18 thoughts on “All Quiet for Boris in The Telegraph”

  1. Yeah I’d vote for you Boris.

    Heard you on the Moral Maze last night Boz Cat. Agree with you on points raised. Also, interesting point that if government continue to legislate for every aspect of our lives, we the people will get used to not taking responsibility for it. “That shouldn’t be allowed, THEY should do something about that” instead of the more constructive version of “dickhead”. (for those who didn’t hear the prog, perhaps Boz will explain? This could be expanded to crime and violence) So the ‘Nanny state’ is actively preventing us being responsible adults who consider and exercise choice. Good point I thought.

    Years ago, when children were children rather than mini consumers, pubs tended to have a smoking room, clearly labelled ‘SMOKING ROOM’ and a seperate Lounge and often a seperate bar for food, a childrens room and the pub my parents went to even had a lido open in the summer. It was fantastic.

    Nowadays pubs have been converted to some homogenised idea of consumer heaven which is utterly false. Many pubs like that around here have lost business after conversion. They were once packed with people enjoying conversation and company in what could be described as the equivalent of someones front room. The pubs that HAVE knocked all the walls down have had to install huge TV’s and have cheap beer and spirit promotions directed at the young to rescue business. This agressively encourages binge drinking.

    So really, some of the blame can be put at the feet of the large pub chains that force this physical change and so affects the consumer base. I’m with you Boz on allowing choice – why shouldn’t a pub let it’s customers smoke, or not smoke if ‘it’ wants. Pubs are someones home licensed to sell alcohol on the premises. They are NOT public parks or conveniences.

    But if a compromise is to be made, what about allowing smoking in a designated room, clearly labelled? Staff can choose not to work in that room – some available staff will smoke by the law of averages. And perhaps another room must be made available for non-smokers. Problem solved, it’s our choice then what room we go into. This may also put pressure on large pub chains to stop making pubs the equivalent of a kids playground with cheap booze, all you can drink.

    There’s someting to be said for the old-fashioned way you know. The wheel is still such a good invention.

  2. I agree with you Jaq. The anti-smoking lobby harps on about secondhand smoke but if you actually look at the figures, the overwhelming majority of the deaths attributed to secondhand smoke are people who lived with smokers and breathed the smoke in in their own homes. How will it help to tell people they can only smoke in their own homes? It’s all hypocrisy anyway. Either you have the balls to ban tobacco or you let smokers have places they can smoke.

  3. Presumably he’s been writing some one liners for David Cameron but judging by his performance on Question Time so far, the young lad’s forgotten them.

  4. I assume someone forgot that “free speech” carries a certain responsibility?

    Remember, we have no RIGHT to free speech in this country. It’s a privilege. And, if we abuse privileges, we lose them. Under THIS government, that’s a serious issue!

  5. Dear Psimon

    You have the right to free speech in this country with certain areas being off limits. For example you are not allowed to incite violence against others, advertise products for sale restricted to particular ethnic groups or cry “fire” in a crowded theatre. By contrast in exciting egalitarian societies such as North Korea or Cuba the government takes the lead in saying what you are allowed to say or do. All else is forbidden. However most people are equally miserable so I suppose that is something.

    Tony Blair’s law against incitement to religious hatred is rubbish. There are plenty of other ways to deal with of dealing with the unpleasantness either left or right wing fascists.

    However detention for 90 days if the police are investigating terrorism with a view to stopping an attack does not seem an disproportionate curtailment of civil liberties if the threat is strong enough. There is an argument that as soon as we do something like this then “we have lost the war against terrorism because this is what they want”. Whilst, as in war generally, we tread in dangerous waters this is not automatic and the 90 days may be necessary. On the other hand I suspect that Osama, having visted Oxford in his youth, may recall echoes of the appeasement by-election. Folks there is a war on and it would be on whether or not the UK had joined the intervention in Iraq or appeased.

    Any better ideas most welcome because I do not like war. But as one of the last sensible reporters in the Independent Martin Wooola- something said (memory goes quickly when you are newly 53 and a couple of whiskeys down) some things are worse than war.

  6. Even if you use your right to free speech and speak the truth, you can still be arrested and tried. What about Nick Griffin, leader of a legitimate political party, awaiting trial and a possible custodial sentence for warning about possible suicide bombers in a speech last year? I dont agree with all the BNP policies, but it seems to me he makes a lot of sense most of the time.

  7. I wouldn’t trust the BNP’s newfound “reasonable” stance, which seems copied from the French Front National’s. They claim to represent ordinary white people but underneath the party’s stand on racial matters is what it’s always been. Given that minorities are not going to voluntarily repatriate, then what? However, locking him up is counterproductive, it just gives him legitimate fuel for his argument that people with non-PC views are being oppressed. Let him talk, I say. I’ve heard BNP members interviewed on some of the independent radio stations and they don’t come over well.

  8. Robert

    Point about Nick Griffin taken. I suppose I have to go through the dreary thing of saying that in no way do I support the BNP but actually what happened to him seems wrong whatever my views. Or at least it does when there are other organisations equally racist and inflammatory getting away with far worse. I refer of course to the Islamofascist organisations who hate Jews, would introduce a form of society that would make Mussolini’s Italy seem quite jolly and are at best somewhat equivocal about terrorism.

    Kevin T has a reasonable point though. I suspect that the relationship between the BNP and the racist thugs who do go around burning synagogues and mosques etc. is rather like that between Sinn Fein and the IRA – po-aced expression of shock should you ever think such a thing.

    Fascism, red, black and Islamic has always been careful to be populist. It will say some ‘reasonable’ things a lot of the time. Lenin’s ‘Bread. peace and land’ sounded very reasonable to war weary peasants. Hitler’s crew camapigned on unemployment.

    However the point you are making is that our right to free speech is being eroded not by genuine counter terrorism measures but by politically correct acts of appeasement either in the form of laws like the one against ‘incitement to religious hatred’ or day to day decisions by some parts of the police service.

  9. So what are Boris’ Plans for tommorow night then? will he be doing the sensible thing and voting against any extension of custody? I know he talks tough on the issue, but as I recall he talked tough on ID cards and then turned into a bit of a wimp on the day and voted in favour. Or am I wrong on that? [Ed: I think you might find that you are mistaken Cliff…]

  10. May I be the first to say congratulations Mr Johnson for helping give the Prime Minister a good slapping on the Terror Law vote? 😀

  11. Jack: “when you are newly 53 and a couple of whiskeys down” accept my apologies for a belated happy birthday MWA! as my creaking computer has been sick again. Hope you had a delicious birthday. I was at the food and drink show and tried some 100 yr old whiskey, I’m not a whiskey drinker but that was sublime. Hope you had an enjoyable tipple.

    On Free Speech:
    Some years ago I remember Dad telling me of a collegue who’d visited his family in Russaia. They’d been sat at home putting the world to rights after dinner, as you do, and there was a knock at the door. They were warned to leave as the police were on there way and they duly left the country. They WOULD have been arrested. Blair’s Britain is on the slippery slope and gaining momentum. Wasn’t it Martin Luther King who said that the guilty weren’t those whose behaviour was obvious but those who turned away and let them get away with it? That would be us then. We still have a democracy….just.

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