The Andrew Sabisky eugenics scandal is the latest in Boris Johnson's history of racism, sexism, and homophobia
Boris Johnson's chief adviser has hired a staffer — Andrew Sabisky — with an interest in eugenics. Today, Johnson's spokesperson repeatedly declined to say whether he agreed with Sabisky's views. Sabisky once said black people have lower IQs than white people, on average. The prime minister has made many controversial comments about minorities, women, and LGBT throughout his career.
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A spokesperson for Boris Johnson today refused to say whether the prime minister agreed with a Downing Street employee's claim that black people are mentally inferior to white people. Andrew Sabisky was recruited by Johnson's chief adviser, Dominic Cummings. Downing Street hired Sabisky, 27, after he responded to Cummings' job ad for "weirdos and misfits." He is an adviser working on special projects, which are yet to be specified. In 2014, however, Sabisky wrote a blog post which said black people on average have lower IQs, and are thus closer to the level of "mild mental retardation." Johnson's spokesperson on Monday refused to say whether Johnson disagreed with Sabisky, despite being asked several times by journalists. "The prime minister's views are well-publicised and well-documented," they said. The UK government is under intense pressure to sack Sabisky for his comments about eugenics, the widely discredited attempt to link intelligence t0 racial characteristics. The Downing Street recruit has also compared women's sport to the Paralympics, and said young people should be forced to take contraception in order to avoid the creation of a "permanent underclass." The Sabisky case is the latest in a series of scandals involving Johnson and his views on different social groups. The prime minister has long been dogged by questions about offensive comments he has made in the past about ethnic minorities, as well as women and homosexuality. Johnson last year said some of the comments were "wholly satirical," while others have been taken out of context. Here are some of the key controversial comments he has made over the years, with context and links to their original sources. Women: 'hot totty' The prime minister has long had a questionable attitude towards women, with both the House of Commons speaker John Bercow and female members of the London Assembly accusing him of sexist behaviour. Evidence of Johnson's views towards women can be found throughout his career. In 1996, while a journalist for the Telegraph, Johnson went to the Labour conference and wrote a piece reviewing the quality of "the hot totty" who were present. "The unanimous opinion is that what has been called the 'Tottymeter' reading is higher than at any Labour Party conference in living memory," he wrote. He added that: "Time and again the 'Tottymeter' has gone off as a young woman delegate mounts the rostrum." In an attempt to explain the trend of women shifting their allegiances to the Labour party, Johnson suggested that it was either due to the party's "planned erosion of male liberty — such as ending the right to drink in public places," or because of "Labour's most bizarre promise, that women will be more promiscuous if Mr Blair comes to power." However, he concluded that the real reason women are turning to Labour is because of their natural "fickleness." "The real reason why Blackpool is buzzing with glamorous women is surely that they scent victory. It is not the great smell of Brut that makes John Prescott attractive. It is the whiff of power. With the fickleness of their sex, they are following the polls." 'Emotional' women are often 'blubbing blondes' or 'collapsing with emotion' Johnson also brought his admiration for "hot totty" into the office, pinning a Pirelli calendar to his desk, which featured nude photography, despite complaints from female colleagues. Boasting of his decision, Johnson told Telegraph readers that the calendar "caused something of a stir." "They made women feel embarrassed, I was told," he wrote. "I'd hate to stand next to some guy and try to get my point across while May was on display," said one woman. 'Just pat her on the bottom and send her on her way' In a farewell piece in the Spectator marking his exit as editor, Johnson offered the following advice to his successor. "Once the fire is going well, you may find your eyes drifting to the lovely striped chesterfield across the room. Is it the right size, you wonder, for a snooze. . . ?" he wrote. "You come round in a panic, to find a lustrous pair of black eyes staring down at you. Relax. It's only Kimberly [Quinn, who was then the Spectator's publisher] with some helpful suggestions for boosting circulation." He advised his successor to "just pat her on the bottom and send her on her way." This attitude towards women was a recurring motif in his writing. As Sonia Purnell, a former colleague of Johnson, noted in her biography of him: "In his writing women were portrayed as rather feeble 'blubbing blondes' or 'collapsing with emotion ...'" In an article complaining about the reaction to Diana's death, Johnson lamented: "We live in an age where feminism is a fact, where giving vent to emotion in public wins votes." "The Princess is a symbol for every woman who ever felt wronged by a man." He once said, 'Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts' Johnson's use of sexual imagery about women was most prominently displayed in his GQ motoring column, in which he reviewed his favourite 'babe magnet' cars. As Purnell noted in her biography:
"The reviews relied on words such as 'filly', 'chicks' and 'flapping kimonos' and were garnished with plenty of 'gearstick' gags ... There is talk of blonde drivers 'waggling their rumps,' his own superior horsepower 'taking them from behind,' aided by tantalising thoughts of the imaginary 'ample bosoms' of the female Sat Nav voice." "On driving a Ferrari F340, he wrote: 'it was as though the whole county of Hampshire was lying back and opening her well-bred legs to be ravished by the Italian stallion."
