Now I have never met Boris Johnson nor do I know him personally so I can’t say whether he truly meant for his comments that Muslim women wearing a burka look like bank robbers and post boxes to be humorous but that is certainly not how they came across.
They came across as inflammatory, deliberately insulting and worryingly in alignment with the bile spewed out by the BNP and Britain First and the really nasty parts of UKIP.
Humour is subjective, just as offence is subjective. I can laugh at jokes that are incredibly dark and insulting but as much as some may complain of political correctness gone mad, there is a line, you can cross it and Boris Johnson did cross it. And that reveals the true Boris Johnson, for all he would have us believe he’s a slightly bumbling toff with sort-of-outdated views with funny hair and seemingly some Latin on hand for any situation he finds himself in.
Boris Johnson is not an idiot. He is actually rather intelligent. But ultimately what drives him is that he knows what he wants and he is determined to get it. Boris Johnson wants to be Prime Minister. It’s as simple as that. He is a man that is driven by his ambition, that has driven him on numerous occasions to lie and make outrageous statements, courting the further right. Rowan Atkinson may have defended what Johnson said as a joke, but here’s the thing. It wasn’t funny.
Now I don’t think for a second that groups like Britain First and the BNP wait for Boris Johnson’s permission or say-so to spew out their hate filled bile, but it is truly worrying to see a politician who has held one of the most senior posts in British government seemingly align himself with such ignorant views.