Tag Archives: Charlottesville

Boris Johnson sinks beneath his own wishy-washiness in radio interview disaster

Boris Johnson in one of his more sane moments.

Do you enjoy a breakfast waffle? If you were listening to Radio 4’s Today programme, you got one whether you wanted it or not – from that master of baffled-gab, Boris Johnson.

In 20 minutes, he managed to reverse his ‘go whistle’ position on paying to exit the EU, back-stabbed his boss Theresa May (with a side-swipe, which makes it seem more impressive than it was), and demonstrated that he both supports and opposes Donald Trump – at the same time.

Let’s start with Brexit because he got into a real pickle over it. You will recall that he said, in Parliament, that the EU’s proposed bill for the UK to leave the political bloc were “extortionate” and that it could “go whistle”.

Today anchor Mishal Husein asked, what did he mean when he said the EU could “go whistle” over the Brexit bill?

“I was being asked about some very large sums of money… that the EU suggested we were on the hook for, and that’s not a number I recognised…” he began stumblingly (and inaccurately).

“Of course we will meet our obligations. We are law-abiding, bill-paying people. The UK has contributed hundreds of billions over the years.”

Oh! So he’s happy to pay?

“I’m not saying I accept Mr Barnier’s interpretation of what our obligations are, but we will meet our obligations as we understand them.”

He wouldn’t say how much he was prepared to pay before the sum became “extortionate”, adding: “I’m not going to get into a financial haggle…”

“Can they ‘go whistle’ if it’s more than £30 billion?” asked Ms Husein, obviously enjoying his discomfort.

And he collapsed. His response was waffle about getting “the best possible value for the UK taxpayer”.

https://twitter.com/RobDotHutton/status/900982065600102400

Then he seemed to realise what he had done, because he claimed that he would give an absolutely precise answer. Here it is: “We should pay not a penny more, not a penny less, of what we think our legal obligations amount to.” Waffle.

And on the possibility of a two-to-three-year transition period, he started with more waffle about the government’s position. Pressed on what he thinks, he said: “There are several transition periods that are envisioned.” More waffle.

He went on to waffle that the UK would be “getting out with confidence and determination and doing it in a timely, orderly and effective manner”.

“What business would want us to achieve is speed and efficiency,” he added, with the relish of a man who had reached the end of his pre-scripted lines.

“The crucial thing is certainty,” he said, oblivious of the irony in the fact that he wasn’t offering any.

 

If that amount of waffle is making your stomach turn over, let’s consider something else:

The backstabbing side-swipe against Theresa May came during a discussion of the political situation in Libya, where an intervention supported by the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition government of 2010-15 left the country with two rival parliaments and four governments (according to the Telegraph).

Calling for unity, he said: “Politicians… need to suppress their own selfish interests, compromise for the good of the country.”

The Torygraph took this as a message for Theresa May, telling us he was saying her “disastrous” decision to call a snap election “shows the risk of going to the polls too early”.

Twitter commentators pointed out that the comment could be applied equally to Mr Johnson himself, who campaigned for Brexit in the belief that his political career would benefit from it (it didn’t).

https://twitter.com/RobDotHutton/status/900979718111068160

https://twitter.com/washyourmouth1/status/900979779146579968

Mr Johnson criticised US President Donald Trump over his comments following the Charlottesville rally in which an anti-fascist protester was killed, saying he was “totally wrong” to suggest that white supremacists, neo-Nazis and racists were “fine people”.

Despite this, the foreign secretary confirmed that the UK will still be welcoming Mr Trump on a state visit – at a future date that has not yet been set.

So he was both supporting and opposing Mr Trump, at the same time.

And Mr Johnson was mistaken on whether international students are included in official migration figures (they are; he said they weren’t)…

… and had to backtrack: “I am content with the success we are having in attracting international students”.

He said he was glad they were not overstaying their period in the UK and were “doing the right thing”. In that case, why include them in migration figures? They haven’t immigrated into the UK; they’re here for a specific purpose and then they leave.

“That is the way they are currently counted,” he dissembled.

The snap verdict, from Twitter, was damning:

https://twitter.com/KatyJMc/status/900982395196911616


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It seems Israel only opposes anti-Semitism when there is something to gain, so Trump can say what he likes

This sign, from an anti-Trump event in January, seems more relevant now than it was then.

Let’s be clear: The Charlottesville rally involved neo-Nazis trying to revive their culture of hatred towards anybody who does not follow their twisted creed.