Boris's use of phrases like "ample bosoms" — to describe the female voice of a satnav — carried over into his political career. In 2005, while campaigning to become the Conservative MP for Henley in the general election, he told voters that "voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts." And in 2012, while hosting the London Olympics as mayor, Johnson told his readers of the "magnificent" experience of watching "semi-naked women playing beach volleyball ... glistening like wet otters." Female Malaysian students only want 'men to marry' In 2013, Johnson launched the World Islamic Economic Forum at London's City Hall. The then-mayor appeared alongside the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was asked about the role of women in Islamic societies. Razak told journalists: "Before coming here my officials have told me that the latest university intake in Malaysia, a Muslim country, 68% will be women entering our universities." Boris interrupted with the suggestion that: "They've got to find men to marry." You can listen to the recording here:
Homosexuality: 'Labour's appalling agenda, encouraging the teaching of homosexuality in schools' Writing in the Spectator in 2000, Johnson attacked what he called "Labour's appalling agenda, encouraging the teaching of homosexuality in schools, and all the rest of it." In his 2001 book "Friends, Voters, Countrymen," Johnson compared gay marriage to bestiality, writing that "If gay marriage was OK – and I was uncertain on the issue – then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog." As Business Insider previously revealed, in a 1998 Telegraph column about Peter Mandelson's resignation from the Labour government, Johnson said the announcement would lead to the blubbing of "tank-topped bumboys" in "the Ministry of Sound" nightclub, and "the soft-lit Soho drinking clubs frequented by Mandy and his pals." He added that Mandelson's departure would cause the "lipstick" to come away from Blair's government. In a separate Telegraph column Johnson also bewailed attempts to increase equality at the BBC for gay people. "It must be a spoof," he wrote. "In my hand was a magazine from something called the BBC Resources Equal Opportunities Unit. There were letters from gays asking about their "partner's" right to a BBC pension." African people: 'taken out of context' Writing in the Telegraph in 2002, Johnson referred to a visit to Africa by the then prime minister Tony Blair. "What a relief it must be for Blair to get out of England. 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," he wrote, referring to African people as having "watermelon smiles." Confronted about the comment during his first campaign for London Mayor, Johnson claimed that the comments had been "taken out of context."
Comparing Muslim women to 'letterboxes' Boris Johnson was in 2018 reported to the Equalities Commission after comparing Muslim women who wear burqas to "letter boxes" and bank robbers. He wrote in an article for the Telegraph that "it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes," adding that any female student who appeared at school or in a lecture "looking like a bank robber" should be asked to remove it. It is not the first time that Johnson has been accused of Islamophobia. Islamophobia is 'a natural reaction' In 2005, Johnson wrote in the Spectator that he believed it was only "natural" for the public to be scared of Islam. "To any non-Muslim reader of the Koran, Islamophobia — fear of Islam — seems a natural reaction, and, indeed, exactly what that text is intended to provoke," he wrote. "Judged purely on its scripture — to say nothing of what is preached in the mosques — it is the most viciously sectarian of all religions in its heartlessness towards unbelievers." 'Islam is the problem'
In the wake of the London bombings, he also questioned the loyalty of British Muslims and insisted that the country must accept that "Islam is the problem." "It will take a huge effort of courage and skill to win round the many thousands of British Muslims who are in a similar state of alienation, and to make them see that their faith must be compatible with British values and with loyalty to Britain," he wrote. "That means disposing of the first taboo, and accepting that the problem is Islam. Islam is the problem." He added: "What is going on in these mosques and madrasas? When is someone going to get 18th century on Islam's medieval ass?"Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A law professor weighs in on how Trump could beat impeachment
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Cummings’ strategy under fire after exit of adviser who argued intelligence is linked to raceDowning Street...Cummings’ strategy under fire after exit of adviser who argued intelligence is linked to raceDowning Street has come under intense pressure to say whether it vetted a No 10 adviser who argued that intelligence is linked to race, amid fresh questions about chief aide Dominic Cummings’ drive to employ “misfits and weirdos” to work under him.A day after Andrew Sabisky said he would step down as a “contractor” to Downing Street because of the furore about his posts online, Labour wrote to Boris Johnson asking him to explain how the appointment was made, and whether the prime minister agreed with Sabisky’s views. Continue reading...
