US News JANET STREET-PORTER: Boris Johnson is a buffoon but if there's one thing we all need to agree on it's that our society is built on the absolute freedom to disagree

14:06  10 august  2018
14:06  10 august  2018 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

PM: Johnson should apologise for burka remarks

  PM: Johnson should apologise for burka remarks The prime minister has backed calls for Boris Johnson to apologise for saying Muslim women in burkas look like "bank robbers".The former foreign secretary has so far defied mounting calls for him to apologise for the comments.

Boris Johnson is a publicity-seeking buffoon , who would make just about the worst Prime Minister on record. JANET STREET - PORTER : With their broken Heathrow promises, two-faced Theresa and duplicitous Boris have tossed their green principles in the trash 26/06/18.

JANET STREET - PORTER : Boris Johnson is a buffoon but if there ' s one thing we all need to agree on it ' s that our society is built on the absolute freedom to disagree . Mother who filmed crying toddler screaming 'MAKE IT STOP' while being spun on playground ride then laughed as girl

Boris Johnson wearing a suit and tie: Boris Johnson is a publicity-seeking buffoon, who would make just about the worst Prime Minister on record. He thrives on the oxygen of publicity, which explains his latest rantings about women in burkas looking like 'letterboxes', made at a time when he's not in any position of real power, writes Janet Street-Porter © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Boris Johnson is a publicity-seeking buffoon, who would make just about the worst Prime Minister on record. He thrives on the oxygen of publicity, which explains his latest rantings about women in burkas looking like 'letterboxes', made at a time when he's not in any position of real power, writes Janet Street-Porter About ten years ago, a female friend had the guts to write an opinion piece in a trendy publication much loved by the intelligentsia, saying the unsayable. She said the burka had no place on our city streets. 

Shopping in central London, she found herself surrounded in an Oxford Street store by women covered from head to foot in black bags, only their eyes visible. These women did not communicate, except with each other. Mysterious, unknowable, walking one step behind their men.

Johnson remark does not 'reach bar' for criminal offence

  Johnson remark does not 'reach bar' for criminal offence Boris Johnson's comments comparing women who wear the burka to "bank robbers" and "letter boxes" would not "reach the bar" for a criminal offence, the Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick has said. Commissioner Cressida Dick admitted that "some people have clearly found it offensive" but that officers that specialise in dealing with hate crime believed "he did not commit a criminal offence". She stressed no allegation had yet been received that Mr Johnson committed a hate crime.

JANET STREET - PORTER : Boris Johnson is a buffoon but if there ' s one thing we all need to agree on it ' s that our society is built on the absolute freedom to disagree . Robson Green, 53, is spotted in 1950s dress with his girlfriend, 45

Boris Johnson is a publicity-seeking buffoon , who would make just about the worst Prime Minister on record. More from Janet Street - Porter For Mailonline… The cornerstone of modern society is the ability to disagree .

My clever friend is a feminist to her core, and defends the right of any female to wear what she wants. 

Her point - which seems even more relevant today - is that a lot of people (me included) see the niqab (which only leaves the eyes exposed) and the burka (which covers a woman's entire body rendering her a shapeless non-descript being) as highly distasteful in modern Britain (or any other western society), where we are all supposed to be doing our best to harmonise and integrate. It emphasises an aggressive difference, a lack of approachability.

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More on MSN:

Mr Bean star Atkinson wades into Burka row (PA)

Muslim peer who blasted Boris receives 'vile emails' (Independent)

'No impunity for Boris': Muslim Council of Britain demands full disciplinary inquiry into ex-Foreign Secretary in letter to PM amid ‘rise in Islamophobia’ over his burka comments

  'No impunity for Boris': Muslim Council of Britain demands full disciplinary inquiry into ex-Foreign Secretary in letter to PM amid ‘rise in Islamophobia’ over his burka comments The Muslim Council of Britain says Islamophobic incidents have risen since Mr Johnson (pictured yesterday) compared women in veils to bank robbers and letterboxes. The organisation is today writing to Mrs May demanding a full disciplinary inquiry as allies including the former Foreign Secretary's father and sister said he 'didn't go far enough'.  The MCB's letter says: 'We are hopeful that the party will not allow any whitewashing of this specific inquiry currently in process. No one should be allowed to victimise minorities with impunity.

JANET STREET - PORTER : Boris Johnson is a buffoon but if there ' s one thing we all need to agree on it ' s that our society is built on the absolute freedom to disagree . Homebase plans to close a quarter of all its UK stores with up to 2,000 jobs at risk. Brave mother tricks thief who stole her

JANET STREET - PORTER : Boris Johnson is a buffoon but if there ' s one thing we all need to agree on it ' s that our society is built on the absolute freedom to disagree . Mother who filmed crying toddler screaming 'MAKE IT STOP' while being spun on playground ride then laughed as girl

100 Muslim women demand Tories kick out Johnson (Sky News)

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You might argue that the women are kitted up like this of their free will, under no pressure from their community, their husbands or their families. They might be very religious, in a way most westerners find alien.

