The foot-in-mouth statements of Britain’s next Prime Minister, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson
1/ Ken Bigley, Liverpool & Hillsborough
“The extreme reaction to Mr Bigley’s murder is fed by the fact that he was a Liverpudlian. Liverpool is a handsome city with a tribal sense of community. A combination of economic misfortune — its docks were, fundamentally, on the wrong side of England when Britain entered what is now the European Union — and an excessive predilection for welfarism have created a peculiar, and deeply unattractive, psyche among many Liverpudlians.
“They see themselves whenever possible as victims, and resent their victim status; yet at the same time they wallow in it. Part of this flawed psychological state is that they cannot accept that they might have made any contribution to their misfortunes, but seek rather to blame someone else for it, there by deepening their sense of shared tribal grievance against the rest of society.
“The deaths of more than 50 Liverpool football supporters at Hillsborough in 1989 was undeniably a greater tragedy than the single death, however horrible, of Mr Bigley; but that is no excuse for Liverpool’s failure to acknowledge, even to this day, the part played in the disaster by drunken fans at the back of the crowd who mindlessly tried to fight their way into the ground that Saturday afternoon. The police became a convenient scapegoat, and the Sun newspaper a whipping-boy for daring, albeit in a tasteless fashion, to hint at the wider causes of the incident.”
- Boris Johnson, The Spectator, October 2004
- Note that a full 15 years after the Hillsborough Disaster, the column’s ghost writer, Simon Heffer (under the direction of Boris Johnson as the Spectator’s editor, who put his name to the article) also chose to deliberately obscure the number of fans who died as, “more than 50.” Actually, it was closer to 100 fans that perished at Hillsborough – 96 to be exact – as was well-known by 2004.
2/ ‘Piccaninnies’ & ‘Water Melon Smiles’
“It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies; and one can imagine that Blair, twice victor abroad but enmired at home, is similarly seduced by foreign politeness. They say he is shortly off to the Congo. No doubt the AK47s will fall silent, and the pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh, and the tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer-funded bird.”
- Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph, January 2002.
3/ “Cannibalism and chief-killing…”
“For 10 years we in the Tory Party have become used to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing, and so it is with a happy amazement that we watch as the madness engulfs the Labour Party.”
- Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph
4/ On UKIP & Nigel Farage…
“I can hardly condemn UKIP as a bunch of boss-eyed, foam-flecked euro hysterics, when I have been sometimes not far short of boss-eyed, foam-flecked hysteria myself.”
- Boris Johnson, 2004
5/ On Turkish President Erdogan…
“There was a young fellow from Ankara,
Who was a terrific w**kerer.
Till he sowed his wild oats,
With the help of a goat,
But he didn’t even stop to thankera.”
- Boris Johnson, 2016
6/ On Donald Trump…
“I would invite him to come and see the whole of London … except that I wouldn’t want to expose Londoners to any risk of meeting Donald Trump. The only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.”
- Boris Johnson, 2016
7/ Opportunities, Disasters, Drugs & Elvis
“My friends, as I have discovered myself, there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters.”
- Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph, Dec 2, 2004
“What’s my view on drugs? I’ve forgotten my view on drugs.”
- Boris Johnson, 2005
“My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive.”
- Boris Johnson, 2007