Boris Johnson said UK's poorest communities are made-up of 'chavs,' 'burglars,' 'drug addicts,' and 'losers'
Boris Johnson wrote that Britain's poorest communities "[supply] us with the chavs, the losers, the burglars,...Boris Johnson wrote that Britain's poorest communities "[supply] us with the chavs, the losers, the burglars, the drug addicts..." In a newspaper column from 2005 unearthed by Business Insider, Johnson claimed that the poorest 20% live on "run-down estates" and only vote for Labour in the "deluded hope of bigger hand-outs." Johnson also suggested in 2013 that economic inequality was inevitable due to lower intelligence among low-earners. Labour's David Lammy accused the prime minister of showing 'disdain for working-class people.' Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Boris Johnson wrote that the poorest 20% of British society is made-up of "chavs," "losers," "burglars," "drug addicts," and "criminals," in a newspaper column unearthed by Business Insider. Johnson, who was a Conservative MP and editor of the Spectator magazine at the time, wrote in the Telegraph in 2005 that poorer voters who live on "run-down estates," only continued to vote for Labour due to the "deluded hope of bigger hand-outs." He added that this "bottom" one-fifth of British citizens "supplies us with the chavs, the losers, the burglars, the drug addicts and the 70,000 people who are lost in our prisons and learning nothing except how to become more effective criminals." In an aside aimed at his political opponents, he said that some Labour MPs only wanted to ban the smacking of children due to their "revulsion when they see a chav belting her kids in the supermarket." Earlier this week, it emerged that Johnson had labelled the children of single mothers "ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate," and accused their fathers of being too "feeble" to "take control of [their] woman." Labour's David Lammy told Business Insider that Johnson's comments revealed a "disdain for working-class people across the UK." "Before becoming Prime Minister, Johnson used the privilege of high profile newspaper columns to spew bigoted abuse at Muslim women, black people, single mothers, working-class people and other groups. "This history makes him unfit to be Prime Minister, especially at a time when our country is divided and desperately needs to come back together again." The Conservative Party were contacted for comment. Poverty is caused by low intelligence Johnson has also previously claimed that income inequality may be inevitable due to the lower intelligence of some poorer people. "Whatever you may think of the value of IQ tests," Johnson told the Centre for Policy Studies in 2013, "it is surely relevant to a conversation about inequality that as many as 16 per cent of our species have an IQ below 85 while about 2 per cent have an IQ above 130," Johnson argued that "I don't believe that economic equality is possible" because "human beings who are far from equal in raw ability." Johnson refuses to apologise for offensive comments Johnson has been dogged for decades by criticism about the offensive comments he has made about groups including Muslims, black people and gay people. As Business Insider previously revealed, in a 1998 Telegraph column about Peter Mandelson's resignation from the Labour government, Johnson said the announcement would lead to the blubbing of "tank-topped bumboys" in "the Ministry of Sound" nightclub, and "the soft-lit Soho drinking clubs frequented by Mandy and his pals." He added that Mandelson's departure would cause the "lipstick" to come away from Blair's government. In a separate Telegraph column, Johnson also bewailed attempts to increase equality at the BBC for gay people. "It must be a spoof," he wrote. "In my hand was a magazine from something called the BBC Resources Equal Opportunities Unit. There were letters from gays asking about their "partner's" right to a BBC pension." In his 2001 book "Friends, Voters, Countrymen," Johnson compared gay marriage to bestiality, writing that "if gay marriage was OK – and I was uncertain on the issue – then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog." Asked about his record on Friday, Johnson refused to apologise and told LBC that his past comments had been taken out of context and were "absolute distortions" of what he had written. "You just need to go back and look at the context," he told LBC's Nick Ferrari. "So much of this stuff is disinterred with a view to distracting from the basic issues of this election."Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope
Prime Minister Boris Johnson intends to hold a general election in the UK before Christmas. Johnson's...Prime Minister Boris Johnson intends to hold a general election in the UK before Christmas. Johnson's Conservative Party appears to be the favourite to win an early poll. However, there are multiple reasons to believe that an election might not go Johnson's way. Here's why a snap general election could backfire for the prime minister and end up putting Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will on Monday call for a vote in Parliament on whether to hold a general election before Christmas. If opposition parties back Johnson's election bid, British voters will go back to the polls on December 12. Recent opinion polls suggest Johnson's Conservative Party is the favourite to win such an election. However, victory is far from guaranteed, and there are lots of reasons to believe that Johnson's election bid might badly backfire. Here's how Johnson could end up losing the election he spent so long fighting for — and put Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street. Johnson is in a weaker position than Theresa May was in 2017 When Prime Minister Theresa May called a general election in 2017, she already held a small majority over Corbyn's Labour Party, and polls put her as much as 25 points ahead. However, by