Boris Johnson aide quits over race row


by Leon
22nd June, 2008 at 11:39 pm    

Bojo

Another day, another reason to raise an eyebrow at the activities of the Johnson administration:

An adviser to London Mayor Boris Johnson has resigned after making an apparently racist remark to a reporter. Responding to a claim that some black people might leave the UK if Mr Johnson became mayor, James McGrath said: “Let them go if they don’t like it here.”

Mr McGrath said his remark to an undercover reporter from the-latest.com website had been taken out of context. Mr Johnson said he knew Mr McGrath was “not a racist”, but the remarks made it “impossible” for him to keep his job.

Dave Hill has some good coverage of the story and reactions. Is it me or is Team Bojo already fraying at the edges a mere eight weeks into the job?


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Filed in: British Identity,Race politics






27 Comments below   |  

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  1. ORDOVICIUS — on 23rd June, 2008 at 5:42 am  

    Meanwhile, in Cardiff

  2. Rumbold — on 23rd June, 2008 at 10:24 am  

    Interesting that Ken Livingstone did not even apologise for saying virtually the same thing. I guess that Boris just has higher standards.

  3. Letters From A Tory — on 23rd June, 2008 at 10:25 am  

    And exactly how is this offensive? Everyone has the right to leave the country if they have a problem with the Mayor. In fact, some of the foreign people in my office were joking around election time that they would leave the country if Boris won the election. Where is the story here? It doesn’t matter who he has talking about; what matters is that he made a perfectly legitimate remark and Boris hung him out to dry.

    http://lettersfromatory.wordpress.com

  4. BenSix — on 23rd June, 2008 at 10:57 am  

    “I guess that Boris just has higher standards.”

    I think that ‘Boris’ is more worried about past statements being revisited. Honestly, the man has said far worse things before.

    Respectully,

    Ben

  5. Leon — on 23rd June, 2008 at 11:16 am  

    Yep BenSix nails it; race and racism is the Tories Achilles heel and one of the things that could blow the Johnson Mayoralty apart in terms of bad press.

    They have to move fast to nip anything like this in the bud whether they agree with the accusations or not.

  6. zaffer — on 23rd June, 2008 at 12:11 pm  

    I think Linton Crosbys puppets need some education in British political correctness.

  7. bananabrain — on 23rd June, 2008 at 2:20 pm  

    leon’s right @#6 – regardless of how bad the statement actually was, boris has to be seen to be tough on it, just as ken had to be seen to be sucking up to the property developers.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  8. Ravi Naik — on 23rd June, 2008 at 3:13 pm  

    “Another day, another reason to raise an eyebrow at the activities of the Johnson administration”

    Give him a break. Is this all it takes to get the Left excited these days? Boris will screw big time by his sheer ineptitude in the months to come… meanwhile, why not take this time to reflect why Ken Livingstone and the Left have lost their track, rather than behaving as a vultures?

  9. Sunny — on 23rd June, 2008 at 3:25 pm  

    Good decision.

  10. Reality Check — on 23rd June, 2008 at 3:26 pm  

    Here’s a couple of quotes from Leon that represent a masterclass in wishful thinking:

    “Is it me or is Team Bojo already fraying at the edges a mere eight weeks into the job?”

    “race and racism is the Tories Achilles heel and one of the things that could blow the Johnson Mayoralty apart in terms of bad press.”

    Calm down, Leon – there are another four years to go before the next Mayoral election.

  11. Leon — on 23rd June, 2008 at 4:49 pm  

    there are another four years to go before the next Mayoral election.

    You forgot my Facebook status yesterday: “Can Bojo survive four years?”.

    Seriously, 8 weeks and already he’s messing up in his own special way? Should we sit back and say nothing until he fucks up big time or point these things out now before the trouble becomes too great?

    The fact of the matter is he promised a whole new approach, a clean slate at City Hall, he’s raised the bar of expectation and as a public servant it’s right that we scrutinise him.

  12. Reality Check — on 23rd June, 2008 at 4:57 pm  

    Leon – the fact is: nothing you say will make any difference at this stage. All you are doing is participating in collective therapy for sore losers (chief mourner: Ken himself).

    I suppose if you wish REALLY hard Boris might resign.

  13. cjcjc — on 23rd June, 2008 at 5:13 pm  

    Was that a racist remark?

    There’s a big difference between “let them go” – in response to a (highly unlikely) suggestion that they would go – and “they should go”.

    I agree completely that BJ should be watched like a hawk.

    But it seems to me that some of Ken’s sore losing friends are so keen to see BJ screw up that they are rather scraping the barrel with this one.

  14. Leon — on 23rd June, 2008 at 5:39 pm  

    the fact is: nothing you say will make any difference at this stage. All you are doing is participating in collective therapy for sore losers (chief mourner: Ken himself).

    I don’t expect the change the world with a few words on a blog mate. And no this isn’t any kind of therapy this is just a viewpoint, an opinion. Your infantile attempts to sway this discussion into that territory are fairly transparent.

    I suppose if you wish REALLY hard Boris might resign.

