Boris Johnson says Super Rich are an ‘Oppressed Minority’ worthy of our ‘Humble Thanks’ – Time for a Reality Check

(84 Posts)
ttosca Mon 18-Nov-13 19:20:41

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, today used his platform of a column in the Daily Telegraph newspaper to argue that the super-rich are a ‘put upon minority’ like homeless people or the travelling community. He argues that they should be protected from ‘bullying’ by the public, who should instead be offering their ‘humble and hearty thanks’ for their ‘prodigious’ contributions to our public finances.

The reality is, these super rich individuals are paying an ever smaller share, while receiving substantial tax payer funded subsidies, and the protection of the publicly funded police from an increasingly outraged public.

The Cost of the Human Welfare State

The UK Government spend a total of £694.89bn a year, to do everything. The amount the government spend on benefits is £159bn, with £72bn (45%) of that going on pensions. So, we have £85bn (12% of spending) a year actually going on working age benefits. The UK’s current unemployment rate stands at 7.8%. It makes sense that we spend this proportionate amount of shielding citizens from poverty induced by involuntary unemployment, and support sick and disabled people who cannot work or who bear additional financial costs to work.

cont'd

www.scriptonitedaily.com/2013/11/18/boris-johnson-says-the-super-rich-are-an-oppressed-minority-worthy-of-our-humble-and-hearty-thanks-time-for-a-reality-check/

HaggertyF Mon 18-Nov-13 19:21:34

Boris Johnson is a fucking idiot.

<succinct>

claig Mon 18-Nov-13 19:30:41

Boris is entitled to his view!

ttosca Mon 18-Nov-13 20:28:41

Nobody said he wasn't entitled to his view. He's still a fucking idiot.

sadsqueaker Mon 18-Nov-13 20:59:33

At least he wasn't wearing a dinner suit and standing in front of a golden throne when he said it though.

Take note Dave grin

MrJudgeyPants Wed 20-Nov-13 21:22:59

The richest 1% pay 30% of all income tax and national insurance (three times more than they paid back in the lefty paradise of the 1970's), meanwhile, the top 15% pay close to 70% of all income tax and you think they should pay more?

Do me a favour and Google 'Laffer Curve' and when you understand it, have a think what will happen to government services and your tax bill when the rich all piss off to somewhere sunny where they're not resented for being successful.

learnasyougo Wed 20-Nov-13 21:59:15

they pay more income tax than in the 70s because they own so much more now than then.
The gap between the top and the rest of us is huge now compared to thirty odd years ago. The top 15 per cent were simply not as wealthy then as the top 15 per cent are now. Wealth inquality has worsened since the seventies (when equality peaked which is why that decade is used for comparison by the rich!)

StainlessSteelBegonia Wed 20-Nov-13 22:03:05

Jesus wept. "I say it is the moon that shines so bright", eh Boris?

tribpot Wed 20-Nov-13 22:06:36

I will willingly join them in their oppression. Just to show solidarity, of course.

BillyBanter Wed 20-Nov-13 22:10:21

But what if they all LEAVE THE COUNTRY!!!! shock

Like there is no other way to arrange a nations affairs.

MrJudgeyPants Wed 20-Nov-13 23:30:24

Learnasyougo - you didn't bother googling Laffer Curve did you?

This is the politics of envy, nothing more.

MrJudgeyPants Wed 20-Nov-13 23:43:27

Also, since the seventies, the proportion of overall wealth confiscated as tax has increased dramatically and this grab has fallen disproportionately on the rich.

BillyBanter Thu 21-Nov-13 00:53:40

CONFISCATED!!!!

GRAB!!!!

ttosca Thu 21-Nov-13 02:10:29

MrJudgeyPants-

> The richest 1% pay 30% of all income tax and national insurance (three times more than they paid back in the lefty paradise of the 1970's), meanwhile, the top 15% pay close to 70% of all income tax and you think they should pay more?

First of all, please provide the sources for your figures.

Secondly, these figures actually make the counter-argument to the point you want to make. The majority of the tax revenue comes from a small percentage because it is a such a small percentage which has taxable income.

In other words, we live in such an unequal, quasi-feudal society, that the majority of the people - the peasants - are so poor in terms of income and wealth, that they contribute a small absolute amount in total tax revenue.

