Boris Johnson MP
(This page contains material I first published on my blog in December 2006).
In December 2006 the BCSE sought to make technical changes to their website to prevent me from reading it. Maybe one possible reason why the BCSE want to dissuade me from doing so is because I keep documenting and exposing its rapid changes. Those changes are never acknowledged - as soon as one slur is debunked another one goes up; no apology, no footnote - just changed as if the previous falsehoods and smears were never there.
One interesting change in this last week has been on the page for Boris Johnson, the Conservative MP for Henley. (I have fond memories of Henley - it is the half-way point for the non-stop 125-mile Devizes to Westminster Canoeing Race which I completed nearly 10 years ago).
The changes give a revealing insight into how the BCSE work.
In short, if you are suspected as being sympathetic to non-Darwinian theories, then you must be portrayed as being stupid, mad, wicked or generally incompetent - and preferably all of the above.
If however, you say anything against intelligent design, creationism or any other alternative to Darwinism, they you must be portrayed as being a credible and competent witness.
There's no question of fairness, balance, honesty or integrity - it all boils down to whether you're for the BCSE's crusade or against it.
So, here's what the BCSE's page on Boris Johnson said when they suspected him of being friendly to creationism:
Johnson needs to be watched like a hawk... Johnson appears to be sympathetic towards creationism.
Then, because all suspected creationists must have some irrelevant smear put upon them in order to discredit anything they believe about origins, this:
Johnson’s past love live seems to make him an unlikely bedfellow of fundamentalists.
Johnson cultivates an image as an eccentric, self deprecating, straw-haired fop, disorganised and scatty (he once explained the lateness of his work by claiming that, "Dark forces dragged me away from the keyboard, swirling forces of irresistible intensity and power"). He has also successfully got locked out of his own house in front of reporters (having just told them he would do what he could to save the marriage). His mobile phone has rung twice on BBC programmes — once on Have I Got News for You (HIGNFY), and again while being interviewed on BBC Radio 2 by Richard Allison by, who was unafraid to scold him for it.
In reality, Johnson has a really sharp mind despite the cultivated Bertie Wooster personification. The problem is that there is a lack of the restraining hand of a Jeeves. He gets himself into all kinds of capers (most notably with women – that he wears his hair on back to front doesn’t appear to put them off).
Did you get all that? Johnson is obviously an unreliable and adulterous buffoon, and therefore you should ignore anything he believes about origins.
http://www.bcseweb.org.uk/index.php/Main/BorisJohnson - before the 17th of December 2006
All that changed, though, when one of the BCSE's supporters decided to write to Mr. Johnson, and ask him what he really thought. Our MP wrote back, and said that he was not a creationist.
What happened to the BCSE's page on him, then, do you think? This:
http://www.bcseweb.org.uk/index.php/Main/BorisJohnson - after the 17th of December
My point is not to say anything either for or against the BCSE's previous allegations about Mr. Johnson being an adulterous buffoon... my point is to show the BCSE's lack of integrity and consistency.
We're seeing the same old thing again. The BCSE do not behave with even-handedness, honesty or decency. Respect is accorded to you in strict proportion with whether you agree with its hard-line materialism or not.
If you do not agree, then you are unqualified, wicked and eccentric; if you do agree, then you are none of the above. And if the BCSE mistakes whether you agree or not, you can make an amazing transformation from being one to the other, overnight!
Does the BCSE have integrity? Is its website a place to go for reliable, even-handed and honest information? You be the judge...
Update: And within hours of me posting this article, the "Boris Johnson" page was re-written again, to bring back all the previous information... does this smack of desperation?
Update 2007: And now, it's gone again!! (You can contact me to obtain copies for research purpose if you wish to verify my accuracy).
A later footnote:
Having read the article on the BCSE's treatment of Boris Johnson , one correspondent wrote in:
I enjoyed your post about the "here-today, gone-tomorrow" Boris Johnson page on the BCSE website! For a very brief time yesterday, the BCSE forum showed a post from Roger Stanyard giving Mikey Brass a slap on the wrist for taking the original page down because it had opened them up "to attack" again (I think they mean you). Then the post, which I presume wasn't meant for public consumption, vanished from the forum and - hey presto - the deleted Boris Johnson material reappeared. They're very entertaining, the BCSE lot, I'll give them that!