Today five of the Mayor’s little helpers had another go at Boris Johnson in a letter to the Guardian. They all seem to represent someone but in reality they are a bunch of activists who are in the pay of the Mayor.
Only days after the Mayor said he was trawling through Johnson’s writings BLINK (which as we will see later is actually funded by the Mayor), Doreen Lawrence and two Labour MPs, Diane Abbot and Dawn Butler, were all using the same material to rubbish Johnson.
They are using the same old trick that left-wingers always use on anyone with an opinion. Take what they say, chop it into little pieces and then quote them out of context. No room for complexity. No room for humour. No room for sailing close to the wind. No room for mistakes even. Every statement must be exhaustively tested to ensure that it could not possibly be misconstrued or cause offence to anyone. This one little article in the Telegraph five years ago is the genesis of much of this ire. The last person I heard using the word piccaninny was Darkus Howe so I am not sure it is that offensive unless we are back in the realm of only certain people can say certain things.
Back to the five signatories of the Guardian letter this morning – who are they? The first three (Chouhan – left, Walters and Woolley) are all officers of the Black Londoners Forum. This organisation has received £100Ks from the Mayor and all three are bought and paid for. Chouhan calls herself Chief Executive of The 1990 Trust which received £100K of GLA funding in September 2005. BLINK is an online publication of The 1990 Trust.
Woolley (right) also runs Operation Black Vote which again receives large amounts of GLA and central government funding. Woolley and Chouhan have both been speakers at GLA conferences for which I think we can assume they received fees. Chouhan is also an executive member of the National Association Against Racism, another body that receives GLA funding.
The two Muslim activists are both what most people would call extremists. Massoud Shadjareh (left) speaks at Hizb-ut-Tahrir marches and is the so-called chair of the Islamic Human Rights Commission which seems quite capable of slagging off the US, UK and Israel but has nothing to say of the excessive use of capital punishment in Iran. He can be heard here leading the crowd at the Al-Quds march on 1st December 2002 in chanting “Down, down Israel”. If you think 5 years ago is water under the bridge then what do you think of him speaking at the Hizb-ut-Tahrir US Embassy protest in January this year?
Mohammad Sawalha, President of British Muslim Initiative, is a Palestinian living in London and is described by Melanie Philips as a “fugitive Hamas commander”. This does not stop Livingstone embracing him as part of his steering group for the Coalition to Defend Religious and Cultural Expression.