You're so ideological that you can't see that if wealth were distributed more evenly - and by that I don't just mean RE-distributed, but if people were paid a fare wage and there was a large and thriving middle-class - then the poorer and middle would (could) contribute more to total tax revenue.

> Do me a favour and Google 'Laffer Curve' and when you understand it, have a think what will happen to government services and your tax bill when the rich all piss off to somewhere sunny where they're not resented for being successful.

Do me a favour and learn more about the 'Laffer Curve'. It is a theoretical model which is oversimplified. It is not a tool which can be used to calculate the perfect point at which tax revenue is maximized.

---

And btw, in the 1970s 'lefty paradise' of high-taxation, income inequality was very low and spending power was very high. Wages in real terms have stagnated or declined since then for the vast majority of the public.

The tax burden, additionally, has shifted away from corporate tax to income tax. So that Average Joe is paying proportionately more towards total national tax revenue than he did in the previous decades. So the tax burden has actually shifted towards individuals, and away from corporations.

ttosca Thu 21-Nov-13 02:12:13

> Also, since the seventies, the proportion of overall wealth confiscated as tax has increased dramatically and this grab has fallen disproportionately on the rich.

Funny how wealth inequality hasn't been this great since the First World War, huh?

MrJudgeyPants Thu 21-Nov-13 08:01:23

Ttosca most of my figures come from Boris' article itself, the remainder come from a very similar article from the Mail. I would provide links but I'm using my tumbletap which makes links tricky.

I don't agree with your point that we should make the poor richer so that we can then gouge them for more tax! Ideologically, this is no different from people on minimum wage having to pay Income Tax and Nat Ins and, without rehashing the argument, you know where I stand on that.

With regard to the Laffer curve, no one sensible has ever suggested using it to set tax rates, however, the principle stands that there is a point beyond which further increases of taxation are counterproductive. I happen to believe that for large swathes of the population, and particularly amongst the rich, we are either at or beyond that point already.

Finally, as I've mentioned elsewhere on this site, it really makes no difference overall whether individuals pay tax or corporations do, however, it is far harder for an individual to avoid paying their full amount than it is for a corp.

Finally, finally, a genuine question, are your figures of wealth inequality collated before the various methods put in place to counter that wealth inequality are included or after?

ttosca Thu 21-Nov-13 10:14:28

MrJudgeyPants-

> I don't agree with your point that we should make the poor richer so that we can then gouge them for more tax! Ideologically, this is no different from people on minimum wage having to pay Income Tax and Nat Ins and, without rehashing the argument, you know where I stand on that.

Err, no. The poor shouldn't be paying any tax whatsoever. What I said was that if the rest of the 99% were actually paid more money, and wealth and income were more equal, then the middle would pay more tax in absolute terms towards total tax revenue.

That is, even with tax rates kept as they are, earning more money means they would contribute more, even while managing to keep more because of their higher income.

> With regard to the Laffer curve, no one sensible has ever suggested using it to set tax rates, however, the principle stands that there is a point beyond which further increases of taxation are counterproductive. I happen to believe that for large swathes of the population, and particularly amongst the rich, we are either at or beyond that point already.

Yes you believe that, like Ian Duncan Smith believes a lot of things for which there is no evidence, or counter evidence. Both corporate taxation and personal income tax are at their lowest rates for several decades. Corporate tax rates in the UK are amongst the lowest in OECD at around 20%. This is after several decades of neo-liberalism which has caused massive wealth inequality.

> Finally, as I've mentioned elsewhere on this site, it really makes no difference overall whether individuals pay tax or corporations do, however, it is far harder for an individual to avoid paying their full amount than it is for a corp.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'it makes no difference'. Revenue is revenue, but to say there is no difference where tax comes from is 'economistic' in the extreme. It is very important where tax revenue comes from, because there are other issues at stake. It's quite right that profits at taxed more than incomes of the poor.

> Finally, finally, a genuine question, are your figures of wealth inequality collated before the various methods put in place to counter that wealth inequality are included or after?

Which methods? Wealth and income inequality are almost always calculated after taxation:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16545898

niceguy2 Thu 21-Nov-13 17:13:54

I wouldn't quite choose the same words as Boris but there is a perennial bullying that goes on from the lefties and dafties who like to ignore facts, figures and reality to serve their socialist theories.

