The Dangers of Boris Johnson

The debate about whether or not Britain should leave the EU (or Brexit, if you want to be cringey about it) has got me seriously considering whether it’s really in our best interests to allow everyone over the age of 18 to vote on the matter.

Most people I know seem woefully ill-equipped to cast a vote on an issue that will have huge social, political and economic ramifications. They know next to nothing about politics and even less about the European Union and what membership of it involves. In the coming months some of them will read around the subject, consider the pro arguments, consider the con arguments and then come to an informed decision. Some of them won’t bother. But most will still vote.

They will be swayed by the media. Be it the Guardian, Loose Women or even Facebook. And they will be influenced by the politicians and celebrities wading into the debate with their passionate and compelling arguments as to why Britain will thrive and all but take over the world if we exit the EU. Or wither away and probably sink into the sea if we dare to go it alone, depending on which camp they are in.

Which brings me to Boris Johnson. Just after he’d made his statement announcing that he would be backing the exit campaign a friend of mine who has very little interest in anything political said to me, ‘I bloomin’ LOVE Boris Johnson’. Yes. LOVE. Usually a politician counts themselves lucky if they are tolerated. Then on Friday night whilst watching Gogglebox I was aghast to hear the hilarious, orange one say the same thing! She loves Boris too. And what’s worse – she trusts him!

I am certain no other politician could compel my friend or the hilarious orange one from Gogglebox to declare feelings of love. Only Boris.

 

Boris Johnson © Wikipedia Creative Commons

 

Good old Boris. Or Bojo, if you prefer. Seemingly bumbling through life on his trusty bicycle, his hair flapping in the wind as he rides through London amongst the people that elected him to be their mayor. Most of whom he should probably have offended one way or another over the years, with his pro-hunting, anti-gay marriage, racist, elitist ramblings.

Except the man seems to be unable to offend because with hair that ridiculous how can anything he says be taken seriously anyway? But it is serious. Politics is serious. The decision on whether or not Britian should be in the EU is serious. And Boris isn’t actually bumbling through life at all. He’s just trying to make it appear that way. It’s part of his brand.

His brand that has become so popular it’s almost as if he is exempt from the standards by which all other politicians are judged. He has shown disdain for homosexuals, for black people, for working class people, for Muslims -basically for anyone that isn’t the same as him – and yet he was still elected to be London Mayor. How the hell did that happen? 

It happened because for some reason, people seem to think that when Boris is bigoted or prejudiced it’s just because he’s quirky. He is just making a stand against that old chestnut ‘political correctness gone mad’.

He’s just being honest.

He’s just saying what he really thinks.

That should be applauded shouldn’t it?

Oh wait, what he really thinks is racist?

Well, it’s just Boris, he doesn’t mean any harm.

Look at his hair! Ha ha ha!

But he is causing harm. Boris wrote that he was scared when he came across groups of black youths in parks and that racism was ‘natural’. Exactly what message was that giving out to society? That we should judge people based on the content of their character? No. That it is ok to judge people based on the colour of their skin. Because that’s what Boris Johnson does.

Owen Jones hit the nail on the head when he said “At the moment if Boris Johnson ran naked smothered in honey down Whitehall – people would go LOL Boris Johnson what a legend”. Utterly disturbing imagery, I know (why honey, Owen? So sticky…) but he’s right.

Boris tapped into a gap in the market for ridiculous, humorous, unkempt looking politicians and ran with it, appearing on programmes like Have I Got News For You and the Jonathan Ross Show to cement his ‘hey, I’m just here to have a laugh’ image and simultaneously peddle his ridiculous views. He actually said that bicycle helmets make no difference to cyclists if they are involved in road traffic accidents on one of those shows. What an idiotic thing to say. Why would he say that? Because it was of benefit to his career, that’s why. The man’s a self-serving imbecile. But a self-serving imbecile with a following.

And I admit, it’s often hard not to smile at some of his more trivial utterances and his posh, cheeky chappy sound-bites. But that’s all they are. Sound-bites. To reel us in.

He has cultivated this image of a say-it-how-it-is, no nonsense, loveable fool and gained a huge following of people who know next to nothing about politics but will vote for Boris because ‘he’s a legend’. They like him. They trust him. And now they will vote to leave the EU because he says we should.  And that is dangerous. Not least because Boris’ reasons for believing Britain should leave the EU seem to be unclear and are probably motivated by his own political ambitions.

