|LETTERS FROM LONDON
|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
11 August 2018
|Women of Letters
Silly season? Oh don’t be so silly. The burqa debacle refuses to give up. Boris
must be doing back flips. Oh wait. Or should I have said oh weight?
60% agree with Boris that women in burqas look like “letterboxes” and “bank
robbers” and Brexiteers have queued up giving Boris kudos along with hundreds
of Daily Mail readers. The paper says it has received one of its biggest-ever
postbags in response, and encouraging letters outnumber criticism of Boris by
20 to one. Hmm. The Mail printed some in a double-page spread. Hmm.
You know Blackadder Rowan Atkinson has suggested we view Boris’ images as
a “pretty good joke”. Huh? How is a “bank robber” disguise – funny? RA sent a
letter to the Times: “As a lifelong beneficiary of the freedom to make jokes about
religion, I do think that Boris Johnson’s joke about wearers of the burqa
resembling letterboxes is a pretty good one. All jokes about religion cause
offense, so it’s pointless apologizing for them. You should really only apologize
for a bad joke. On that basis, no apology is required.” Oh Rowan, it does in that
case as IT IS NOT FUNNY! End of!
Naturally Jacob Rees-Mogg couldn’t allow Boris to upstage him for more than
three minutes… or two. In an article for the Telegraph Moggy said he agrees
“entirely” with Boris. Earlier he said Theresa was “clearly wrong” to have called
for Boris to apologise. Best to stop there as we are just so over Moggy. Was he
making that statement while in New York? Was that him with his wife (wearing
the silliest hat – in homage to the silly season surely) and two of his seven kids
on the Empire State building? His holiday of choice. No British Heritage sites
There are more supporters but not the sort you would suspect. A prominent
British imam Taj Hargey, the imam at the Oxford Islamic Congregation, has said
that Boris should “not apologize for telling the truth.” Wait. He also reminded
people that “burqas are not true Islamic dress and part of a “a toxic patriarchy
controlling women. The burka and niqab are hideous, tribal, ninja-like garments
that are pre-Islamic, non-Koranic and therefore un-Muslim.” Gosh! And he says
Britain should follow France, Denmark and other European countries in issuing
an outright ban. Hmmm. Now you know from a proper source…not from
scheming Boris! All right. Boris didn’t demand an outright ban, but you get the
And… a former senior Church of England bishop, Bishop of Rochester Michael
Nazir-Ali has called for a near-total ban on the wearing of burkas in public.
“Burkas and niqabs should be outlawed where people interact… including in
hospitals, GP surgeries, business, universities and schools, areas where there
were legitimate security and safety concerns, such as at airports or while driving
a car… even more true of doctors, dentists, nurses and paramedics.”
Nevertheless, he did say it was acceptable for women to wear face veils at
home, while in the street and at prayer. At home?
He continued: “It is also true, however, that the burka or niqab is being
weaponised by Islamists to impose what they consider to be “Islamic” character
on communities, neighbourhoods and even nations.
“In Britain, this has serious implications for the freedom of women, but it also
has implications for integration and social cohesion. Where there is widespread
use of the face veil, there will be greater isolation from one another and a sense
of segregation will grow.” Point made.
Support for him then came from Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of
Canterbury. Lord Carey said: “Oppressive’ veils should not become
But - Boris will still face (I know, veiled or otherwise) investigation by an
independent panel having breached the Conservative Party’s code of conduct.
Disciplinary action could possibly lead to suspension or – uh oh - even expelled
from the Tories. Not a chance.
Islamophobic hate crimes against women have massively increased with the
“letterbox”. People tossing letters at women in niqabs, calling out “letter boxes” of
course and all sorts of non-creative attempts. Certainly no shock there.
Evidently Boris hid out in a villa in Italy. Boris basking in his attention-
grabbing/pander to the right success and with not a burqa in sight – presumably.
He’s baaaackkkk. Just couldn’t stay out of the media coverage could he?