What do the rich contribute?

The top 10% of society pay well over half of all our income tax. Not to mention they're most likely to pay the most VAT and other taxes too.

Yet it's never enough for the lefties. They always want more.

The bottom line though is that you can only create wealth by allowing people to become rich and remain rich if they are lucky enough to do so. You simply cannot create wealth by taxing the rich to the point where they have nothing left. Because what/whom do you tax then?

ttosca Thu 21-Nov-13 17:15:26

niceguy

Try reading the thread.

trice Thu 21-Nov-13 17:26:36

The poorest 10% pay more than a quarter of their income servicing their debt. Who owns the banks?

The rich are surprisingly often decendants of William the conquerors Norman barons. This country is still feudal.

custardo Thu 21-Nov-13 17:29:14
custardo Thu 21-Nov-13 17:29:51
custardo Thu 21-Nov-13 17:30:24
columngollum Sun 24-Nov-13 10:52:28

Oppressed minority, blimey, I'll be crying all the way home in my Bentley.

TheCrackFox Sun 24-Nov-13 11:05:14

He may as well have said "let them eat cake".

longfingernails Sun 24-Nov-13 12:26:02

I don't think they're particularly oppressed, but it's true that the super-rich are contributing far more to public coffers than during any Labour administration. The way to make them contribute even more is to cut the top rate of income tax. I personally believe the optimum Laffer value is around 32%.

TheHammaconda Mon 25-Nov-13 10:04:12
pointyfangs Tue 26-Nov-13 10:12:02

I think that looking at the % of total tax take is deceptive. What we should be looking at is the % of total income that individuals pay in tax - and by that measure, the very wealthy pay a much smaller % of what they get in tax than those at the bottom.

Warren Buffett makes the point well

pointy
I don't think those figures in the Warren Buffett article work for the UK tax regime. I know there is an issue in the US with the tax rate on certain investments which partly did for Mitt Romney's electoral hopes.

pointyfangs Tue 26-Nov-13 18:24:47

I'd be interested to see what the ratio is in the UK to be honest - and that calculation should include things like VAT, since that is paid on so many essentials. I do agree that the US tax regime is insanely skewed towards the rich and that it is not quite as bad here. However, I also feel that for some people, money has become nothing more than a way of keeping score in a game. That makes me sad when there are people who need food banks, live in homes with mould on the walls and can't afford to turn the heating on.

this is an interesting approach though no doubt it will end up driving up base pay instead - but as long as tax is paid on it I don't have a problem with that.

I'd also like to see a maximum pay multiple, but am not surprised the Swiss voted against it in a referendum - their multiple was set far too low (x12) to begin with, and of course they more or less stand or fall by their banking sector...

TheHammaconda Tue 26-Nov-13 20:53:19

pointy the data is available from the ONS. The report analyses in terms of income quintiles. However, if you examine income deciles it becomes apparent that the bottom decile (the poorest 10% of the population) actually pay the most in tax (35% of gross income). The richest 10% pay about 33% of gross income in tax.

Personally I don't believe capping bonuses will be effective. Firms will offer non-monetary rewards to their most valued employees.

pointyfangs Tue 26-Nov-13 20:58:51

True, Hammaconda - there isn't an easy answer. Human nature means that we're all inclined to look after ourselves more than others, which is why neither communism nor capitalism in its raw form will ever work.

Monty27 Tue 26-Nov-13 21:08:42

Is he so sympathetic about the poor? No. He's a prick, together with the rest of them that think they should make the poorer poorer. angry

DoctorTwo Wed 27-Nov-13 08:28:46

I'd also like to see a maximum pay multiple, but am not surprised the Swiss voted against it in a referendum - their multiple was set far too low (x12) to begin with

It wasn't quite that simple: it was proposed that the highest paid should be paid no more than 12 times per month than the lowest paid earns per annum, so the multiple is more like 144.

pointyfangs Wed 27-Nov-13 11:25:34

Doctor that's sad and says some scary things about the Swiss... I mean, let's take someone on NMW in the UK, they would be on what, £12k or thereabouts if we don't count tax credits etc.? So someone on 144 times that would get £1728000. Almost 2 million quid as a max. And that isn't enough? Some people have no shame.

