I hold no brief for Boorish Johnson. It is old news to say that he is a self-seeking politician, who will do anything to further his own interests. I have to say that to set in context the rest of this post.
In an article in the Daily Telegraph he challenged the wisdom of Denmark in banning clothing which covered a woman’s face and expressed his opposition to any similar move in the UK. He was right to do so. British citizens living in the UK can, within the laws governing public decency, wear whatever they want. That right overrides any questions of good taste or inviting hostile comment, and long may it continue to do so.
The tousle-haired child went on to say that women who covered their bodies from head to toe looked like letter boxes and bank robbers. Commissioner Cressida Dick of the Metropolitan Police has said that in doing so he committed no crime under the UK’s laws on inciting racial or religious hatred. What he has done is no more than exercise the right of us all to poke fun at other people’s appearance, a right of which he himself is a frequent victim. Are we not to be allowed to laugh at some of the absurdities of the dedicated followers of fashion, at the antiquated sartorial choices of the Prince of Wales and Jacob Rees-Mogg, or at the red trousers and check jackets of the land-owning class (or those who aspire to join it)? To isolate any one group from such comment is surely a greater act of discrimination than allowing them to be subject to the same ridicule to which we are all vulnerable.