, and brought her home to play, I would not feel comfortable with anyone making remarks such as did C Thatcher. It's just not acceptable. But having said this, if such a unlikely situation had arose, I would have pulled her aside in an attempt to rectify the situation, and I am certain from what I have seen of Carol, that there would have been a satisfactory conclusion without the need to call the mind police and have her dragged off to room 101, "where you are made to face your darkest fears".

6 February 2009 at 18:38  
Anonymous Nelson said...

One feels that Carol Thatcher was unwise & insensitive in her remarks, if a term is likely to denigrate or upset a certain person or people then it is not right to use it. But considering that Ms Thatcher felt that she was expressing a personal view in private with adults that could criticise her to her face (and lets face it Jo Brand is not Mother Teresa, & I find her public performance pretty crude)
This is obviously over reaction for whatever reason.
I fear that public executions will soon be a main entertainment fot the masses. perhaps we are being secretly set up for the introduction of sharia law? Is that thunder I hear or the rumble of the tumbrils?

6 February 2009 at 19:36  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

I hope the Tories lose the next election. They must collapse because they are fools.

6 February 2009 at 19:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that we should all grow up and recall the childhood verse about "sticks and stones...".

Minority communities sometimes seem to demand more protection from words than we have traditionally given to our children.

6 February 2009 at 20:54  
Blogger John M Ward said...

I do think that some people have got this whole issue a bit skewed.

The "Golliwog" was merely a character, like a Smurf or a Tellytubby, who also look (perhaps more vaguely!) humanoid. There is no other name for it, so what else could have indicated the intended reference?

Has "Cultural Marxism" now so permeated our society that even here a mere word can generate the "wrong" reaction? Would God himself have a problem with Carol Thatcher's conduct? Remember that He is the ultimate judge of us all — not the Lefty media and their ilk!

6 February 2009 at 20:55  
Blogger Unsworth said...

Your Grace

So you'd equate the two roles as exactly the same, then?

If one argues that context or circumstance can have an effect on the meaning/interpretation of a particular word then surely context or circumstance is relevant in the case of Johnson's adviser?

As to Golliwogs being consigned to the dustbin, far from it. They have now acquired a certain cachet. I notice many for sale on E-bay, and shall wear mine with a certain pride. It is time that the Thought Police are routed.

Carol Thatcher may well have been stupid, but it is yet to be shown that her action was deliberate. And it is surprising that the BBC have, essentially, sacked her for such a misdemeanour. I doubt that there is anything written in her terms of employment which would allow such summary disciplinary action, anyway.

6 February 2009 at 22:19  
Blogger McKenzie said...

All this name calling is getting HYSTERICAL

6 February 2009 at 23:39  
Anonymous mouse by any other name said...

I had no idea Enid Blyton was a euro!!! If I had, I'd never have read a word of hers - and now I'll never recommend her work to anyone again! As it was, she was my favourite author, and I assumed she was English.

And Boris - I thought he had Near Eastern ancestry and was married to a person of subcontinental origins. I also like him, and think it a pity that his brilliance has to get all trammelled up in this sticky stuff.

As for wolligogs - I loved them and wanted one. My mother wouldn't let me. In those days, we didn't get to report our parents to the authorities, for racism. Actually, we'd never heard of it anyway; and my mother was a nice person who like nice people.

I was also sad when we lost the little dollies on our marmalade jars - haven't bought any jam since.

As for the Black and White Minstrel Show - I loved it. I sympathized with the dear old man who sang 'Old Man River' - and if - er, I don't know what to call them - were suffering under the hands of wicked and ignorant boss '[in]humans' ... well, I sympathized then too. It was the '[in]humans' I disliked. Still do; even though they are a majority.

So what could be making me more racist every day? Saccharine?

7 February 2009 at 19:31  
Anonymous An English Kuffar said...

I totally Agree, we Brits should all be pushed off the nearest mountain.

8 February 2009 at 14:33  

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