Boris Johnson and Violence 38

Phone 0207 096 3708 now (+44 207 096 3708 from outside the UK). Trust me, just phone. You will be listening to a conversation between two men, one of whom later became Mayor of London, and still is, and one of whom was later convicted of armed robbery. And that is Mayor of Lonfon, not Mayor of Chicago. Full details here.
This has not gone as viral as it deserves. A week ago today Boris Johnson held a meeting on how to tackle youth violence. But here is a tape from Tim Ireland of Boris Johnson engaged in a conversation with Darius Guppy about having someone beaten up. While Johnson is not the one urging the beating, he does not protest against the idea that someone be given “two black eyes and a cracked rib”, and appears more worried about possible political fallout or attachment to him. There is a reference to someone “going through the files”.

I don’t know the context of this conversation. And it was not Boris who initiated the discussion. It is also fair to say he sounds uncomfortable about the violence. But his failure to tell Guppy not to commit the violence is difficult to excuse.

Here is a transcript from Tim Ireland:

Guppy: Boris, have you got this number?
Johnson: [inaudible] look, there is a guy at the moment, going through…
Guppy: You’re brilliant.
Johnson: … files at home
Guppy: Fantastic. But I am telling you something, Boris. This guy has got my blood up, alright? And there is nothing which I won’t do to get my revenge. It’s as simple as that.
Johnson: How badly are you going to hurt this guy?
Guppy: Not badly at all.
Johnson: I really, I want to know …
Guppy: Look, let me explain to you…
Johnson: If this guy [see/sues?] me I will be fucking furious.
Guppy: I guarantee you he will not be seriously hurt.
Johnson: How badly will he …
Guppy, interrupting: He will not have a broken limb or broken arm, he will not be put into intensive care or anything like that. He will probably get a couple of black eyes and a … a cracked rib or something.
Johnson: Cracked rib?
Guppy: Nothing which you didn’t suffer at rugby, OK? But he’ll get scared and that’s what I want … I want him to get scared, I want him to have no idea who’s behind it, OK?
Johnson: If I get trouble, if I get…
Guppy: You will not, Boris. I swear to you. If you…
Johnson: [unaudible bluster]… I got this bloody number for you. OK, Darrie. I said I’d do it. I’ll do it. Don’t worry.
Guppy: Boris, I mean it; I really love you.

More details from this same conversation are available here, including this nugget not included in the published audio:
Guppy: But Boris there’s absolutely no ******* proof: you just deny it. I mean, there’s no proof at all.
Johnson: Well yeah…
Guppy: I mean, you know, big deal. You’re sitting in Brussels and the day it happens you’re in Brussels, it’s as simple as that.

By now you may have noticed that Boris Johnson’s primary concern is that his role in this planned assault will be discovered. Also, just in case there is any doubt about the nature of the information he promises Guppy, here is a fuller transcript of the tail end of the conversation, where he promises to deliver both the phone number and address of the man Darius Guppy plans to have beaten in a revenge attack:
Guppy: Well do it discreetly. I … if it’s in any way going to look suspicious. That’s all I require – just the address: the address and the phone number … all right? Now I guarantee you, you have nothing to worry about. [Slowly, emphatically] Believe me. All right? You have my personal guarantee. I’ve never let you down, all right?
Johnson: OK Darrie, I said I’ll do it and I’ll do it. Don’t worry.
Guppy: Boris, I really mean it, I love you and I will owe you this, all right? And I’m a man who keeps my word.

Guppy was a Bullingdon Club member along with not only Johnson, but also Osborne and Cameron. I do hope you call and listen, and do hope it comes as a wake up call to those who believe the carefully crafted “compassionate conservative” propaganda.

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38 thoughts on “Boris Johnson and Violence

  • mike cobley

    Ah, so Darius is sendin da boyz round, eh? And Bojo provides the location? Mmmm, classy.

    • Vronksy

      Ah – I see you've been reading up on the British Statute of Political Limitations, also known as Yesterday Never Really Happened. If something occurred then logically it is now in the past, and if it's in the past then it's Old News, which by universally accepted definition doesn't matter. There's no need to worry about today, because tomorrow it will be yesterday, and case closed. Tomorrow doesn't matter either, by the way – tomorrow is always 'hypothetical' and questions regarding it are therefore 'hypothetical questions', which we all know are by definition unaswerable.

