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    Anthony Browne: I was just joking innit!

    by Sunny on 16th December, 2008 at 7:09 pm    

    Anthony Browne, an advisor to Mayor Boris Johnson, has told the Guardian that all the earlier stuff he wrote about immigrants wasn’t really what he meant to say:

    Browne told Arnold: “Your concerns about me are understandable but misplaced. Accuse me of bad journalism, but not something that is not in my heart.”

    He added: “I want to assure you that my policy advice to the mayor will be based on the following principles: support for diversity, opposition to racism and other forms of discrimination, support for immigrants and immigrant communities and support for equality of opportunity. I invite you to judge me by these standards, not by what I may have written some years in the past.”

    Browne started his new £124,364 role as director of policy to the Conservative mayor, who has a duty to promote community cohesion in the capital, in October.

    Bullshit. Putting Browne in charge of community cohesion is like putting a snake in charge of looking after babies. What about all the stuff he wrote about Muslims, was that a joke too? Did he not really mean it? Or is it that we shouldn’t believe anything bigots like him write in magazines like The Spectator? Maybe Melanie Phillips is joking too. Maybe she doesn’t really believe what she writes either, and is simply trying to provoke a debate.

    Browne doesn’t even have the courage of his convictions to stand by what he wrote earlier. If he ever returned back to journalism, what credibility will he have now?

      |     |   Add to   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Current affairs, Media, Race politics

    8 Comments below   |  

    1. Marvin — on 17th December, 2008 at 8:41 am  

      What did he say about Muslims?

    2. Tom — on 17th December, 2008 at 8:49 am  

      Quite a lot of credibility, since, as Boris discovered, right-wing opinion journalism consists of expressing opinions which match the prejudices of your readership. Just start churning out those opinions again and you’ll be quids in.

      Of course, the real point is that none of this remotely fits you for a career in municipal administration, which requires competence and and appreciation of the effects of your actions for which the previous journalistic careers of both Boris and Browne completely unprepare them.

      Don’t forget the Policy Exchange point, but isn’t it interesting that Browne feels he needs to explain himself? Props to yourself and Dave Hill for putting the subject centre-stage. The next step is to ask why on earth he was appointed. On the strength of his previous opinions. Because of the PX links? Because he reliably changes his mind when told? What does he think about Nick Cohen’s welcome of him as the ‘new man to fight political correctness’? What made him the right man for the job, as opposed to, well, virtually anyone else with the barest track record in community cohesion?

      I’m not sure there’s a narrative he can construct which adequately explains all of this, which is why I still think he’s an accident waiting to happen.

    3. Trofim — on 17th December, 2008 at 9:40 am  


      right-wing opinion journalism consists of expressing opinions which match the prejudices of your readership.

      Blimey! So the Guardian is a right-wing organ? Or is it the case that the Guardian reader, on perusing his favourite newspaper, is confronted exclusively with opinions which he has never heard expressed before? Where was it that I recently heard a similar sentiment? I think it was one of those kids on Liberal Conspiracy, asserting that the “right-wing” press preaches to the converted! Yes, these righties have a monopoly of just everything that’s reprehensible in the world.

    4. Letters From A Tory — on 17th December, 2008 at 10:06 am  

      Browne did not write that “stuff” about Muslims while at Policy Exchange and you are worryingly ill-informed if you think that he did.

      Dean Godson is the Research Director for Terrorism and Security and is therefore responsible for the reports in question. Dean is best buddies with Charles Moore, the PX Chairman. Anthony Browne had no say in what was produced by Dean. Get your facts straight, please.

    5. BenSix — on 17th December, 2008 at 10:16 am  

      “Browne did not write that “stuff” about Muslims while at Policy Exchange and you are worryingly ill-informed if you think that he did.”

      Who claimed that he did?


    6. Alex — on 17th December, 2008 at 10:32 am  

      So, are you claiming that the articles VDARE approvingly carries on their web site aren’t actually his, although they went out over his byline?


      Also, calling yourself “Director” of something usually implies you have a certain degree of responsibility and control over it.

    7. Sunny — on 17th December, 2008 at 12:40 pm  

      In his enthusiasm to defend his mates, LFAT is conjuring up words and phrases I’ve written in his head!

    8. Sid — on 17th December, 2008 at 12:43 pm  

      Browne had articles published on VDARE?
      oh dear, oh dear.

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