Opinion: He vs we. Boris vs Brent

PUBLISHED: 08:30 16 February 2020 | UPDATED: 07:51 17 February 2020

Cllr Ihtesham Malik Afzal, Preston ward.

Cllr Ihtesham Malik Afzal, Preston ward.


He thinks it’s OK to refer to black people as “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”.

He refers to Muslim women as "letterboxes" and "bankrobbers".

He ticks homophobia off the list too - calling gay men "tank-topped bumboys".

He has compared gay marriage to "bestiality".

He said it's "only natural for people to be scared of Islam2 and "Islam is the problem" and asks the question "when is someone going to get 18th century on Islam's medieval ass?".

He describes alarm bells going off in his head, on seeing a "bunch of black kids".

"If that is racial prejudice, then I am guilty," he admits. (Sidenote: It is. And you are)

He thinks we should 'axe large chunks of the anti-racism industry' (because campaigns against racism are supposedly an 'industry!')

He was a fiction writer too, as one of his many ... erm 'talents' - in one of his books, citing Jewish 'oligarchs' who run the media, fiddling figures to fix elections.

Killing two birds with one stone (he is getting good at this now), he refers to young people having a 'Nigerian interest in money'.

He refers to working class men as 'drunk, criminal, aimless, feckless and hopeless'.

He calls the children of single mothers: 'ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate'.

His name is Boris Johnson. And he is our prime minister.

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And we have some words for him.

We, the home of Raheem Sterling, of Bob Marley and reggae.

We, the home of George Michael and Zadie Smith.

We, the home of Jayaben Desai and the Grunwick strikes.

We, the home of football, the beautiful game, uniting all people together.

We, the home of 149 languages spoken.

We, communities from all over the UK, all over the world - Afro-Caribbean, Romanian, Somali, Irish, from India, from Pakistan, and further afield - coming together to create our Brent family.

A family of all people - black, white, brown - coming together.

All religions - Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, others and those of no particular faith - coming together.

We, from Wembley to Kilburn, Queensbury to Stonebridge, Northwick Park to Dollis Hill; coming together, we stand united, we stand firmly on the principles of diversity, of tolerance, empathy and compassion.

We do not hear these in his words, or see them in his actions. We hear racism and bigotry. We hear demonisation of our young, of the poor and the struggling.

We hear sexism and division.

So, our prime minister, he may be. But in laying out where he stands, he does not stand next to us. In speaking how he does, he does not speak to who we are.

We, from the most diverse city on this planet. We, the London Borough of Culture, 2020.

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