Thursday, 16 August 2018

Boris and the burka

Boris Johnson has come in for quite a lot of flak for comparing women who wear the burka with letter boxes and bank robbers. The BBC has predictably gone into overdrive, giving a platform to numerous critics who have accused Johnson of ‘Islamaphobia’. Others have come to his aid defending his right to free speech. So what are we to make of this brouhaha which shows no sign of abating?

This blog has previously raised the issue of the burka, agreeing with Johnson that it would be wrong to ban this garment as has happened in France, and now Denmark and some other European countries. Although outlawing the burka would be an unnecessary overreaction, it is nevertheless perfectly legitimate to criticise Muslim women who choose to cover their faces in public. Such behaviour shows contempt for the widespread values of mainstream public opinion, demonstrates the wearer’s unwillingness to make even a minimal attempt at integration, and defiles women generally by requiring their physical features to be concealed. It also provides a continuing reminder to the rest of society of these women’s continuing very public solidarity with the fanatics who are willing to indiscriminately kill British citizens to further the aims of this regressive global superstition.

Conservative party chairman Brandon Lewis has called upon Johnson to apologise for his remarks, and has been backed up by Theresa May. Johnson now faces disciplinary action for behaviour which could breach the Conservative party’s code of conduct. There have been calls by the Muslim Council of Britain that there should be no ‘whitewash’ by the Conservative party when investigating Boris Johnson’s remarks. This concern is supported by many prominent Muslim Conservative members including former party chairman Baroness Warsi.

The Conservative party has for a long time been in thrall to political correctness, most visibly during Theresa May’s notorious ‘nasty party’ conference speech some years ago when party chairman. This virtue signalling does the party absolutely no good since it alienates potential supporters who hold political correctness in contempt, whilst doing nothing to win over liberals and ethnic minorities who believe it to be insincere.

In making Boris remarks a disciplinary matter the Conservative leadership seems to have boxed themselves into a no win situation. He has so far quite rightly refused to apologise. If they conclude that his comments do not breach the code they will be denounced by vocal and outraged Muslim members for endorsing ‘Islamophobia’. On the other hand, if they take disciplinary action, such as forcing him to attend a ‘diversity awareness’ course or even withdrawing the parliamentary whip, they will almost certainly antagonise the overwhelming majority of party members. This could trigger calls for a challenge to Theresa May’s leadership, who is already facing criticism for her handling of the Brexit negotiations.

So the end result is that a completely reasonable newspaper article could lead to a Tory party crisis, all because the leadership placed support for political correctness above the views of ordinary members and the majority of the British public.

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