At the end of last month, London’s Mayor Boris Johnson presented a speech promoting the positive value of greed combined with intelligence. He also went on it highlight the necessity for selective schools and stressed the significance of greed envy and overall inequality in our everyday lives. This has caused uproar for thousands of hard-working, successful but not necessarily academic Londoners. Consider the most intelligent person you know- are they also the most logical thinker you know with bucket-loads of common sense, a fantastic job and overall ecstatic with their life?
Johnson also went on to suggest that the most successful people are the greediest. He made the bold claim by fostering Thatcher’s stance of “the spirit of envy” as a key component in spurring on economic activity. That may be true but it cannot be denied that Boris Johnson constantly seems all too aware of his audience when speaking in public. For instance, this particular speech was held at the Annual Margaret Thatcher Lecture and logically, in order to secure more support from Tory right-wingers, Johnson did his homework so he knew the right things to say, as it were. He even professed his adoration for Grammar Schools and pointed out that “…just 16% of our species have an IQ below 85…” and called for more to be done by governments to boost the 2% of people with an IQ over 130.
Similarly, when running for Mayor of London originally, Eton-educated Johnson pinpointed the importance of ticket offices and real people working on the Underground for the public’s safety and security. Yet more recently, Johnson has backed plans for ticket offices to be scrapped and some Underground services to run 24 hours a day. It seems the Mayor is either attempting to please all Londoners by going along with these plans, and consequentially causing anger and frustration from many, or simply does not know what he’s doing. Now there’s a wasted private education.
After completing his speech, Boris Johnson informed the Centre for Policy Studies think tank, “…the harder you shake the pack the easier it will be for some cornflakes to get to the top.” Thanks Mr Johnson, but I can safety say most Londoners don’t want you anywhere near them, let alone close enough to shake them. He may pride himself on being one if the only politicians who can and will say the “unsayable”‘ but some things simply don’t need to be said because of their lack of importance, and let’s face it- truth.
In all seriousness, Boris’ use of rhetoric towards those less academically able was deeply offensive, especially the way that he referred to the uneducated and poorly educated as a kind of sub-species. The irony is, many people’s lack of opportunity in this country is down to politicians such as Johnson for not doing enough to really help education and unemployment rather than just their ‘official’ figures and statistics. So does this mean the incredibly intelligent, wealthy and powerful are to be well taken care of with little or no assistance left for the lower classes?
Education should be regarded as a right rather than a privilege and all children should be given the best start in life no matter their socioeconmic background. So rather than propose to help all Londoners reach their full potential, London’s Mayor disregarded the idea of giving opportunities to as many people as possible. Attempting to unlock all children’s and young people’s potential through decent education could very well helps rid the Capital of some of its current economic dilemmas, as well as those across the UK and overseas. Johnson’s current stance is likely to keep London and the UK in the rut we are in or even cause further divides between our people.
It has also recently been revealed in the press that Johnson has been writing a book whilst he has been in power, causing other MPs and PoliticIans such as Liam Bryne, the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Great anger. Bryne said, “Every hour Boris…spent writing his book is an hour which be could have spent to make our streets safer and getting new investment and jobs in London.” He also stated that the Mayor is paid more than the Prime Minister.
Despite Boris’ wacky notions, the fact is that it is straightforward enough it find the balance between greed for your business and simply remembering the fact that the business exists to make money. Londoners should be provided similar starts in life when it comes to education to eventually boost our economy, job market and general morale.