Of course Boris isn’t the only high profile figure campaigning in this debate, but he is the most dangerous in my opinion. His title of politician affords him an automatic gravitas that he doesn’t deserve. He’s seen as a “legend” in today’s overused sense of the word, yes, but also an elected MP, so he must know what he’s talking about, right?

Even if he does (which I doubt) what makes people so willing to believe he has their best interests at heart? Why do they trust him? It’s no surprise that Boris ended up in politics. Yet another self-entitled, ex- Etonian, ex- Bullingdon Club, elitist to grace the Tory Party.

Usually such figures (and there are plenty to choose from) just don’t appeal to the average voter and why should they? They’re from another world. But Boris’ apparent likeability (which quite honestly, I can’t fathom) somehow masks all of the characteristics many would usually find pretty loathsome and gives him the added bonus of seeming trustworthy.

I don’t believe Boris has a clue what’s best for Britain in terms of the EU, or most other issues for that matter. That’s not to say he is stupid. To create and promote ‘Brand Boris’ took intelligence and guile and it has paid off. But even if we give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he has got a clue, let’s not be fooled into thinking that he cares about anything other than his own career or that he had the interests of the Great British public in mind when he announced that he would be standing firmly in the exit camp.

And it’s all such a shame for democracy. Yes, I understand that we should all have a say. No, I don’t have a better system to present to you. But can we really be totally comfortable knowing that there are potentially millions of people who know nothing at all about the EU and will be voting on Britain’s future based on the fact that they like Boris and his hair? So far it seems that his statement has made no difference to the polls but one eccentric, well publicised outburst from Boris and all that could change.

Just because you like Boris (and his hair) doesn’t mean he likes you. Or cares about you. He only cares about himself and people just like him. He’s fooling you.

And that’s why he’s so dangerous.

Project 366 – Day… who knows?!

Predictably, I’m woefully behind with Project 366. Once the OCD of keeping up to date wears off, full on laziness sets in. I have a photo from each day, I just haven’t uploaded them yet. 

  
Anyway, here is yesterday’s photo. That’s the 21st February. I’ll have to work out which Project 366 day that is when I catch up. 

Omar looks so different without all of his big bouncy curls. I don’t think I like it. The curls must stay. 

At What Age Should I Leave My Baby Overnight?

It started when my baby was 4 months old – my friends suggesting I leave him for a day and night to hang out with them. They are good friends, great friends, and I have no doubt they believed it would be good for me to be away from my kids for a night. To relax, to eat a meal without being interrupted every 10 seconds and to get some gorgeous, uninterrupted, deep sleep. It does sound good. Especially the sleep part. That sounds marvellous actually.

At 4 months old I wasn’t ready to leave my baby
But it was never going to happen that early on. My baby had a rocky start, which no doubt has made me super cautious with him. But regardless of that, I really don’t think I would’ve been ready to leave him at 4 months old, even if he hadn’t had heart surgery. I wasn’t ready to leave my first baby that early either. So I told my friends that and they accepted it.

My baby is now 7 months old and the issue has come up again and again. My friends and I would excitedly be arranging something through a group text chat and it would dawn on me that they were assuming we would have an overnight stay somewhere. And that I would be fine that. But I’m not. Not yet anyway.

And there’s another issue… my husband works unsociable hours and he wouldn’t be able to look after the kids if I was away for a night, so my mum would have to step in. Can I really ask her to have my baby overnight knowing that he is the world’s worst sleeper and still has at least one night feed? I don’t think I can. That’s assuming she was even free to look after my kids on the night in question. She still works part time and has other commitments that keep her really busy. It’s also assuming that she would agree to have the baby overnight and she won’t, she’s too worried he’ll stop breathing or turn blue.

Still not ready to leave him at 7 months.
But aside from all that, I am just not ready. Even if my mum was itching to have the baby overnight, or there was someone else I trusted to look after him, I’m not ready to leave him for that long. I’m not ready to not put him to bed and I’m not ready to not be there when he wakes.

Am I being clingy? Do I just need to convince my mum to have him overnight, bite the bullet and go? Or is it still too early and my friends just don’t get it? If it is too early, at what age should you leave your baby overnight?

I suppose the answer to the question is, when you’re ready. When you’re ready because you feel your baby’s ready. When your baby wouldn’t be distressed at you not being there. When a night away from your baby wouldn’t just be a huge worry-fest consisting of tears on the drive away and a million calls home. When you would actually be able to enjoy the time away to let your hair down and put yourself first for a little while.

