Boris Johnson: Thatcher, hedge funds, greed and inequality - it's all good
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Central Government, Communities
Boris Johnson has praised greed and Margaret Thatcher while denigrating the "16% of the UK population with an IQ below 85".
During an astonishing speech at the annual Margaret Thatcher lecture, the London Mayor also called for a return of grammar schools and expressed his admiration for "hedge fund kings".
The Tory said that inequality is essential to creating envy - a vital primer for forging economic activity.
He additionally called for the proposed new airport in the Thames Estuary to be called the Margaret Thatcher International Airport, the Guardian reported.
It is widely believed that Johnson, who has cultivated an image of a bungling yet endearing imbecile, has ambitions to become leader of the Conservative Party, and his lecture, with its praise of greed and Thatcher, has been perceived as an attempt to win the favour of the Tory right.
The Mayor made a special effort to defend the rich from criticism. Calling on the "Gordon Gekkos of London" to be greedier, he said: "It seems to me that though it would be wrong to persecute the rich, and madness to try and stifle wealth creation, and futile to stamp out inequality, we should only tolerate this wealth gap on two conditions. One, that we help those who genuinely cannot compete; and two, that we provide opportunity for those who can."
He warned that inequality would deepen in an increasingly globalised economy and that "No one can ignore the harshness of that competition, or the inequality that it inevitably accentuates, and I am afraid that violent economic centrifuge is operating on human beings who are already very far from equal in raw ability, if not spiritual worth".
Johnson said that is was "futile" to aim at abolishing inequality and that more should be done to promote the "2% of the population with an IQ above 130".
He also claimed that Romania's imminent joining of the EU would see "the entire population of Transylvania" descend on London.
One Twitter user said that Johnson's comments on Romanians had a "racist sentiment".
Another user tweeted: "Further proof why the fetishisation of Boris Johnson is dangerous: Racism, social engineering and greed = good."
Len Duvall, leader of the London Assembly's Labour Group, said: "Boris' comments are absolutely disgraceful. He seems to have forgotten one of the causes of the financial crash - greed. If the Mayor really thinks the answer to spurring economic growth and getting our young people into high quality jobs is greed then it shows just how clueless he really is. He should be supporting practical policies like the Educational Maintenance Allowance, lower tuition fees and wrap around childcare. He also seems to think that accumulating vast amounts of wealth is the only motivator in life. It might be for him but many people are motivated by public service - like our nurses, police officers, firefighters and teachers.
"Boris has confirmed he is the mayor for the super-rich. Rather than putting in place assistance to help everyone achieve their full potential he has written off large numbers of people in his own city. We don’t want to write people off and not give them a chance, we want all schools to be good schools and give all children the best start in life possible. This sums him up, a Mayor for the 1%. His comments sound like economic eugenics and are typical of his and his government's approach - causing further polarisation and dividing our country."