      At first I mistyped 'hypothetical' as 'hypoethical'- wonder if I should have left it, seems like a useful word – lit. 'beneath ethics'.

      • angrysoba

        No, you misunderstand Vronsky.

        I am not saying "It's old news therefore it doesn't matter." But rather saying, "It's old news so why would it have 'gone viral as it deserves'"?

        It's a matter of common knowledge to those who have a passing interest in politics so it isn't as if it is going to be top of the Twitter trends* this week.

        *or whatever it is the kids call it

        • Craig_Murray

          Except given what a major expose it is, it has been extraordinarily little aired in the MSM. Can you imagine the MSM space it would have got if it was Gordon Brown? It was news to me, and to many others who are politically interested.

        • Vronsky

          Ah – you agree it matters. Good. I'm as clueless as you are about exotic stuff like 'viral' and 'twitter' but it's a relief to know that we agree that the past actually happened, and isn't just something of interest to the – what was your word – oh yes, 'kids'.

  • mark_golding

    Least we forget:

    Nathaniel Rothschild, close friend of George Osborne was a member of Oxford's elite 'Bullingdon Club' pictured here:… (the picture has been 'doctored' to exclude SIS members) – a so called drinking club for spoiled rich kids overshadowing more sinister, secret society aspects:

    The Rothschilds were the biggest proponents for Zionism (the 2nd Baron Rothschild, Walter Rothschild read the 1917 Balfour Declaration to Parliament committing them to the Zionist's racist/insane mission of a Jewish state being set up over Palestine) and built it's Illuminist symbolic Israeli Supreme Court.

    Farther truth is clouded by enforced conspiracy and antisemitism therefore I leave further disassembly to my peers.

    • Realitycheck

      You are a nutcase.

      Nothing you have said is connected to this article or discussion. Likewise, the fact that Nathaniel Rothschild was in the the Bullingdon club has no connection with anything his family did or does. Similarly, it has no connection to Israel, the supreme court or the founding of the Israeli state. Whether the 2nd Baron Rothschild was among "the biggest proponents for Zionism" is neither here nor there, he's been dead since 1937 so I doubt he had much influence on the 1992 Bullingdon members.

      Additionally, given that the referenced picture has appeared in several national newspapers, it is quite wise that SIS officers have been removed from it, lest they are identified. This of course, relies on your assertion to be factually correct, something that the rest of your post tends to preclude.

      Grow up; political discussion relies on informed and rational debate, not conspiracy-toting secret-society addicts.


      • Dick the Prick

        Said well. Am not sure if Craig's doing a phone tapping is endemic story or Boris seems bang to rights but….it's the joos etc etc

      • mark_golding

        Realitycheck – succinct name – he is a reality check for you my friend:

        Craig's post is a wake call to violence and the carefully crafted "compassionate conservative propaganda" so let's talk about violence and compassion.

        I had the good fortune last night to entertain in my home a good man of strength and compassion. His name is Marcus Armstrong, an NGO and project manager of ipeace <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”>( who has just returned from Palestine. This man witnessed the devastating destruction of Southern Lebanon by Israel, yet this is recoverable and people can, and are, rebuilding their lives. The same cannot be said for the Palestinians who suffer daily acute depression from Israeli occupation. The second intifada resulted in a 2 hour/week curfew – TWO HOURS/WEEK – recently two small boys (shabab) that ventured out were shot, one losing both his legs. Breaking the curfew can mean your house is demolished as collective punishment on the family and Israel has blown-up and demolished 14,000 houses in the last two years. Since I have spoken of the 'racist/insane mission of a Jewish state being set up over Palestine' let us remind ourselves of the history.

        Israel took 78% of Palestine leaving 22% which is the West Bank and Gaza. A very high wall was built (work in progress) in the West Bank taking ANOTHER 10% of Palestinian land. The wall is not straight, cuts across roads and even follows the contours of people's gardens. Many check-points (tall towers manned with automatic weapons) exist along the wall and long queues form for passage (to hospital, school or work) *if* a check-point is open, many times closing and leaving Palestinians unable to return home. Palestinian houses with good view points are deemed 'strategic' are occupied and taken over as Israeli garrisons, the families confined to the basement in most cases or end up with relatives. The small boys or 'shabab' throw stones at the occupying soldiers who fire their weapons at the ground where ricochets kill the children – an 'acceptable' practice. I do not want to be too unkind to the Israeli soldiers who most times are young (18yrs old) conscripts force to serve two years for their 'country' else forget education and employment and forget being Israeli – they are confused and stressed.

