Racist Tory Slogan: "If you want a nigger for a neighbour vote Labout".

Racist Tory Slogan: "If you want a nigger for a neighbour vote Labout".

By Chris Bovey

The Tories have been accused of giving “a license to bigotry” after they ruled Boris Johnson’s burka comments were “respectful and tolerant”.

The Muslim Council of Britain said: “Far right Islamophobes have been empowered to follow his rhetoric.”

Hypocrisy is what the Conservatives do best. Only yesterday they were feigning outrage because Jeremy Corbyn might have called Theresa May a stupid woman under his breath in the Commons during PMQs.

Boris decides to insult entire religious groups by comparing their dress sense to letterboxes and bank robbers, yet gets off scot-free.

Agreed, not at the top of the scale in bigoted remarks, however, the Tory party has always been the natural home for racists and bigots. My doolally neighbouring MP, Anne Marie Morris, Conservative MP for Newton Abbot, caused outrage last year by using the N-word. She had the whip removed, but it was soon given back when the Government needed every MP to pass Brexit votes in the Commons.

Racist Conservative Party election poster from the 1960s.

Racist Tory election poster from the 1960s.

Who could forget it was the Tories who gave us the slogan “If you want a n**** for a neighbour, vote Labour”, which Conservative MP Peter Griffiths used in his 1964 General Election canpaign and refused to disown it: “I would not condemn any man who said that,” he told the Times during his election campaign. “I regard it as a manifestation of popular feeling.”

A few years later Conservative MP for Wolverhampton, Enoch Powell, gave a notorious speech calling for immigrants to be sent “home” and later his notorious “rivers of blood” speech.

Black Country-born comedian Lenny Henry would satirise such white delusions. In a gig at West Bromwich Plaza, Henry said the National Front wanted to give black people £1,000 to go home. Fine, Henry said: after all, that would more than cover his bus fare back to Dudley.

The Tories are still been playing the race card today, albeit more subtly. The recent Windrush scandal concerning people who were wrongly detained, denied legal rights, threatened with deportation and in some cases wrongly deported by the Home Office. The scandal was linked to the ‘hostile environment policy’ introduced by Theresa May when she was Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson is a man with zero political integrity. A man who wrote a speech in favour of remaining in the European Union, only to change his mind at the last minute to stab his friend, then PM, David Cameron in the back by backing Leave with a string of high profile lies. Apparently, Boris has the photos of Dave and the pig.

I personally think most religious garb looks silly, but that’s up to them if they want to wear it. I believe the burka is a misogynistic symbol of feminine repression from a nonsense religion, for the record I think all religions are nonsense, yet if they want to wear it, let them, it’s a free country. A Christian nun covers up most of her body and face, what’s the difference?

Cartoon of Postman Boris Johnson trying to post a letter into a Burka.

I tried to draw Postman Pat to look like Boris Johnson, but he ended up looking more like Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Also, I am not an MP or public figure, let alone Foreign Secretary, as Johnson was when he made those remarks. People in public office are expected to have higher standards, any other politician who said some of the stuff that comes out of Bo Jo’s mouth would be toast.

The Islamophobia in the Tory party would appear to be far more rampant than anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, some of which was legitimate criticism of Israel spun by the MSM to appear anti-Semitic. The Labour Party had an enquiry and acted accordingly. The Conservatives investigation was launched after Johnson wrote in a newspaper column where he compared veiled women to letterboxes and bank robbers, which attracted a number of complaints, yet he was exonerated.

According to the Independent, a watchdog found Islamophobic attacks on Muslim women who wear veils have risen since Boris Johnson compared them to “letterboxes”.

Tell Mama, which records hate crimes, said there was a “direct link” between the former foreign minister’s comments and an uptick in incidents targeting women who wear the niqab – which covers the face and hair apart from the eyes.

The UK Tories were the only Conservative group in the European Parliament who failed to support a censure motion against far-right Hungarian president, Viktor Orbán, an anti-Semite and an Islamophobe. Conservative sources told the Independent opposition to the vote was to gain “brownie points” from Orban’s regime to make him more amenable to a post-Brexit trade deal. London mayor, Sadiq Khan (a Muslim), has also been subject to Islamophobic attacks from the Tories, including his defeated Tory Candidate, Zac Goldsmith.

Blaming minority groups is nothing new and something that is no stranger to the Tories to try to get the gutter vote from ignorant racists and bigots, even though studies show migration gives a net benefit to the UK.

I always considered Britain to be a broadly tolerant society that was getting more tolerant. I never thought I would see the rise of the far right and our country becoming more insular; I genuinely expected to be living in a more liberal tolerant place for my kids to grow up in by the time I reached my 40s, not less tolerant.

Cameron only called the Brexit vote to stop the racist and xenophobic vote syphoning off to UKIP, which backfired as he didn’t expect to lose. Now we see foreign workers not wanting to come here, food rotting in fields due to lack of migrant workers, all because people were sold a lie by politicians like Johnson who like to find scapegoats for the failings of this Tory administration, blaming the EU and minority groups, rather than accept that Tory austerity cuts and Brexit have led to the economic slowdown.

I was in Southern Spain last week, in a town mainly full of English people who didn’t speak Spanish. The food in the restaurants and supermarkets was mainly English and I overheard in a bar some Brexit supporting ex-pats (we don’t call them immigrants if you’re British). I was in disbelief at Brits who have been welcomed into another country, supporting a policy that seeks to undermine freedom of movement (i.e., their residency status) and their right to free health care in Spain.

I hope the UK does call a People’s Vote and stop Brexit, as it’s getting tiresome explaining to foreigners when I travel on the continent that not all Brits are arrogant, xenophobic fuckwits.

Chris Bovey, writer and musician.

Chris Bovey is a businessman, writer, artist, musician and practical joker. He lives in Devon with his partner, two children and cat. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter @ADHD_BadBoy.

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