DoctorTwo Wed 27-Nov-13 21:26:25

Don't forget, the Swiss have recently voted in another referendum that every adult should have a minimum income of about $2800 per month. So that x12 = $33600. That x12 = $403200. I have no problem with having a rule like this, it makes sense, it makes greedy wankers think and it doesn't impose on profits.

lalalonglegs Wed 27-Nov-13 21:56:05

Boris is obviously sucking up madly to the hardliners - his latest claim is that the wealthy should display their wealth to make the rest of us aspire to greater things...

Report here

TheHammaconda Thu 28-Nov-13 07:57:12

I wonder what his reaction to an increase in muggings of the wealthy in London will be then.

pointyfangs Thu 28-Nov-13 08:34:31

Doctor I didn't know that either, that's a very decent income even in an expensive country like Switzerland. It makes the multiple much more reasonable and possibly even a little on the low side. Though to be honest I would feel filthy rich on $433k, it's 7 times what DH and I earn between us and we feel pretty comfortably off.

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 09:07:05

Boris's speech as reported by the Guardian is awful. It has the right underlying Conservative sentiments which are in opposition to a progressive enforced equality agenda, but it is crass, unfunny and facile.

Boris is almost the Tory Party's equivalent of UKIP's Godfrey Bloom.

Boris may have a high IQ, but based on his facile arguments, I wonder if he has conviction. I prefer him to the Tory "modernisers" and progressives who have abandoned Thatcher's legacy, but I think his heart may not be in it and he may put his foot in it. I can see him changing with the wind and supporting the modernisers and progressives if it suits.

Why back Boris, whose unserious arguments seem to indicate unserious intent? Why not back a real Conservative who means what he says, has conviction and who doesn't insult the listener's intelligence? Why not back Nigel Farage?

www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/27/boris-johnson-thatcher-greed-good

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 09:16:34

One wonders if politics is a game to Boris, the privileged Old Etonian Bullingdon member. One wonders if it is just a jolly good show.

For ordinary people, it is real and we want change and solutions and conviction. We want progress and improvement and results. We've seen too many jokers, clowns and thespians. We want change.

pointyfangs Thu 28-Nov-13 10:27:07

It's an interesting question, claig - on the one hand Boris Johnson has championed a living wage for London, which would help to take people off state supplementation of their income. I see that as a good thing, it must be soul destroying to work full time in a low paid job and still need money from the state to make ends meet.

Then he comes out with 'Greed is Good' which I have a real problem with, I see that as an utterly immoral world view.

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 10:36:43

pointy, I think he will do anything for votes.

Thatcher had conviction and stuck to her principles and argued for them and beat Labour, because the majority of the public agreed with her.

The fact that he uses such crass arguments and phrases as 'greed is good' (whch progessives woud use to oppose Tory phlosophy) shows, in my opinion, that he is not serious in his beliefs and will not really deliver Tory values.

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 10:53:02

Boris uses 'Loadsamoney' in his facile argument as if 'Loadsamoney' really represented Thatcherism and he says we must not go back to that.

But it didn't really represent Thatcherism and when we laughed at it in those days we didn't do so because we disliked 'Loadsamoney'. 'Loadsamoney' was popular and funny because he was a plumber done good who made loads of money, he represented the aspirational working class. He wasn't a banker, he wasn't 'Tory Boy', he wasn't 'Tim Dim But Nice', he was working class and he done good and that is why the working class voted for Thatcher in such great numbers in those days, because she offered aspiration to the aspirational working class.

But Boris with his crass statements and unfunny jokes is almost a representation of 'Tory Boy' - a progessive 'Tory Boy' but still a 'Tory Boy' - and that is why he will lose the public's vote if he keeps on clowning and saying stupid things such as the rich are an oppressed minority. That is the sort of rubbish that the unloved, unfunny 'Tory Boy' would say, not what the funny, much loved 'Loadsamoney' would say.

The asiratonal working class liked 'Loadsamoney', but they dislike 'Tory Boy'.

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 11:16:54

Boris seems to have fallen for the progressive propaganda with his stupid statement that we should not "go back to" Loadsamoney. Of course, we should go back to Thatcherism, and if he had the courage to do so and defy the BBC and the progressives, then the Tories would win the election with ease, because the reality is that the people are aspirational and want to make loads of money.

'Loadsamoney' would have said 'cut the green crap' and the public would have laughed and cheered.