        The two state solution is a joke, forget it! Palestine is gradually being occupied by Israeli settlers and land-grab is genocide. There are now 500,000 settlers in the West Bank who build 'shacks' on high ground above the Olive plantations, the life blood of Palestine. These 'shacks' become houses and eventually a new community is born. Settlers have fire-arms and are unaccountable to anyone. They shoot any Palestinians who are throwing stones trying to protect the olive groves from being torched by the settlers.

        The United Nations Security Council has issued 200 resolutions to date condemning Israeli action and supported by most countries except Britain and America. America has vetoed EVERY SINGLE RESOLUTION while supplying dollar millions aid to Israel which must be used to buy American weapons thus completing a lucrative arms deal cycle. This aid is more than the total American aid to the poorest countries in our world including the African continent.

        It is absolutely clear and I have proof in pictures and statements that a genocide really does exist in Palestine. Palestine is being obliterated from the map NOT Israel while British and American leaders care jack. My meeting with Marcus has left me sad, devastated and fucking mad; not an activist I have sworn to no violence – yet with small gains and influence and God willing I intend to gather awareness of this evil, a brutality that must ultimately bring the Israeli regime to check and justice, stop further pain and the crushing depression of an illegal occupation. I am with you 'Shebab' – one day soon you WILL be free.

        • Realitycheck

          Great, whatever, I don't care.

          Do remind me how anything you just said is related to Boris Johnson. Feel free to hold onto the history lesson this time.


        • evgueni

          Mark, what you say about Palestine above rings true. Your post above about Rothschild etc on the other hand is a tenuous conspiracy theory – alternative and less sinister explanations exist.

  • Johnny

    I remember this issue was discussed some years ago on HIGNFY. Boris was a panellist. and Hislop and Merton goaded him about it. Boris was reduced to a sheepish mumbling, something he does rather well when he wishes to avoid an issue.

    You can see it about 1 min in:

    This was when he was still at The Spectator and before he even became a Conservative MP, never mind Mayor of London. Didn't seem to do him any harm in those career moves.

    Boris also enjoyed a number of spookie episodes with a former IRA commander turncoat who was deemed useful in trying to bugger up the NI Peace process. Didn't work in the end, but it did show that there were elements in the British establishment who would have been happier that violence and instability continued in NI. Conrad Black was stilll at the helm at this time, before he was caught out in criminal activities.

  • A. S. Mercouris

    This is absolutely incredible. It looks to me like evidence of a conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm, which is a serious criminal offence. Are you sure that this conversation is real and not faked somehow? If it is real are the police investigating?

  • Tom Welsh

    So a senior politician has an acquaintance for whom he did some kind of minor favour, and that acquaintance mentioned to him that he was going to beat someone up (without breaking any bones)?

    I'll grant you, it is quite unusual for any evidence to have leaked out. (Assuming the recording isn't faked, and frankly why would anyone bother?) That argues incompetence, bad luck, or both.

    I must say it's refreshing to hear of a senior politician who seems to have qualms when he hears of a plan to give someone a thick ear. Compared to the great majority of senior politicians, who – when they hear of a plan to kill thousands of people – give it their enthusiastic support.

    • Tim

      "Assuming the recording isn't faked"

      He's admitted it, on HIGNFY, for goodness sake!!

      Please stop making invented excuses for wrongdoing. You do neither yourself nor Boris any favours.

      "a plan to give someone a thick ear"

      I'll think you may find it was two black eyes and a cracked rib.

      One thing that sums up the character of you Tories is that you have both callow and callous in equal measure.

      In short, you're little more than juvenile delinquents, unfit for adult life.

    • Sean

      Eh, no – the evidence doesn't just establish fore-knowledge of an assault, it strongly suggests, as the post before yours indicates, grounds for conspiracy. That's not just bad luck, or incompetence (though are they are present), that's willingly conniving to break the law.

      And the hand-wringing extends only to a concern over exposure and it's potential consequencies, not the proposed incident itself and the elected representative's involvement in it – which, frankly, sounds more accurately like your typical British politician from an over-priviledged background.

  • Joe Templeton

    This is a disgraceful ‘blog’. It indeed implies participation in a conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.