Really? 100% of them? After all, Anglican clergy go to great lengths to try and disguise the fact they are ambassadors for a church, and dog collars seem to be optional.

Even the Pope wears any old shoes, and isn't that bothered about his clothing, other than it's white and featureless. There's a lot wrong with Catholicism, but the Pope doesn't hide his face, he washes the feet of the poor and hangs out with prostitutes. He reaches out, not covering himself up. 

And Catholics (even though their church's policies concerning abortion are repugnant to me) don't tell women what they should be wearing to reach a bit closer to God.

Tory former chief whip and Mr Bean star back Boris Johnson in burka row

  Tory former chief whip and Mr Bean star back Boris Johnson in burka row Mr Johnson is facing investigation by an independent panel.A Tory former chief whip has backed Boris Johnson in the burka row, saying he had no need to apologise for making inflammatory comments about Muslim women.

JANET STREET - PORTER : Boris Johnson is a buffoon but if there ' s one thing we all need to agree on it ' s that our society is built on the absolute freedom to disagree . Robson Green, 53, is spotted in 1950s dress with his girlfriend, 45

JANET STREET - PORTER : Boris Johnson is a buffoon but if there ' s one thing we all need to agree on it ' s that our society is built on the absolute freedom to disagree . Homebase plans to close a quarter of all its UK stores with up to 2,000 jobs at risk.

a group of people wearing costumes: I'd like to see more prominent Muslims from all walks of life enlightening us on their position regarding the wearing of the burka. Is putting on an anonymous item of clothing really a sign you are proud to be British and ready to meet the neighbours? (Above, protesters in Copenhagen following Denmark's recent decision to ban wearing the burka in the street) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited I'd like to see more prominent Muslims from all walks of life enlightening us on their position regarding the wearing of the burka. Is putting on an anonymous item of clothing really a sign you are proud to be British and ready to meet the neighbours? (Above, protesters in Copenhagen following Denmark's recent decision to ban wearing the burka in the street) Ten years ago, you could (just about) say that the rise of the burka on the streets of our cities made you feel a bit uncomfortable, as if one group of people wanted to feel separate from the rest of society. 

God forbid you voice that point of view now - you're called an islamophobe, a racist and God knows what else within seconds on social media. We have entered a puritanical age with black and white and nothing in between. No debate, just shrieking statements. 

The latest spat about the burka has brought out the worse in all concerned, and laid bare our lily-livered snowflake society, full of knee jerk reactions and bids for Twitter stardom.

Rees-Mogg denounces Tory ‘show trial’ of Boris Johnson

  Rees-Mogg denounces Tory ‘show trial’ of Boris Johnson The former foreign secretary is facing an investigation into claims he breached a Conservative code of conduct with his comments on the burka.Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the prominent Eurosceptic suggested that the probe may be an attempt to scupper Mr Johnson’s chances of a future tilt for the leadership, driven by Theresa May’s “personal rivalry” with her former foreign secretary.

JANET STREET - PORTER : Boris Johnson is a buffoon but if there ' s one thing we all need to agree on it ' s that our society is built on the absolute freedom to disagree . Mother who filmed crying toddler screaming 'MAKE IT STOP' while being spun on playground ride then laughed as girl

JANET STREET - PORTER : Boris Johnson is a buffoon but if there ' s one thing we all need to agree on it ' s that our society is built on the absolute freedom to disagree . ‘Bloody keep quiet or you’ll be thrown out of the window’

Boris Johnson is a publicity-seeking buffoon, who would make just about the worst Prime Minister on record. He thrives on the oxygen of publicity, which explains his latest rantings about women in burkas looking like 'letterboxes', made at a time when he's not in any position of real power.

Video: Boris 'should be kicked out of the Tory party' (LBC)

Actually, he was making a valid point - that Denmark's decision to ban wearing the burka in the street - following France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the German republic of Bavaria- was ill-advised. He said 'women should be free to wear what they want'. Correct answer.

The knock-about jokes I can live without, but l respect his right to free speech.

Boris is brilliant at one thing - flushing out the tosspots who feel compelled to pontificate on any issue of the day. 

Baroness Warsi found his remarks 'bigoted and indefensible'. Theresa May demanded an apology. Lord Sheikh wanted him chucked out of the Tory party. 

Only Tory MP Nadine Dorries said BoJo had 'not gone far enough'- but what's her self-seeking agenda? The Tory party Chairman, Brandon Lewis, expects BoJo to offer an apology - dream on. Apologies are totally worthless in modern society, ten a penny. Our leaders have grovelled and apologised for slavery, police corruption, failed sex abuse trials and preventable hospital deaths caused by dirt and negligence and yet all those things still go on in modern Britain.       