'Friday Night Live' was a right on left wing type comedy show on TV and Ben Elton was absolutely brilliant in those days when he had a go at the Thatch and we all laughed at his brilliant sketches. We laughed with Ben Elton, but voted for Margaret Thatcher because joking and reality are different.

Boris is a joker, but politics is real.

When it comes time to vote, we want someone that can offer hope and aspiration and 'Tory Boy' and 'Tim Dim But Nice' and 'Bullingdon Bertie' and an Eton Buster Keaton just don't cut it.

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 11:32:29

In those days our progressive TV channels tried every trick in the book to turn the public off Thatcher.

Whichever TV channel you switched on, the progressive comedians were having a go at the Thatch. They were brilliant progressives and very funny and Tories laughed along, but the public still voted her in.

The progressives didn't understand the people, they couldn't understand why we loved Thatcher. Their politicians gave us the same old crap and today they refuse to "cut the green crap".

In the end the progressives had to stitch Thatcher up and betray her from within the people's own party, our Thatcherite Tory Party.

And now we have the 'Tory Boys', the 'Tim Bim But Nices' telling us that the rich are an oppressed minority.

Bring back Thatcher, the people want the real Tories back again and have had enough of the clowns and want to cut the crap.

pointyfangs Thu 28-Nov-13 11:48:38

You and I will have to disagree on wanting Thatcher back, but that's because you're an avowed right winger and I'm on the opposite side of the spectrum. Oddly enough I suspect that we do want a lot of the same things - a fair reward for a fair day's work, opportunities to progress for everyone, not just for those who know the right people/wear the right school tie.

On the green agenda I try to be pragmatic - supplies of fossil fuels are finite and if we are to leave anything for our children and grandchildren we need to harness technology to ensure that we are not wasteful with what we have. That means utilising science to work on feasible and affordable alternative forms of energy - not throwing wind farms at everything because it is all we've got right now. It also means ensuring people can afford to insulate their homes (and so reduce their bills) and minimise what they use. Meanwhile we need to ensure that where we do use traditional forms of energy, we do so frugally and carefully so as not to drain and pollute the world our children are going to live in. That's just common sense.

An example: I have just bought a new car. I had to, my old one died. It's in the second lowest emission band, so it's clean. It's a diesel, so it's economical. It is also powerful, a hell of a lot of fun to drive and much safer than my old one. That's what mean by harnessing technology and if you will, having it both ways. I could have bought another older and less efficient car, but I would have done a disservice both to myself and to the world.

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 11:53:58

Yes, I am all for technological advance and science used to help humanity.

I am against elitists and politicians who pander to them, I am for advancement and progress for the people.

We agree that we want what is best for the people, we disagree about who is best to deliver it.

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 12:05:19

Boris's speech will be discussed on the 'Daily Politics' on BBC 2 now.

pointyfangs Thu 28-Nov-13 12:23:11

I'm disillusioned with politicians in general - the current crop no matter what side they are on only seem to be in it for themselves, they have no service ethos at all... The words 'career' and 'politician' should not go together.

I'm in my job because I want to support research in mental health because my family has been touched by mental illness. I could earn a lot more elsewhere, but what I do now feels like making a difference and it pays me enough. I think a politician which doesn't have this kind of mindset isn't serving the people who vote for him/her.

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 12:28:21

Exactly, we need politicians who have belief and conviction rather than ones who pander to whoever serves their own interests.

pointy
I agree with the issue of "career politicians". I don't think people who have done nothing but politics are terribly good for the country. You do need people with real life experience outside of the bubble of student / local / party politics whatever their political persuasion.

soul2000 Thu 28-Nov-13 13:10:27

I have read the speech that Johnson, gave and though it was not as "EVIL" as the Guardian would have us believe, was a totally inappropriate for today.
The speech was to show the "Boys in the City" that secretly he wishes he was one of them.

The problem with Johnson and the other Bullingdon members is that even though they know it is stupid and wrong what they say, they can't help saying it. The reason for that, is because like a drunk or drug addict knows they should not drink or take drugs, eventually they can't stop themselves the same applies to the Johnsons of the world .

As for the content of the speech , there was some truth in what he said the country is reliant on the 10% of earners, however we need to find ways for the country to be less reliant on such a small percentage. I don't think Johnson was even talking about the top 10% of the population other than in a cursory comment about selective education.