    And yet merely following the link takes one – at one remove – to an article, written in 1995, which contains Boris Johnson’s version of events: that he did not intend to provide the promised information but was embarrassed by a request from a longstanding – and I may add, palpably potty – friend. The article also indicates that the potential victim was never assaulted.

    This ‘blog’ – I repeat – is a disgrace.

    I enjoyed your interesting book about Uzbekistan but have less faith that the information you provide therein is fairly presented.

  • Paul Johnston

    Craig curious to know how you came across this considering it is very very old.
    I found with a bit of googling "First published in the Mail on Sunday, 16 July 1995"
    Why now? Ever thought you might be being set up to look a little bit behind the times?

  • Boris Backer

    This is now 21 years old, and has been in the public domain for 16 years! It's in his Wikipedia page, it's been discussed and listened to on Have I Got News For You, it was referred to considerably before the 2008 mayoral election (which he won!).

    That it still occasionally gets brought up by his opponents smacks of utter desperation.

    If I was a voter in London, I'd be far more concerned that Ken Livingstone has worked for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, advised Hugo Chavez (Colonel Gaddafi's best mate), backed Lutfur Rahman and befriended Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.

    • mark_golding

      Yes I read your piece on; in my opinion a waste of web-space. Get your facts right – Chavez keeps his enemies close including Gaddafi. He offered to mediate over Libya – that's MEDIATE not set-up arms deals!

      Hugo Chavez, joined U.S. anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan I remeber to attack President Bush and the Iraq war which murdered over 300,000 children – Oh but's that old news isn't it!

    • evgueni

      Hugo Chavez is a much nicer bloke than Cameron, Blair, Clegg, Johnson etc. A democrat who introduced elements of direct democracy during his constitutional reforms. I am guessing that you didn't know that.

  • evgueni

    What kind of argument is that, Craig? Yes the Swiss voted not to allow new minarets to be built and they have direct democracy. On the other hand we do not have direct democracy and our government commits state terrorism around the world. Which do you prefer?

    Please do not fall into the trap of evaluating direct democracy against some vision of the perfect society. Instead, compare it with the existing alternatives. All arguments against direct democracy in the end are arguments against democracy.

    There are good reasons to trust the people of Ramsgate (or anywhere else) more than a bunch of blokes-who-know-better. E.g. see here
    Also see Brian Beedham’s essay from The Economist

    Do you collect quotations? I like this one: “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.” Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Charles Jarvis, September 28, 1820

    [Moderator’s note – this comment turned up in the ‘spam’ folder.]

  • Clark

    Maybe the voters would be better informed and more tolerant under a more open and accountable system. Maybe the mess created by a broken democracy encourages them to hold such unprogressive views.

  • evgueni

    Note to Moderator

    My comment above addressed to Craig was in response to Craig’s comment which is no longer there.

  • evgueni

    Craig – in that case I direct the same question to you that I put to CanSpeccy. How come the Swiss haven’t screwed up in 150 years? In principle their Constitution is not off-limits and it has changed as a result of referenda. You can read it online, in English, btw.

    Clark, what you say has been shown to be true, empirically. People take an interest when empowered, and vice versa. Also, people act more responsibly when given responsibility – I think this is not a controversial statement.

    But there is more to it – our perceptions of other people are irrational. We remember stuff that fits our preconceived views and disregard contrary evidence. We remember meeting people with shocking views and forget the many more normal encounters, then draw conclusions based on our imperfect recollections – this is called availability error.(Stuart Sutherland’s Irrationality is a fascinating read!) I think this may be the reason for the elitist impulses in people. Churchill is attributed this quotation: “the best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with an average voter”. Patent elitist nonsense of course. Sure there are right wing nuts just as there are left wing nuts – they cancel out. The majority are of sound mind, as borne out by the Swiss experience.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    If it was a News of the World phone hacker that ‘Guppy’ was after, then Boris did right as far as i’m concerned. The ‘private investigators’ and ‘reporters’ Murdoch’s tabloid rags hire aren’t looking to leak the truth about corruption, lies told to start wars, etc – they just poke their grubby noses into peoples’ private lives for money – or set up one politician because they’ve just done a media ownership deal with another one. I’m generally against violence, but the more often someone who is irate as a result of their gutter journalism finds the sneaking toe-rags and punches one of them a few times, the better the world is.

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