OPEN LETTER To Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
Dear Mr Johnson,
I notice that inspite of the embarrassing resignation of one of your aides; you have been being quoted in a favourable light in some of the papers today. The Evening Standard mentions you speaking of “...my passionate belief that racism is vile, repulsive and has no place in modern Britain.” (P8 23/6/2008) and both the Standard and the Guardian cite “...clear and unambiguous opposition to any racist tendencies.” (Guardian p.6).
Opposition to racism is supported by most Londoners, and Greens and Trades Unionists from all over the world, but what many of us would like to know is how you square, laudable statements such as the above, with the instruction reported to be emanating from City Hall that the Rise festival will no longer have “anti-racism as its central message and ordering the dropping of the message "London united against racism" and all reference to opposing racism.
If such a directive has actually been issued with your authority I suggest that you withdraw it forthwith and publicise this as widely as possible, since it sends a very dangerous message at a time when the BNP has just managed to get a GLA rep elected. At such a time it is hardly credible to maintain that you oppose racism but no longer believe that it is a serious problem in London, so unless you reverse the ill-advised tinkering with the Rise festival and its anti-racist ethos, your words about racism will just seem like so much pious claptrap.
Just like New Labour spin. I’m sure that you wouldn’t want that.
Secretary Green Party TU Group