The Conservative party has always been full of the old boy network , and that will never change. What Mrs T did though was to at least temper their influence on the country or at least that was the perception to the C1 and C2 workers . These families were the aspirational working classes many of these families used the "Right to buy schemes", Assisted places scheme as a springboard into the middle classes and some of these families achieved great success in business and professional careers. The improvement in their families circumstances were unparalleled from any other time in history.

The reason Mrs Thatcher was so successful that the speeches that were made in 1975 struck a cord with the aspirational , they did not praise the top 1 percent at the expense of the other 99%.

The speeches emphasized how the family who owned the corner shop was as important as the City Brokers, and that the future for both could be bright if you were prepared to buy in to her ideas. Johnson/cameron and my MP Gideon ( Who i had to vote for) just make representations for the top 1% ,they do not encourage or motivate the rest into believing they can join an upwardly mobile society, Maggie was able to do that with great aplomb.

THIS HAS NOT BEEN CUT AND PASTED>>>>>

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 13:16:01

Exactly. Boris is attempting to wear Thatcher's mantle.

But talk is cheap and a lot of his speech was crass, whereas Thatcher was for real.

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 13:29:10

Just watched Anne Widdecombe on the 'Daily Politics'.

Bring back Anne, she is the real heir to Thatcher. Let here make speeches, not the progressive 'Tory Boys' and the 'Tim Dim But Nices'.

Anne has got no time for the 'modernisers', the progressive advisers, she's against the 'green crap'. She's for the people, she's correct, just not 'politically correct' like the 'Tim Dim But Nices'.

If 'Tory High Command' brought Anne Widdecombe back, the progressives would have to bring Ben Elton back in a desperate attempt to stop the people voting for Anne in a landslide.

But 'Tory High Command' would never ever do that, they are far too progressive for that, they are with the BBC and think that Widdecombe and Thatcher are old hat.

pointyfangs Thu 28-Nov-13 13:31:31

I do agree with that, soul2000 and I am certainly not one of the 'Thatcher was a monster' brigade. She did some bad things, but she also did some good ones and she was the kind of Conservative I have time for. I'm not tribal, I tend to look at the person not the party. I quite like my own MP - he still works part time as a GP and his wife is a senior nurse, he's firmly in the real world. And he has always replied in person to my letters, often with compassion and common sense even when we disagreed on things.

The current crop of people in Westminster - those who have floated to the top as things do - are a different kettle of fish entirely. They are so disconnected from reality that they have become a bad joke.

Boris Johnson's comments about IQ were also utterly crass.

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 13:44:00

'Boris Johnson's comments about IQ were also utterly crass.'

Exactly. Crass, offensive and smug, which sometimes sums him up.

I tend towards the Tories, but when I look at the ones who lead the Tory party, I sometimes despair. Where are the ones who connect with the people, the ones who grew up with the people, the ones who will cut the crap, where are the Thatchers? Where are the ones who care about the people, who don't insult the people with crass statements?

I can't vote for the progressives because I don't want the country ruined.

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 13:54:13

'They are so disconnected from reality that they have become a bad joke.'

And Boris's speech contained bad jokes. It wasn't funny, it was utterly crass.

You can't win public support by treating politics or the public as a joke.

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 14:05:47

This is the Daily Mail headline about Boris's crass, frankly offensive speech

"Some people are just too stupid to get on in life, Boris Johnson claims sparking row about his 'unpleasant, careless elitism'

London Mayor said only those with high IQs could rise to the top
Inequality is 'essential for the spirit of envy', Mr Johnson argued
Some people are just too stupid to get on in life, Boris Johnson claims sparking row about his 'unpleasant, careless elitism'

London Mayor said only those with high IQs could rise to the top
Inequality is 'essential for the spirit of envy', Mr Johnson argued
Called for creation of new generation of grammar schools to help brightest
Comments came in the third annual Margaret Thatcher Lecture
But Nick Clegg accused Johnson of talking about human beings like 'dogs'"

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2514720/Boris-Johnson-Tackling-economic-equality-futile-peoples-IQ-low.html

This isn't Thatcherism, this isn't populist, this is elitist, Etonian nonsense

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 14:15:42

The sad thing is that enforced progressive equality is wrong and it is about dumbing down and is the enemy of aspiration, but Boris can't argue it, he can't reason it. I think he studied classics, but he obviously didn't understand the great classical philosophers. He is out of his depth.