the end of that election campaign, Corbyn's party was neck and neck with May's Conservatives, meaning she lost her majority in Parliament. Johnson, by contrast, would enter this campaign with no majority and with much smaller leads, of as little as 4 points, some recent polls have found. Some other polls have found significantly bigger leads for Johnson, of up to 15 points. However, there remain significant doubts about whether Johnson's polling leads are large enough to withstand a general-election campaign, in which his party's almost 10 years in power would again be under the spotlight. Johnson's election message could fail May fought the 2017 general election on a ticket of securing a large enough majority to deliver Brexit. Her pitch — that voters should hand her enough members of Parliament to get the job done — was ultimately unsuccessful. Many voters backed Corbyn's alternative pitch of increasing spending on public services. Johnson's message is almost identical to May's, but arguably even less compelling. In recent days, Johnson has claimed that Parliament has passed his deal, while simultaneously accusing it of blocking his deal, while saying he needs to delay passing his deal in order to hold an election, after which he could pass his deal. .@BorisJohnson says a "great" #Brexit deal is on the table and it's now up to @jeremycorbyn to decide whether he wants to "get the deal done or not". The PM adds that a Brexit delay will be given, if Labour agree to a general election. Latest here: https://t.co/pcjbexgibp pic.twitter.com/z1AGQdu80k — Sky News (@SkyNews) October 25, 2019 This is not a particularly coherent pitch to voters, many of whom are already utterly bewildered and frustrated with the Brexit process. By resuscitating May's failed pitch to voters, Johnson risks ending up with a similarly disappointing result. However, Johnson's campaign believes there is one significant difference between now and the 2017 election. The 'remain' vote is heavily split In 2017, Labour succeeded in largely uniting anti-Brexit voters behind it. But this coalition of support has collapsed in recent months, with younger metropolitan voters turning instead to the more explicitly anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats. This means that even if Johnson performs significantly worse in voting-percentage terms than May, he could still end up with a sizeable majority by virtue of these voters being so heavily split between his opponents. But there is a big caveat to this assumption. The 'remain' vote is now much more efficiently distributed A fascinating Twitter thread by an Oxford University political researcher earlier this month suggested that Johnson's success in uniting the pro-Brexit vote might not translate into an actual lead in terms of seats. Why a split anti-Brexit vote may not be as good for the Conservatives as we assume. A thread (1) — Leonardo Carella (@leonardocarella) October 2, 2019 Leonardo Carella's theory — which was illustrated with a deep, graphical dive into recent electoral data — suggests that the pro-Brexit vote in the UK is now much less efficiently distributed around the country than the "remain" vote. To put it in simpler terms: Pro-Brexit parties appear to be competing for the same votes in the same parts of the country, whereas more pro-EU parties are stronger in different parts of the UK. So while the split in the "remain" vote might appear to benefit the Conservatives in national vote share, that may not fully manifest as seats on a local level. If you add to this the possibility of digitally organised tactical voting among "remain" voters, the political landscape does not look quite as advantageous to Johnson as it first appears. Johnson will have to gain lots of ground just to stand still This effect could be heightened for Johnson in certain parts of the UK. Recent polls in Scotland suggest Johnson is set to lose significant numbers of seats north of the border. Other national polls suggest the Liberal Democrats would pick up several seats from Johnson's party in southern England. This means that just to emerge with the same number of seats in Parliament he has, Johnson would need to make up every one of those lost seats, with additional seats taken from Labour. If Labour's national vote remains at its current level in the polls, this may well be possible. However, if Johnson hopes to regain a majority, he will need to win seats from Labour that have not been won by the Conservative Party for decades, if ever. The Labour voters Johnson needs could prove too difficult to budge An interesting poll conducted earlier this month found that the sort of Labour voters Johnson would need to target were actually motivated much more by issues such as the state of public services and cost of living than they were by Brexit. That's why Johnson has spent so much time in recent months touring hospitals and announcing spending increases, in a bid to attract voters in the sort of northern Labour seats he needs to win a majority. However, persuading these voters to back the Conservatives, after 10 years of spending cuts under a Conservative government, may prove simply too difficult. Johnson's campaign could be wrecked by scandal There are four investigations underway into Johnson's relationship with the tech entrepreneur and former model Jennifer Arcuri. The prime minister has been accused of wrongly giving Arcuri access to foreign trade missions and public grants while he was the mayor of London. City Hall has yet to complete its investigation into the issue, and if more serious claims against Johnson emerge soon, they'd dominate the campaign and put Johnson's election hopes at risk. So while Johnson remains the favourite to win an election, there remain plenty of reasons to doubt that he can pull off the sort of victory he is aiming for.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Animated map shows where American accents came from