Fawlty logic: Cleese recycles anti-immigration bit

Writing from an ex-British colony, John Cleese has redoubled his anti-immigration sentiment, claiming that London is no longer an English city.



For a man who cannot walk properly, the British take John Cleese very seriously. Which is a shame, because the man has a track record of being a bit of a plank in the age of Twitter. This morning, he has been criticised for stating that London was no longer English, the same comment he made in 2011.



After a spot of backlash, Cleese offered an apology of sorts, saying that “I suspect I should apologise for my affection for the Englishness of my upbringing, but in some ways I found it calmer, more polite, more humorous, less tabloid, and less money-oriented than the one that is replacing it.”

As far as Englishness goes, it is probably best we mention that Cleese has already ‘quit’ the UK, moving to the Caribbean nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, which happens to possess an awful history of colonisation. Guess which Empire was responsible? God bless our gracious…irony.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “These comments make John Cleese sound like he’s in character as Basil Fawlty. Londoners know that our diversity is our greatest strength. We are proudly the English capital, a European city and a global hub.”



In discussion with the Guardian, EU citizens’ rights campaigner Tanja Bueltmann believes that Cleese is a plant for ‘Leave’ camp. She believes that his comments were designed to upset the Brexit apple cart, but also mentioned that it was indicative of the way that some British people address immigration.

“I find it hypocritical that someone who is actually living abroad feels the need to make a point like this,” she said. “Why do some British people not see themselves as immigrants if they’ve moved elsewhere? We see cases of British people referring to themselves as expats, detaching themselves from the term immigrant.”

There’s something equally important afoot. Cleese is talking about the self-destruction of tradition. To him, Britain isn’t the same as the one he thought he knew, because those in power changed it. Well, it goes both ways, John.




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