A wise old friend of mine often uses the phrase: "If you sup with the devil you need a long spoon". She usually uses it in relation to Eurosceptic involvement with the processes and institutions of the EU, meaning the 'parliament' really, but that's another matter. However, Dave Cameron and cuddly Boris could have done worse than bear that saying in mind some time ago.
It has been obvious to reasonably sensible, and objective people, for some time that the Tory Party is beyond help. Dave has gone out of his way to turn it into some pale imitation of Tony's New Labour project but it was, quite frankly, finished way before then. It reminds me of churches that modernise and the pews begin to empty. So the clerics think the answer is to modernise a bit more, and the pews continue to empty. So they get even more carried away with modernity, even when they are closing down churches and can't find enough people to ordain as priests. In a similar way the Tories have embraced political correctness.
The last few days have really shown this with nutty old Boris Johnson (who else?) slap in the middle of the controversy. Admittedly The Grauniad has played a central role in the recent shenanigins, but the Tories are big enough to know the key players in the nation's political life. The problem is that Boris has tried to play the really modern, trendy vicar and he must now be surely emptying his church even quicker than it has been emptying in recent years.
There are two problems. Namely, Ray Lewis and James McGrath. The first is black and is being investigated by an independent inquiry, set up by Boris, after allegations about him surfaced in The Grauniad. The second was an advisor of Johnson's sacked for 'non-racist racist' remarks in an effort to appease the politically correct constituency of London, none of whom probably did, nor ever would, vote for Boris. That is, in a single paragraph, a precis of the situation.
The problem is that once people who do not believe in something, try to be seen to believe in it, they pretty soon come a cropper. So Boris has played racial politics and burnt his fingers pretty badly. Here is why I think that to be the case, and it focuses on Ray Lewis, rather than James McGrath, about whom I have posted previously.
Thanks to political correctness there is now a view that when a Tory politician, such as Johnson, appoints somebody like Lewis to the post of deputy mayor for young people, it might just be a stunt to show how 'right-on' he is. I'm not saying that is true, merely that many people believe that some people cynically appoint a token ethnic minority or two to try and fend off future accusations of racism by the politically correct, an unforeseen consequence of political correctness sadly.
Then, when one of your advisors replies something like: "Well they can leave can't they", to a question about Afro-Caribbean people not wanting to live in a London run by Johnson, you cock it up because you are on territory you didn't want to inhabit in the first place, so you over-react and sack him, just in case not doing so upsets the politically correct.
Now then, The Grauniad. I don't believe that Ray Lewis merely popped up after the mayoral election to be given a job by Boris. It seems to me that they held their knowledge of the allegations back until they could do most damage to Boris, just when things were calming down after the sacking of McGrath. Furthermore, it could get rid of one of the mayor's black advisors leaving him open to future accusations of racism, either way it has made Johnson and the Tories look like buffoons. Also, were the Tories in such a desperate rush to have Lewis on their team that they failed to check his past out properly?
If all that sounds cynical then I make no apologies. The politically correct, or the left-wing, are much more cynical and immoral when it comes to politics and race than the gullible old Tories, as shown this last fortnight by Dave and Boris. The best advice is to be true to your beliefs and principles, at least then you will survive or fall with your conscience intact.