I’m not there yet and I don’t know when I will be but I refuse to give myself a deadline of say 10 months, 1 year or even 2 years. When I feel ready I will leave my baby for a night but not a minute before.

My friends don’t get it, they think I’m being over-protective. They don’t say that but say other things like ‘oh your baby’s a tough cookie, he won’t even notice you’ve gone, don’t be silly…’ etc. They don’t seem to get that it’s me who isn’t ready for a night of separation yet. Or if they do get that, they think it’s totally unreasonable. 

And don’t get me wrong, I know there are some mums (and dads) who leave their baby’s overnight much earlier. Through choice or through necessity. I’m not saying they shouldn’t, or judging them at all. The same way I hope they wouldn’t judge me for not wanting to leave my baby yet. 

  
I don’t think there’s a golden rule when it comes to this issue. Except only leave them when you are ready to. Otherwise the night away won’t be any fun anyway and what’s the point in that? My view is that you may as well bank the babysitting hours for when you are ready to go all out and have a baby-free blast. 

I’d love to hear other people’s views on this. Do you agree with me or am I just being a massive mumbot?

Valentine Bore

  
Am I the only one not feeling the Valentine vibe? I don’t know why but I just can’t get into it. And I usually love an occasion. Any occasion will do – Pancake Day, Halloween, Eid, Christmas – I really get carried away and go to town on the celebrating. I LOVE the seasonal aisle in the supermarket, I love buying tat that will only be used for one day. I love it! I’m a brilliant example of a consumer. I fall for every cheesy advert going. 

But Valentines Day just fails to enthuse me. My Instagram feed tonight is full of photos of couples having romantic meals together and gushing captions about “forever Valentines” and “he still looks at me like he did when we first met”. I can’t get on board. It just makes me cringe. 

  
I was in Tesco on Friday, I saw the cards and what not and just couldn’t be bothered to have a look and choose one to give to my husband. I had even less inclination to think of a gift to get for him. For once I’m actually hoping he hasn’t bothered to get me a card or present either. (The chances of my hopes coming to fruition are very good.)

I briefly, for a split second, considered making one of those voucher books for him today so that I could whip it out on the off chance he does present me with a gift. You know the type of thing – ‘IOU breakfast in bed’, ‘IOU [insert an activity you really don’t want to do but occasionally feel you have to out of a sense of duty]’. Needless to say I thought better of it and ditched the idea. 

Am I just a hardened old hag who’s lost all of her sense of romance?! I really can’t work out why I’m not scattering rose petals about the place and demanding we exchange cards and presents whilst taking Instagram friendly photos. It’s a mystery. 

Little Snoopy Bargain! (Project 366 – Day 39)

  
Not the best photo of Zaki but how cute is this jumper?! My sister found it in H&M for the bargainous sum of £1! Yep, one English pound! 

We had a Snoopy video we watched over and over again when we were kids (although in hindsight it was really weird – Snoopy had a row with Charlie Brown, ran away from home, ended up encountering loads of ‘No Dogs Allowed’ signs and moved in with a girl who made him wear a dress and have tea parties.) But anyway, I’ve had a soft spot for Snoopy since then so I totes love this jumper.

Here’s hoping my sisters finds more £1 Snoopy bargains!
  

Swimming Lesson! (Project 366 – Day 38)

  

At Zaki’s last check up with his cardiologist he was given the all clear to go swimming so I bit the bullet and booked a course of swimming lessons for both boys with Puddle Ducks. 

My first impressions were good and both Omar and Zaki had a whale of a time. Omar really surprised me by following the instructions well and not having any tantrums at all, even when he got dunked! (By the instructor, not by me, although I was considering it.)

I’ll blog more about Puddle Ducks once we’ve been a few more times but I’m really hoping the boys continue to love it. So far so good!  

Rusky Business (Project 366 – Day 37)

  

I know it’s not the done thing these days to give your baby a rusk but Zaki had one and he absolutely loved it! He was making all kinds of appreciative chomping noises and actually cried when he’d finished it, haha!

Weaning has been more difficult with Zaki than it was with Omar. To start with he wasn’t keen on solids AT ALL. He would spit everything out and screw his face up. After about 3 weeks he got used to eating and would tolerate it but still wouldn’t put anything in his mouth of his own accord, so baby led weaning was out. 

5 weeks on and the situation is much easier now. He will happily gnaw away on toast, banana, courgettes and of course rusks!