No Boris, the BBC are not Boko Haram

Boris Johnson has outdone himself in offensiveness and hyperbole.

Boris Johnson has outdone himself in offensiveness and hyperbole, writes Jenny Jones

Although it’s part of my elected role to scrutinise Boris Johnson, I try not to read his Telegraph articles as they sometimes bring me to the brink of despair that someone so talented, so clever and so funny can write such utter drivel on so many important issues.

And I’d have hoped that if Johnson were to write about Nigeria and the Boko Haram, he’d have mentioned the kidnapped girls, the world’s outcry, and the lacklustre efforts of the Nigerian government to find them.

But instead, he chose to compare the BBC to Boko Haram – for sacking a DJ:

“In our own modest way, we live in a Boko Haram world, where it all depends on the swirling rage of the internet mob, and where terrified bureaucrats and politicians are borne along on a torrent of confected outrage.”

Being abducted by a religious death squad, probably raped and beaten and sold as a ‘wife’ in a market, is the same as getting into trouble for saying the notorious N word, according to the Mayor of London.

Johnson has indeed outdone himself in offensiveness and hyperbole.

I might agree that the BBC is losing the plot and lacks consistency, but his writing that “In our own modest way, we live in a Boko Haram world” is absurd, even if it is (hopefully) being written tongue in cheek. The kidnapping of Nigerian girls by a religious death squad (Boko Haram) is plainly not comparable to the plight of a DJ being sacked by the BBC, nor to Jeremy Clarkson.

Boris Johnson likes to shock and outrage. I’m just irritated. I wish he’d concentrate on the day job of running London and making our lives better.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.