|No buffoon - Johnson advocated passionately for Turkish entry to the EU|
The former Mayor has never been one for consistency, but his current incarnation, heading up a team that yesterday put out a broadcast scaremongering about the currently non-existent prospect of Turkey joining the EU and millions of Turks suddenly deciding to use the British NHS is a breathtaking piece of cold, calculating re-invention.
|What would Grandpa think? Ali Kemal|
These are not throwaway remarks and are fully recorded in his own words.
Consider these comments:
The French object to the Turks because of the Armenian massacres, as though France were guiltless herself. Brussels occasionally launches another of its sermons about gender equality, though it should be remembered that Turkey gave women the vote before Belgium.
We need reconciliation, not repulsion. We need reciprocity, not rejection. Instead of intensifying the differences, by burbling on about alien “values”, we should see that we are coming to a critical moment in our discussions with Turkey. We either shore up the Ataturk achievement, and reinforce Turkey’s huge success in becoming a secular democracy with a Muslim population. Or we wrinkle up our noses at the Turks because of their religion.
And if we do, what are we saying to moderate Muslims all over the world? What are we saying to those who believe it is possible to make an accommodation between Islam and democracy? What are we saying to the millions of Muslims who have made their homes and lives in western Europe, including Britain? Are they a kind of geographical error?
Should they be barred, by their alien “culture”, from living here? We would be crazy to reject Turkey, which is not only the former heartland of the Roman empire but also, I see, one of the leading suppliers of British fridges. One Turkish company alone has 15 per cent of the UK fridge market.
Think of all those Turkish fridges, thundering through the passes of the Balkans to Germany and Britain. Think of the intimate interdependency it sets up between the workers of Turkey and the kitchens of Britain.
Think of the colossal numbers of Britons now buying property in Turkey.
Granted, Johnson cautions against unlimited migration, but as well as wanting Turkey in the EU, Boris gushingly appears to anticipate welcoming North African countries into economic union too:
One day, if we get it right with Turkey, we could rebuild the whole ancient harmonious union around the Mediterranean, the rich and free dissemination of produce described by Henri Pirenne, from the Straits of Gibraltar to the Bosphorus; from Tunis to Lyons.
We could heal the rupture created by the Muslim invasions. We could create, once again, the Roman Economic Community built around Mare Nostrum.
Over time, we need to develop a new and deeper relationship between the EU and the Maghreb countries of North Africa, based on the old Roman idea of tolerance.
You don't need to take my word for it. You can read it in his 2007 book, The Dream of Rome, (published by Harper Perennial) or, rather than spend money on that, you can even now read it on his own website, http://www.boris-johnson.com/2007/02/27/dream-of-rome-turkey/
Buzzfeed have a link to him making similar comments in his TV documentary of the same name, HERE.
So, what does Boris really think? What is his abiding belief?
Ah yes - that he should be the next Prime Minister.