Countries which have introduced bans: France 2004… Belgium 2011… Holland
(partial) 2015… Catalonia… Chad 2015…Cameroon… Diffa in Niger… Congo-
Brazzaville 2015…Turkey (state/government institutions) 2013… Switzerland
2016… Belgium 2018
Hit the Books
Saturday (4 August) well known left-wing Bookmarks Bookshop in Bloomsbury
was invaded by a group carrying pro-Trump placards. They ripped up and threw
books, trashed displays and wreaked havoc, as you do when you ‘invade’ an
enemy territory. One wore a Donald Trump mask, several wore baseball hats
with “Make Britain Great Again” slogans. All chanting racist and fascist slogans.
Eye-rolling simply isn’t enough here is it?
“About 6:45 this evening Bookmarks Bookshop was attacked by about a dozen
masked wearing fascists. They threatened staff and attempted to destroy books
and other materials. Fortunately no staff were hurt. This is the true face of
fascism. No Paseran!” (‘they shall not pass’) according to Bookmarks Bookshop
The attackers reportedly said to the staff: “We know where you are, I hope you
burn down, we’re going to come back again.” Have they been watching
EastEnders for inspiration?
A return visit? Possibly not. They video taped themselves. No. Really. Some
were members of UKIP (including a former leadership candidate). No one ever
said UKIP members weren’t idiots did they? Three members of UKIP have been
suspended. Let’s name them: Elizabeth Jones, Luke Nash-Jones and Martin
And how did the right-leaning BBC headline cover this exactly? As a “protest”. A
protest?...protest? Staff, who are falsely branded 'paedophiles', called traitors,
while placards read 'British Bolshevik Cult'. Surely common in most protests….
The Meat of the Matter
Ministers from Australia and the UK met last week to discuss the future of their
trading relationship. You know. That massive trading we can do with that sheep-
Assuming the UK was left salivating over the very possibility of hormone-treated
beef and “burnt goat heads”. Do I hear a loud cheer? Burnt goat heads! Burnt
goat heads! Yippee! Do they say that in Australia? And what exactly do you do
with burnt goat heads then? Display them on poles to discourage any other
country from trying to offer the same? No need for the ‘barbie’ then.
The leaders of the Australian meat industry are persistently, vigorously lobbying
their government to put pressure on Britain to accept products currently banned
under EU law after Brexit. Clue: banned! Growth hormones that have been
banned in the EU since 1981, while used in at least 40 percent of Australian
cattle for more than three decades.
Those not particularly enamoured of toxic meat and goat heads have expressed
concerns that the Australian government could force the UK to lower food
standards. Really? And we thought the US was planning that already. Becoming
a vegan is looking particularly enticing….
The Party Line
It simply goes on and on and on. Anti-semitism…anti-semitism…anti-semitism.
In an exclusive interview The Canary reported that the Jewish News foreign
editor, Stephen Oryszczuk, has also insisted that Labour does not represent an
“existential threat” to Jewish people. And he has called recent attacks on Corbyn
A letter from Jewish Voice for Peace: “We stand with those many Jews across
Britain, the US and the rest of the world, and with our Palestinian allies, who all
know that criticism of Israel is not the same as anti-semitism.” So stop it!
However, with more than two years of shameful anti-semitic conduct within
Labour, with Jeremy’s reluctance to deal with it, the problem is not going away is
it? Surely you know the examples. A few: party officials obstructed disciplinary
cases, there have been anti-semitic outbursts at national executive committee
meetings, anti-semitic slurs in Jezza supporting FaceBook groups, ad inf. Not
good is it?
On the Move
The richest man in Britain, obsessive Brexit supporter, his recently knighted,
council house born industrialist who founded Ineos (a multinational
petrochemical company), who owns a mansion on the French Riviera, who
actively promoted pro-fracking in Scotland (well, his company is the UK’s
biggest fracking firm), Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
Mass exit coming? Or death (to Britain) by a thousand cuts (OK…exits) with two
other Ineos executives and lest we forget a favourite, Nigel Lawson, all
abandoning (soon to be) Little Britain.
Sir Rat, oops, Sir Ratcliffe attempted to escape previously. He relocated Ineos to
Lausanne, Switzerland in 2010 for tax purposes. Quelle surprise. He returned to
the UK in 2016. Surprise. Off again and this time without his title. No, not that
one, the ‘richest man in Britain’ title with his worth £21 billion. Now he’s off to
obvious tax haven, Monaco, handing over his title to the Indian brothers, Sri and
Gopi Hinduja owners of the Hinduja conglomerate.