Boris Johnson has finally united many people across the UK. Not because he’s resolved the current political chaos. But for his vile and sickening comments in parliament. And Labour’s Ian Lavery says this behaviour is part of a “rehearsed attempt to stir up hatred”.
“Wake up and smell the coffee”
On 25 September, Jo Cox’s friend and neighbouring MP Paula Sherriff made an impassioned plea, asking Johnson to stop using “dangerous” language. She also noted that many MPs have received “death threats”.
A far-right extremist murdered Cox in 2016. As The Canary’s Kerry-Anne Mendoza reported, Johnson replied: “I never heard such humbug in all my life.” He then went on to claim that the best way to honour the memory of Cox, a pro-EU MP, would be to deliver Brexit. Johnson has faced widespread condemnation for these comments.
Lavery said these comments were part of a:
perfectly calculated and probably rehearsed attempt to stir up hatred in this country…….straight from the Trump / Bannon playbook.
People need to wake up and smell the coffee.@BorisJohnson display in the commons tonight was a perfectly calculated and probably rehearsed attempt to stir up hatred in this country…….straight from the Trump / Bannon playbook.
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He’ll be delighted.
— Ian Lavery MP (@IanLaveryMP) September 25, 2019
And Lavery wasn’t alone in this observation:
Boris Johnson has gone from loathing comparisons with Donald Trump to loving them
Why else would he speak like he's reading straight from the Bannon, Trump playbook?
He's tapping into some nasty stuff that lurks beneath now because, like Trump he'll do anything to win#Humbug
— TheLuckyHeron 🌍 (@LuckyHeronSay) September 26, 2019
Sherriff later spoke about the very real threats she’s received:
“I’ve had threats of rape. The abuse comes every single day…. Thankfully the death threats don’t.”
— Victoria Derbyshire (@VictoriaLIVE) September 26, 2019
“Schooled by Bannon”
In June, journalist Carole Cadwalladr revealed a meeting between Johnson and Steve Bannon. The former Breitbart editor was Donald Trump’s chief strategist. US Democrat Nancy Pelosi has called him a “white supremacist”. He’s also expressed some deeply disturbing views on ethnicity. Johnson initially denied any connection, calling it a “lefty delusion”. But Cadwalladr’s video showed Bannon claiming he was in regular contact with Johnson in 2016. Bannon says:
Today we are going to see if Boris Johnson tries to overthrow the British government… I’ve been talking to him all weekend about this speech. We went back and forth over the text.
— Dr Lauren Gavaghan (@DancingTheMind) September 26, 2019
As The Canary reported in July, during a Radio 4 interview Jon Sopel asked Bannon if he was still in touch with Johnson. He replied: “I stay in touch with Nigel [Farage] quite a bit”. But he also made his total support for Johnson clear. And he went on to support what he thinks is a “quite natural alliance” between Johnson and Farage’s populist, right-wing Brexit Party.
In the interview, Bannon clearly stated that he’s not only trying to influence Brexit, but that he is doing this via Farage. Let’s not forget that Farage was behind the now infamous ‘Breaking Point’ posters. These were reported to the police as a “blatant attempt to incite racial hatred”. And evidence about the 2016 EU referendum also links Johnson, Farage, Bannon and other far-right figures.
Bannon has spoken about Donald Trump’s racist actions and inherently cruel anti-immigration policies. He has proudly called Trump “a populist and a nationalist”. Trump, meanwhile, openly supports Johnson.
And Johnson is now well-known for his continued racist slurs. He’s no stranger to sexist or homophobic remarks, either. Labour’s Wes Streeting also recently branded him “chauvinist” and “racist” for comments made in a 2007 book.
Lavery is absolutely spot on. Because while Johnson may not have rehearsed these exact comments, they do seem to fit in with a very calculated and constructed approach to power. And it is indeed one that seems straight from the Trump/Bannon playbook.
As children’s author Michael Rosen noted, this proved a perfect distraction from the Supreme Court ruling against Johnson:
Well done for last night. Everyone's talking this morning about 'language' and no one's talking about the Supreme Court judgement. Result! You need some more distractors in your bag: something on race and crime usually works.
— Michael Rosen (@MichaelRosenYes) September 26, 2019
Johnson is no ‘buffoon’. He’s a dangerously vile, hard-right strategist.
Featured image via YouTube
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