Racism is “at the heart” of British Government policy - and the racist views of some people in power “trickle” through society, Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle told the High Court today.
• Frankie Boyle has taken Daily Mirror to court over racism claims
• Scottish comedian: ‘There is racism at heart of British policy’
Mr Boyle said he thought it “important” to highlight the issue by mocking the attitudes of racists he “despised” in comedy routines.
Mr Boyle was giving evidence on the second day of a trial in London after complaining that the Daily Mirror had libelled him by describing him as “Racist comedian Frankie Boyle” in an article.
He says he has “actively campaigned” against racism and says the newspaper “misunderstood” the context of his use of language in jokes.
Daily Mirror publisher Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) is defending its article, published on July 19 2011.
MGN lawyers have described Mr Boyle as a “racist comedian” who gratuitously exploits negative stereotypes of black people for “cheap laughs”.
Jurors were today shown footage from the BBC satirical show Mock The Week in which Mr Boyle and other comedians discussed immigration.
Mr Boyle said he was “pretending” to be someone with racist views during the episode.
He said he “despises” people with such views and thought it “important” to mock them.
“I don’t think British people are racist,” Mr Boyle told jurors, on the second day of the trial.
“I think it is a top down thing. I think you have a lot of rich and Conservative people who control our country who are racist and their views trickle down through things like tabloid papers.”
He added: “I think there is racism at the heart of British policy and has been both in Labour and Conservative times.”