Has Ken ever been known to apologise for anything? To Oliver Finegold? To the Reuben Brothers? To the gay and Jewish communities, whom he deeply offended by working for Press TV? To Eddie Lister? To the parents of the murdered teenagers, whose feelings he trampled over when he said “If it bleeds, it leads?” A diverse city like London more than anything needs a Mayor, who will unite us all as Londoners. Under peace loving, freedom loving Boris Johnson, that is happening. Ken sees the Mayoralty as a platform for his extremist views, and to hell with the consequences.
Boris wants all religions to pray together, and urges us to mentor and volunteer to help others. Ken seems determined to remind us endlessly of religious differences and the most painful episodes in our history. It is true that some of Ken’s worst remarks were six years ago,but he has never apologised. On the contrary, in spite of being suspended as Mayor and bringing his office into disrepute, he carries on doing it. He delights in stirring up friction, like the spiteful adolescent out to wreck a happy family occasion.
Spraying insults around like machine gun bullets, does Ken even care about the innocent victims caught in the crossfire? Does it ever cross his mind that if you aspire to run a great city, you should guard your tongue? Does it occur to him that leaders need to inspire by example and any Mayor who spews out racial abuse is subtly inciting the capital to violence?
The nation was hugely uplifted by the Royal Wedding, and Boris was a sight for sore eyes in morning dress and a beautiful pale grey waistcoat and tie, exuding bonhomie, as he treated crowds to drinks in Hyde Park afterwards. Ken, like the evil imp at the Wedding, gave the impression he was dying for something to go wrong to wreck it all, and his sole contribution was to sniffily hint that there might be massive tube closures on the day.
Politics is a passionate business and we have all said the wrong thing from time to time, gone too far, hurt peoples’ feelings. I am no exception, but I am deeply sorry if I hurt anyone. It is not hard to say sorry, even if you believe you are in the right, because life can be painful enough.
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God” says Matthew 5.9 (King James Bible). “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” says Buddha. Boris Johnson is fundamentally a peacemaker and a uniter, sensitive to the feelings of other people. Ken is the opposite of all that.
If optimistic Boris is the face of London’s bright future, Ken is its dark underbelly, redolent of dodgy dealings and strife. In the words of the song by Elton John: “It’s sad, so sad. It’s a sad, sad situation.
And it’s getting more and more absurd. It’s sad, so sad
Why can’t we talk it over? Oh it seems to me
That sorry seems to be the hardest word.”