Boris Johnson did write that “blue collar” men are likely to be drunk, criminal, aimless, feckless and hopeless

27 February 2020
What was claimed

Boris Johnson wrote that working class men are “likely to be drunk, criminal, aimless, feckless and hopeless” in The Spectator in 1995.

Our verdict

Correct. He specifically said “blue collar” men.

A Facebook post with almost 7,000 shares shows an alleged quote from Boris Johnson saying:

“Working class men are likely to be drunk, criminal, aimless, feckless & hopeless. And perhaps claim to suffer from low self-esteem, brought on by unemployment.”

The quote is largely genuine (though there are some non-substantive edits in the Facebook version) and was published in the Spectator magazine in 1995 when Mr Johnson was a journalist for the Daily Telegraph.

In the article, Mr Johnson writes critically of men in general for the “appalling proliferation of single mothers.”

The full quote reads:

“And that brings me to the last and greatest group of male culprits. Most of these single mothers have had the common sense to detect that the modern British male is useless.

“If he is blue collar, he is likely to be drunk, criminal, aimless, feckless and hopeless, and perhaps claiming to suffer from low self-esteem brought on by unemployment.

“If he is white collar, he is likely to be little better.”

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as true because the quote and attribution are genuine.

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