    Nope; if he’s started as he means to go on then four years of this will be mean he loses the next election! :P

    In all honesty I wish us Londoners knew what we were getting when we go to the polls.

  15. Leon — on 23rd June, 2008 at 5:40 pm  

    But it seems to me that some of Ken’s sore losing friends are so keen to see BJ screw up that they are rather scraping the barrel with this one.

    The guy had resigned before most of us knew what was going on! Hardly our fault now is it?

  16. Reality Check — on 23rd June, 2008 at 6:16 pm  

    Whatever – knock yourself out, Leon.

  17. BenSix — on 23rd June, 2008 at 6:37 pm  

    “But it seems to me that some of Ken’s sore losing friends are so keen to see BJ screw up that they are rather scraping the barrel with this one.”
    “Leon – the fact is: nothing you say will make any difference at this stage. All you are doing is participating in collective therapy for sore losers (chief mourner: Ken himself).”

    Must this tiresome cliche be repeated? It’s not only dull but it doesn’t reflect the intelligence or imagination of the poster.

    Bloggers scrutinised* Ken, others are now scrutinising Boris.

    Ben

    *http://anyonebutken.blogspot.com/

  18. Leon — on 23rd June, 2008 at 7:22 pm  

    Whatever – knock yourself out, Leon

    Heh I always say the first one to say ‘whatever’ loses the arguement. :D

  19. cjcjc — on 23rd June, 2008 at 10:08 pm  

    Or the first one who goes LOL!

    (apparently!!)

  20. BenSix — on 23rd June, 2008 at 10:18 pm  

    “Or the first one who goes LOL!

    (apparently!!)”

    Heh, sorry about that.

    I’d endured a hard morning of having the Mighty Boosh quoted at me..loudly..with interjected lols.

  21. Bikhair — on 24th June, 2008 at 1:29 am  

    LettersFromATory,

    Sometimes politicians have to be politicians. In instances like these, you remind people of their Britishness and the nest election where they can particpate and kick the guy out of office. Save that other shit for the pub.

  22. Gege — on 24th June, 2008 at 4:52 am  

    I do not believe his remarks were racist. In my view, he is guilty of arrogance.

    A government should aspire to keep her citizens happy. If there are indications that they are not happy, she should pledge to do more to allay their fears. Dismissing her citizens’ concerns is just plain rude.

    This type of arrogance is similar to Ken Livingstone’s dismissive remarks about the Reuben brothers.

  23. billaricaydickey — on 24th June, 2008 at 10:22 am  

    Of course he shouldn’t have resigned but he should have been more cautious and done his homework on Wadsworth and Darcus Howe. As people should remember I have exposed Howe as a black racist who claims that when black youth mug white people it is a revolutionary act. He is also a long time associate of the drug dealing supplier of guns to Yardy gangsters and pimp Frank Critchlow. Darcus is in no position to take the moral high ground on anything.

    Wadsworth has an equally chequered career. I remember him in the 80s splitting the Anti Racist Alliance by calling all whites racist and demanding black leadership. He nearly came to blows with Livingston when he moved a motion at a meeting for his salary to be doubled. Eventually Livingstone and Jasper split away to form NAAR and Wadsworth faded from sight. This is the first time he has done anything in years.

  24. cjcjc — on 24th June, 2008 at 12:08 pm  

    McGrath was far from politically correct, David-Cameron-new- cuddly-Conservative Party, when I pointed out to him a critical comment of Voice columnist Darcus Howe that the election of “Boris Johnson, a right-wing Conservative, might just trigger off a mass exodus of older Caribbean migrants back to our homelands”.

    What did he mean by “homelands” exactly?

    That sounds a bit dodgy to me!

  25. billaricaydickey — on 26th June, 2008 at 1:37 pm  

    cjcjc,

    If you keep refering to the West Indies, well that’s the name of the university and the cricket team, as home, then why shouldn’t McGrath have used the word? Seems like fair comment to me.

    It’s a bit like all my lot from Ireland talking about the “auld country” in the 1950s. While they all reminisced about the old cabin in the west and the Ghailic speaking communities that were disappearing they all seemed to have forgotten about the highest infant mortality rate in Europe, TB rates that were of third world proportions and massive political corruption. Sound familiar? As the owner of my favourite Brick Lane restaurant, Cafe Bangla, said to me recently when we were talking about terrorism, ” If anyone doesn’t like it here why don’t they fuck off and live somewhere else”?

    The whole thing has been started by two political pimps, Howe and Wadsworth, who have no credibility. There was no way McGrath should have resigned. Bojo, you are going to get this sort of thing all the time. Stand firm over the Rise thing, this is the counter attack from the political ponces who have leeched off Londoners since Livingstone’s coup at County Hall in 1981.

  26. BenSix — on 26th June, 2008 at 1:47 pm  

    “Stand firm over the Rise thing”

    When asked whether he thought that the theme of the Rise Festival should be maintained, he replied “Yeah, sounds fine to me.”

    Stand firm, indeed.

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=cSI9ToOAdpc

  27. Sid — on 26th June, 2008 at 2:32 pm  

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