112 seats switch to support UK staying in EU

  112 seats switch to support UK staying in EU More than 100 parliamentary seats that backed Brexit in the 2016 referendum have flipped to support staying in the EU, according to a major new poll.  Constituencies in Wales and the North have seen the largest swing, according to YouGov research commissioned by Hope Not Hate and pro-EU group Best for Britain.The constituencies of Brexiteers Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Jacob Rees-Mogg are among the 112 areas where opinion has changed in favour of staying in the EU.

JANET STREET - PORTER : Boris Johnson is a buffoon but if there ' s one thing we all need to agree on it ' s that our society is built on the absolute freedom to disagree . Robson Green, 53, is spotted in 1950s dress with his girlfriend, 45

JANET STREET - PORTER : Boris Johnson is a buffoon but if there ' s one thing we all need to agree on it ' s that our society is built on the absolute freedom to disagree . Mother who filmed crying toddler screaming 'MAKE IT STOP' while being spun on playground ride then laughed as girl

The cornerstone of modern society is the ability to disagree. Back in 1731, Benjamin Franklin, then a not-so-humble journalist and printer, explained in a famous tract why it was so important to express distasteful opinions, and upheld the fundamental right to offend. He even considered writing a standard 'apology' he could trot out every time he p***** someone off.

He cited the maxim 'when Truth and Error have fair play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter'. Precisely. The mistake the Telegraph made in printing Boris's rant, was not to allow equal space to a columnist to express their defence of the burka- even though no one can find it set out in the Koran, which is more concerned with women dressing modestly, than donning black bags.

Boris Johnson in New York © PA Boris Johnson in New York By screaming for Boris to apologise, have we forgotten the art of debate?

In many ways free speech is facing a perfect storm of challenges.

'Snowflake' millennials demand a world where they only ever encounter their own opinions while the political and journalistic elite (who even in Franklin's day were uncomfortable with the unruly 'mob' - ie you and me - having a voice) are only too happy to connive at restrictions that reign in the internet's threat to their monopoly over public debate.

In defence of a web built on the principle of free speech, Mark Zuckerberg uses a similar argument to Franklin, that Facebook is merely a platform for people to express their views. It is a neutral facilitator, it does not authenticate them.

Boris Johnson avoids burka row in new column

  Boris Johnson avoids burka row in new column Boris Johnson appears to have moved on from the row sparked by his comments on women wearing the burka after he avoided the subject in his latest Daily Telegraph column. The former foreign secretary came under fire after writing that Muslim women who wear face veils looked like "letterboxes" and "bank robbers" in his column last week.However, this week he chose to turn his attention to proposals to encourage house building - despite a week of intense debate between those defending him and those outraged by his remarks.

JANET STREET - PORTER : Boris Johnson is a buffoon but if there ' s one thing we all need to agree on it ' s that our society is built on the absolute freedom to disagree . Mother who filmed crying toddler screaming 'MAKE IT STOP' while being spun on playground ride then laughed as girl

JANET STREET - PORTER : Boris Johnson is a buffoon but if there ' s one thing we all need to agree on it ' s that our society is built on the absolute freedom to disagree . Mother who filmed crying toddler screaming 'MAKE IT STOP' while being spun on playground ride then laughed as girl

Now, we are demanding he apologises, for his site to be policed and offensive content removed. That is simply not possible because of the volume of traffic and almost everything will offend someone, somewhere.

Although Facebook made a big concession this week in America where, along with Apple and YouTube but not Twitter, they booted the loony right-wing conspiracy-theorist Alex Jones off their platform.

Can't we accept that if we allow free speech, then we WILL be offended - and have faith that we can counter hysteria, prejudice and fake news with well-reasoned rebuttal.

Don't shut down discussion; that way lies censorship and a narrowing of vision.

The biggest mistake at the moment is to talk about offending the Muslim 'community'- that's even more insulting than slagging off the burka. 'Community' is one of the most over-used words in the language - it lumps people into one homogeneous group, depersonalises them and makes it easier to attack them en masse.

The word community also does a very good job of preventing Britain (or any other civilised country) becoming one fair society, with shared simple goals of better health, education and social provision, regardless of religion or ethnicity. Communities tend to look after themselves first, and that's not good.

I'd like to see more prominent Muslims from all walks of life enlightening us on their position regarding the wearing of the burka. Is putting on an anonymous item of clothing really a sign you are proud to be British and ready to meet the neighbours?

And is screaming down anyone who questions the burka just an admission that the arguments in its favour are less than convincing? 

Johnson "lucky" he had already quit before burka comments .
Some MPs believe Boris Johnson can think himself lucky he had already resigned from the cabinet over his opposition to Theresa May’s Chequers deal on Brexit. They claim that even for the accident-prone former foreign secretary, who has been regularly causing offence with insensitive and offensive comments for nearly 20 years, his burka blunder was a gaffe too far.And this time, those MPs argue, the prime minister - now tired of his relentless disloyalty - might have done what critics who have no time for Mr Johnson believe she should have done a long time ago: sacked him.

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