Congregants at a nearby synagogue were put in fear for their safety because people in what is believed to be the uniform of a Nazi organisation were seen outside.

One person died and many more were injured when, it is believed, one of the neo-Nazis rammed his car into a group of counter-protesters who wanted to stop the rally from taking place.

And Donald Trump, the President of the United States, defended the Nazis. He said there were “fine people” on both sides. He defended people who were protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E Lee, the Confederate general in the US Civl War, who therefore represented racists and slavers.

Nazis are not, and can never be, “fine people”. Supporters of racism and slavery are not, and can never be, “fine people”. Anti-Semites are not, and never can be, “fine people”.

So why is Israel’s communications minister trying to brush Trump’s support of the racists, slavers, Nazis and particularly anti-Semites under the carpet?

If it’s because it is politically expedient to support Trump, because Trump has good relations with Israel as a political entity, then that isn’t good enough. Millions of Jews died at the hands of Nazis in World War II, and Jews all over the world need to be able to go about their business free of the fear that they will ever be treated in that way again – the same as everybody else does.

But Mr Kara made it clear that he said those words exactly because it is politically expedient to support Trump: “Trump is the best US leader Israel has ever had. His relations with the prime minister of Israel are wonderful.”

That is a betrayal of the Jewish people, it seems to This Writer.

And I think others saw it the same way.

Zionist Union MK Erel Margalit is quoted as saying: “Kara, Netanyahu and their government lost their way. Israel has to condemn Nazis, period, and it should insist that the US president and the administration should condemn Nazis and any form of antisemitism categorically and unequivocally. Let us lead with moral conviction, not follow those who supported the racist!”

And Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On said: “Because Trump paid lip service to the settlement enterprise, Netanyahu has made him into the messiah and has forgiven him for even the most shocking, homophobic, racist, and even antisemitic statements.”

Of course Twitter had a few things to say, and they weren’t nice [STRONG LANGUAGE FOLLOWS]:

Here in the UK, we have seen spurious accusations of anti-Semitism levelled at supporters of Jeremy Corbyn (including This Writer) in a bid to undermine confidence in a Labour leader who supports a peaceful solution to conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians.

There is also the matter of Israeli interference in UK political decisions, as revealed by former Israeli Embassy staffer Shai Masot, who discussed removing pro-Palestine minister Alan Duncan from office while being filmed by a hidden camera.

It seems the Israeli government has some explaining to do. Does it only oppose anti-Semitism when it sees political advantage in doing so?

Israel must condemn Nazis but relations with US President Donald Trump are more important, Communications Minister Ayoub Kara, who lately has been one of the ministers closest to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

Netanyahu has faced criticism for not saying anything about what police said was a deliberate car-ramming into a group of people engaged in a counterprotest to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, until Tuesday, when he tweeted that he was “outraged by expressions of antisemitism, neo-Nazism and racism” and that “everyone should oppose this hatred.”

But Kara, who sat next to Netanyahu at last week’s mass Likud rally at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds, said Israel must defend Trump.

“Due to the terrific relations with the US, we need to put the declarations about the Nazis in the proper proportion,” Kara said. “We need to condemn antisemitism and any trace of Nazism, and I will do what I can as a minister to stop its spread. But Trump is the best US leader Israel has ever had. His relations with the prime minister of Israel are wonderful, and after enduring the terrible years of Obama, Trump is the unquestioned leader of the free world, and we must not accept anyone harming him.”

The statements by Kara, who made similar comments on the Knesset Channel, were immediately condemned by Knesset members.

Source: Israeli minister: Relations with Trump are more important than calling out Nazis – Israel News – Jerusalem Post


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Will these videos help end racism and sectarianism – or are they making it worse?

This Writer’s social media feed has been inundated with two video clips addressing racism and sectarianism. But are they helping – or making matters worse?

Judge for yourself. Here’s the first:

https://twitter.com/Silver_Fox84/status/898472348109594624

The second, a satirical response to anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States, has already been criticised under the pretext that it belittles white people. Isn’t it the point that some white people are too quick to pass judgement on others, without waiting for accurate information, though? Here’s the clip:

What do you think? And, in the wake of Charlottesville and the continuing efforts of ISIS, how would YOU fight prejudice?


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Charlottesville Nazi records video in Johnny Cash t-shirt. Here’s how his family responded


A Charlottesville Nazi posted a video while wearing a Johnny Cash t-shirt. This is how Johnny Cash’s children responded.


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