Monday, June 23, 2008

Boris Johnson, James McGrath and The Shrill Cry of Racist!

And so we have our first casualty of the Boris Johnson mayoralty.

James McGrath was a senior aide to Boris Johnson who gave an interview to Marc Wadsworth, who is a member of the Labour party, alleged journalist and race campaigner.

Alas before doing so he appears (according to Marc Wadsworths article here) not to have bothered looking the man up. As refreshing as this is, after all it is good to know that those in government don't spin, it was also a mistake, because those in "journalism" certainly do.

James McGrath has stood down, over this exchange:
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".

He retorted: "Well, let them go if they don’t like it here." McGrath dismissed influential race commentator Howe as ‘shrill’.
Now it is clear to me who is saying "blacks go home", it is Darcus Howe, though why is unclear as I can't find the article in the Voice online.

The problem we have is that whilst someone like Ken Livingstone can tell Jews to "go back to Iran" and get away with all sorts of other comments some might view as racist, (as indeed can Labour with their "British Jobs for British Workers" slogan) we can't. That sort of mud sticks to us far more than it does to Labour. We can't change that perception over night.

So was Boris right to ask for his resignation? I fear he was. I have not met James McGrath, but hear he is a decent, kind and honourable man.

The problem is that our opponents aren't.

They will use any means to smear our party.

We need to be much more careful about playing the game.

People like Marc Wadsworth and Darcus Howe will use what ever means they can to both get at the Conservative party and to divide the Afro Caribbean community from the rest of society. After all, how else could Darcus claim to speak for older Caribbean migrants?

Iain Dale has this, Conservative home has this and the BBC has this.

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