Supporters of Boris Johnson, in their attempts to clean up the mess made by his recent speech, are now saying that what he meant by the "greed is good" nonsense is that it`s perfectly okay for people to better themselves. Does this mean we can expect to see the mayor of London giving his support to the outsourced University of London staff in their struggle for pensions and proper sick pay, as they seek to improve their conditions? Of course not! No matter how much spin Johnson`s cronies put on it, everyone is well aware of what he meant: that it`s okay for the likes of him and his mates in the City to grab, profiteer, run scams to cheat fellow citizens,take bonuses like annual lottery-wins, fix interest rates,to enjoy the security, transport and health benefits provided in this country but pay as little tax to fund them as possible, but when it comes to hard-working people, who often have to work all hours for pay less than the minimum wage,suddenly it`s different.
Johnson is so lacking in sympathy, he cannot see the irony of saying that he does not want a return to a time of "heartlessness", when "figuratively riffling banknotes under the noses of the homeless" was commonplace. Isn`t the membership qualification test for his beloved Bullingdon Club these days exactly that, only literally?
The speech appears to be the start of his bid for Tory leadership, hoping presumably Cameron`s hold on the party will weaken further after the expected Ukip gains in next year`s Euro elections, and stealing Gove`s thunder with his call for a return of grammar schools, the inevitable long-term result of the recent examination reforms. Ingenuous to the last, Johnson hails the super-rich, the "1% of earners who contribute 30% of income tax", many of them his friends in the City,yet fails to mention not only their obscene wealth for "socially useless" work, and their tax avoidance and evasion, which now costs £95bn a year to the British economy, but also their refusal to pay decent wages to the majority of their workforce. He doesn`t even understand why they are "so despicable in the eyes of all decent British people". They are not the hard-working "Stakhanovites" as he describes them, but greedy capitalists, and his version of laissez-faire, where they will "do more to help poorer people" is simply preposterous. No doubt by spouting forth such rubbish, his popularity in the Tory party will soar, but hopefully it will reveal to the people formerly impressed with him the true nature of the man. Liverpudlians must certainly never forget the remarks he made soon after the Hillsborough disaster, whilst his description of the £250,000 paid to him for his weekly column in the Telegraph as "chickenfeed" should have ensured he never win any election again, especially in a city where economic apartheid seems the order of the day.