British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson claimed today that he won’t ‘take a knee’ for Black Lives Matter because he ‘doesn’t believe in making gestures’.
Johnson, who clapped for the NHS on Thursdays throughout the Coronavirus crisis despite ten years of systematic efforts by his party to dismantle and privatise the NHS, is well known for making metaphorical and empty gestures.
He once wielded a brick during a Conservative party conference to highlight his desire to build more houses then went on to fail to meet all house building targets for the first part of 2020.
In 2012 Johnson performed a zip-wire stunt in a gesture to celebrate Britain’s first Olympic gold medal and in 2019 he held aloft a kipper in a bizarre attempt to highlight his misgivings over health and safety red-tape.
Political analyst Dave Halpin said, “this is a man who spent £900,000 painting a plane with the Union Jack when the country and most of its workforce is in dire financial straits. If this isn’t one of the emptiest of political gestures I don’t know what is.”
Johnson claimed that taking the knee was a form of ‘bullying’ and claimed that many police officers who chose not to take the knee were made to feel uncomfortable in making that choice.
“And so they bloody should feel uncomfortable,” Halpin said. “Is observing a minute silence a form of bullying? Is clapping for the NHS a form of bullying? This is an opportunity for those in high office to lead by example.”
“It isn’t a fence sitting issue, or an issue that can be rebranded as ‘bullying’ or ‘gesture politics’. It’s a yes or no question. Do you support BLM or don’t you? And if you’re saying no when you’re the Prime Minister of the nation, there should be a damn good reason why.”
Johnson, who has made a number of bigoted and racist remarks during his political career, has written numerous bigoted and racist articles during his time as a journalist, and is the author of a work of fiction containing extreme racial slurs, said on an LBC interview that he ‘thinks about this a lot’ in reference to inequality issues and a lack of black people in high paying jobs.