Analysis comment

Video: Number 10 slaps down Cabinet minister for saying govt disagrees with adviser’s race-IQ comments

Grant Shapps distances himself and government from racist comments – but Johnson’s office says ‘speak for yourself’

Odd one out? Grant Shapps, according to Downing Street

Downing Street has slapped down a Cabinet minister who said that neither he nor the government agreed with the views of controversial – and now ex – adviser Andrew Sabisky.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said during an interview that Sabisky’s views on black people and the poor were not Shapps’ views nor those of the government.

But Downing Street quickly issued a statement saying that Shapps was speaking only for himself – and when asked directly whether Boris Johnson agreed with Sabisky’s views, Johnson’s office declined to answer:

Downing Street’s refusal to distance itself from Sabisky’s comments are not too surprising. Dominic Cummings, the man behind Sabisky’s appointment, has also been criticised for his ‘eugenics’ views – and indeed one of Sabisky’s most controversial comments was made in response to a Cummings article.

Boris Johnson’s equally-criticised novel Seventy-Two Virgins also hints that his views might not be a million miles away, as a Twitter user pointed out:

Shapps should be commended for wanting to put himself as far away from Sabisky’s comments as possible. People have every right to be deeply worried that Boris Johnson and his handler not only opted not to do the same but slapped down Shapps for including them when he did so.

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  1. The historical parallels used to be funny.
    Now they’re positively frightening.

  2. Now, here’s the thing to contemplate :

    How many of those ‘Labour Heartland’ SunMail voters will see this as good ‘ole ‘plain speaking’ by good ‘ole Boris the Lad?

      1. What an intellect! What perception! What eloquence!

        A Thatcher child indeed!

      2. john thatcher – if not a sop to their ‘new voters’ – to what do you attribute No.10’s new-found confidence in showing their true colours?

      3. You have no place on here. Take your foul mouth somewhere else.

      4. John Thatcher
        I’m with RH on this, fuck em,
        Sooner we accept demographics and clear out those who would join the race to the bottom,
        Red Tories call it triangulation
        Cheap and nasties play to their base

      5. Had RH confined himself to pointing to the dog whistle appeal to the racism which is sadly an undeniable element in British and particularly English society I would have agreed,but the silly reference to the “Labour Heartland” meant that RH couldn’t abandon his obsession with the EU,even when dealing with this serious matter.Also RH perhaps you would tell us how many Labour voters read the Mail in the “Labour Heartlands”.Oh,and quit the the intellectual sneering,you aren’t half clever enough to carry it off.

      6. Obviously I touched a sensitive nerve in responding to your incoherent rattle-throwing.

        My cynicism about the term ‘Labour Heartlands’ wasn’t actually primarily about Brexit – and I didn’t mention it. Nor did I mention racism.

        It’s about the tendency to impose a mythology on particular areas of the country and (a) flatter a certain group of Tory voters and their MSM-fed delusions whilst imagining (b) that the Tory vote in the old industrial areas is a new phenomenon. It isn’t, and the working class vote has been about 50% Tory for some time.

        Anyone who has lived in and door-stepped in these areas has no illusions about the mythological nature of the ‘Core Vote’ of past times- and the effect of a propagandized press shaping attitudes which attitudes – like it or not – are Tory attitudes.

        Scotland was a forewarning. Head in the sands of time isn’t a political strategy.

      7. Notice how quickly his side-kicks all pile in John. They do it all the time! Yeah, they just HAPPENED to come on to the site a few minutes later! Purely coincidental of course! And it’s more than a little amusing that ‘Tim Draper’ fires off about swearing on here, when various posters use the F word practically every day! And even the C word on occasion, but I don’t recall Tim jumping in and castigating them!!

  3. It reminds me of the comments from Andy Wigmore and Arron Banks who said you don’t win arguments using facts you win them using emotion.

    As RH said above, the racist comments of Sabisky and Johnson will and did appeal to many in the Labour heartlands and elsewhere, when there was a deliberate undercurrent of racism used to ‘win’ the referendum.

  4. Worrying that when even the Daily Mail call Sabiskys comments racist BBC radio 4 this morning continually prevaricated and called them “controversial”.

  5. Presumably the No 10 source slapping down GS was DC himself? It sends that all important message, Johnson is on the side of the White Brit, Vote Tory.

  6. Previous Tory intakes at least had the grace to pretend in public that they weren’t racists and fascists – in private they didn’t bother – I saw & heard them watching football at a con club once.
    Unfortunately too many in the country at large think the same way.
    Cumminge presumably thinks a bit of overt racism helps their credibility with their new voters.

    1. “Cumminge presumably thinks a bit of overt racism helps their credibility with their new voters.”

      Got it in one.

      The sad thing is that, on the basis of evidence, he’s not wrong.

  7. The Torys will soon be running the old “Dis and Dat” movies for the kids,with a bit of Public school Nostalgia when everyone new there place and who their betters are.Almost unbeleivable they have the support of former Labour voters…or is it?

  8. There is an *intentional* strategy here.
    1. – Be seen to NOT shake the hands of any black man;
    2 – Distance HMG from any rejection of ‘controversial’ race/IQ comments.

    Dog whistling to the hard right: We share your racist, sexist, homophobic values.

    Scum talking to Scum.

      1. It might have some relevance, but the fact is that the populist agenda and impact on the susceptible has been mainly shaped by the MSM. The SunMail nexus is far more powerful than dark money.

      2. Yes indeed RH. George Monbiot goes further – the hard-right killer clown administrations in Russia, Brazil, Philippines, India, Bulgaria, USA, Brazil st al) happen because the billionaire class (a few hundred families) have developed a ‘formula’ and – of course. – UK and USA press ownership is a co-factor.

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