Saturday, 3 May 2008

See what I mean

Boris Johnson in his own words

The wannabe (and now actual) mayor on race, sex and politics

On homosexuality
"Gay marriage can only ever be a ludicrous parody of the real thing." · Daily Telegraph, 2005

"If gay marriage was OK - and I was uncertain on the issue - then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men; or indeed three men and a dog."· From his book, Friends, Voters, Countrymen, 2001

"We don't want our children being taught some rubbish about homosexual marriage being the same as normal marriage, and that is why I am more than happy to support Section 28." · Daily Telegraph, 2000

"The clerics gave us [journalists] a wigging for being so mean to the Church of England ... Why did we draw attention to tricky subjects like homosexuality, aka the Pulpit Poofs issue?"· The Spectator, 2000

"I'm not bisexual so far ... not that I would condemn myself if I later discovered I were."· Daily Telegraph, 2008

On Africa
"No doubt the AK47s will fall silent, the pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh, and the tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer-funded bird."· In 2002, on Tony Blair's visit to the Democratic of Republic of Congo, Daily Telegraph

"Right, let's go and look at some more piccaninnies."· Reported remark, while visiting Uganda, to Swedish Unicef workers and their black driver, the Observer, 2003

On the Commonwealth
"It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies."· Daily Telegraph, 2002

On failing to recognise his Filipina housekeeper
"When our housekeeper appeared on stage in her hot pink strapless number [as a finalist of the Mrs Philippines 2005 contest in London], I failed at first to recognise her, surrounded as she was by 10 other Filipina mums, each shimmering in every shade from fuchsia to Germolene ... Was that Luz, the No 6, the one with the cleavage? Or was she No 5, with the smile? Surely she wasn't No 11, the one with the legs. No: wait - that was her, with her hair up. No 8! 'We want eight,' we screamed, and waved at good old Luz, a woman who has been exposed to the full horror of the Johnson family washing and yet contrived to look little short of $1m. · The Spectator, 2005

On his prospects
"My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive."· The Independent, 2004

George Bush and Iraq
"He liberated Iraq. It is good enough for me."· Daily Telegraph, 2004

"The Americans were perfectly happy to go ahead and whack Saddam merely on the grounds that he was a bad guy, and that Iraq and the world would be better off without him; and so indeed was I." · Daily Telegraph, 2003

On Islam
"The most viciously sectarian of all religions in its heartlessness towards unbelievers."· The Spectator, 2005

On race
"I'm down with the ethnics. You can't out-ethnic me, Nihal ... My children are a quarter Indian, so put that in your pipe and smoke it."· To Nihal Arthanayake, BBC Asian Network, 2008

On cannabis
"It was jolly nice. But apparently it is very different these days. Much stronger. I've become very illiberal about it. I don't want my kids to take drugs." · GQ, 2007

On sex
"I've slept with far fewer than 1,000."· On whether he has slept with fewer than 30 women, like Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, Daily Telegraph, 2008

"An inverted pyramid of piffle."· The Mail on Sunday, 2004, on allegations that he had an affair with Petronella Wyatt, later confirmed.

On obesity
"Nothing but their own fat fault."

On transport
"I don't believe [using a mobile phone at the wheel] is necessarily any more dangerous than the many other risky things that people do with their free hands while driving - nose-picking, reading the paper, studying the A-Z, beating the children, and so on."· Daily Telegraph, 2002

"The whole county of Hampshire was lying back and opening her well-bred legs to be ravished by the Italian stallion."· GQ, while in a Ferrari

On Liverpool
"A society that has become hooked on grief and likes to wallow in a sense of vicarious victimhood."· A Spectator editorial, 2004 (Johnson didn't write the editorial, but he approved it)

On his arts role
"Look, the point is ... er, what is the point? It is a tough job but somebody has got to do it."· On being appointed Tory Arts spokesman, 2004

On stag hunting
"I remember the guts streaming, and the stag turds spilling out on to the grass from within the ventral cavity ... This hunting is best for the deer." · From his book Lend Me Your Ears

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