You may have seen the headlines about Boris Johnson’s comments regarding women in burqas. He said that they looked like ‘letter boxes’ and ‘bank robbers’. It’s bad enough that a former Minister of State should say these things in a newspaper but there’s even worse.
A source ‘close to’ Boris Johnson has said, ‘It’s ridiculous these views are being attacked – we mustn’t fall into the trap of shutting down debate on difficult issues.’ What Boris said wasn’t contributing to a debate he was being offensive. If Jeremy Corbyn had said something similar about orthodox Jews wearing payots there would have been outrage.
It gets worse though, the ‘source’ went on to say, ‘We have to call it out. If we fail to speak up for liberal values then we’re simply yielding ground to reactionaries and extremists.’ Boris Johnson may not like it but, if a woman wants to wear a burqa, she has every right to. Boris Johnson wasn’t speaking up for ‘liberal values’.
In the preamble to the Liberal Democrats Constitution it states, ‘The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity… Upholding these values of individual and social justice, we reject all prejudice and discrimination based upon race, colour, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation and oppose all forms of entrenched privilege and inequality.’
Those are liberal values. Boris Johnson is just an embarrassment.