The argument here is that Boris is deliberately courting the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim right wing. And not just rightwing Tories, but UKIP, the English Defence League, and the utterly deranged lunatic right. He’s ambitious and wants to be in No 10. But the fact is, his culpable behaviour here merely proves he’s not fit for any public office in a multicutural society.
So there is no advantage to him in apologising. He hates May anyway, and even if he did make a perfunctory apology – “I am so sorry you felt insulted by the truth” – he wouldn’t mean it, and no-one in their right minds would accept it.
It is true that Boris has been criticised by the chairman of the Conservative Party, May herself, and other prominent Tories. And the party has decided to hold an investigation of sorts into his comments and attitudes so I can’t argue it’s totally ignoring the issue. Fair enough, one could argue that investigation before action is a reasonable way to proceed, but it is not as though Boris has no history of petty prejudices and bigotries.
The question is whether any actual action will be taken to sanction this boorish bigot, or whether they will just use an investigation to take up time till the fuss dies down. It’s good to see some Tories speak out against Boris, but they are on the liberal end of the party. Most Tories have stayed remarkably silent on the issue, so I am not convinced there is any major swell of revulsion against him.
It’s funny, though, to see those Tories keen to criticise Corbyn and the Labour party for failing to deal with antisemitism fail to criticise Islamophobia in their own party. Some of the criticism of Corbyn has been unfair: I doubt he has an antisemitic bone in his body. On the other hand, one wonders if he has any bones in his body, as he’s been spineless to deal with actual antisemitism. Or Brexit for that matter.
But if we can criticise Labour for not dealing with their bigots properly, we can’t let the Tories off the hook either. Boris has been cavorting with fascists. He has slurred Muslims. He has shown total indifference to the concept of religious and civic freedom. He stomps recklessly on multiculturalism and its denizens, i.e. other human beings.
The Tories should cast him off. Maybe he can make a home in UKIP where he truly belongs.