He probably thinks he has a high IQ, but his arguments ad reasoning are shallow which is why his comments and jokes are crass and offensive.

The Tories should only use him as the warm-up act, the jester, the clown.
They should leave the thinking to others.

pointyfangs Thu 28-Nov-13 14:40:20

claig I agree that enforced equality is wrong, but I do feel that inequality has gone much, much too far - both in the world as a whole and in the UK in particular. We're now living in a country where you can be born highly intelligent in a poor working household - or in a completely dysfunctional family - and there are no mechanisms to get you out of that.

We don't need a spirit of envy, we need a system where there are opportunities for everyone to better themselves. That way people from all walks of life will have an incentive to take education and work seriously - because there is something in it for them. There isn't a simple way of achieving this - Thatcher's way didn't, and nor did Labour's method of thowing money at the problem.

I think part of the problem is the legacy of the class system, coupled with a strange innate disregard for the virtues of education that is peculiarly British. What's needed is a change of culture alongside a change of system, which is easier said than done.

There will always be an elite - but 'the elite' should consist of people who have used their talents well, reached the top and are now using their talents and position for the greater good, not for their own advancement.

Equally it should be accepted that not everyone wants to be a high flyer and that we should all be valued for the hard work we do. I don't want to climb the ladder where I work, because it will take me away from those aspects of my job that I love most - interacting with people, making things work well for others, teaching and inspiring confidence and furthering research which will improve people's lives. Climbing higher would mean endless meetings and planning and then handing the meat of the real work over to other - no, thanks.

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 14:43:46

"Mr Johnson said: ‘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."

The prentiousness of this statement by the joker Johnson almost equals the prentiousness of statements made by the progressive comedian, Russell Brand.

The same use of big words to hide empty ideas.

pointyfangs Thu 28-Nov-13 14:50:34

claig how you define 'a progressive'? I've debated things with you frequently and you always seem to use it as a pejorative, but somehow I never feel that the term as you use it applies to me.

Which is odd, because I consider myself pretty progressive. I'm left wing, I am in favour of marriage equality and against discrimination on grounds of gender, race, sexual orientation and so on. I believe that those of us who have done well out of life should not begrudge supporting those who are not so fortunate - I feel we need welfare as a safety net, we need to invest in education and employment opportunities for people who haven't had them, we need to help people help themselves without blaming the poor for being poor and being punitive about it like Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Gove. I have no problem with being tough on people who really can't be bothered to make their own living, but I don't believe that untrammelled capitalism will work (nor untrammelled communism, for that matter).

So what is a 'progressive' to you, and am I one?

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 14:56:58

'I agree that enforced equality is wrong, but I do feel that inequality has gone much, much too far - both in the world as a whole and in the UK in particular. We're now living in a country where you can be born highly intelligent in a poor working household - or in a completely dysfunctional family - and there are no mechanisms to get you out of that.'

I agree with you. We must provide greater opportunity to the disadvantaged majority of our population. I agree with Johnson about reintroducing grammar schools, I just don't like his crass way of arguing for it.

'we need a system where there are opportunities for everyone to better themselves. That way people from all walks of life will have an incentive to take education and work seriously - because there is something in it for them.'

Exactly.

'There will always be an elite'
Yes, but the elite should be based on meritocracy, not on privilege and wealth. We need more opportunity and the return of grammars so that our brightest minds from the working and middle classes can displace an out-of-touch, crass, insensitive elite who are only where they are due to privilege and money.

'I don't want to climb the ladder where I work, because it will take me away from those aspects of my job that I love most - interacting with people, making things work well for others, teaching and inspiring confidence and furthering research which will improve people's lives.'

Exactly, it is about making a difference to other people's lives and about service.

'"Some people are just too stupid to get on in life"
Who is this arrogant, privileged, crass fool talking about?

Is he talking about workers who only earn minimum wage and who work more hours than he does or people who are unemployed because bankers have forced businesses to ruin and led to the shutdown of businesses and the loss of jobs. I have worked for minimum wage, has he ever done so? Who does he think he is compared to the millions of people who work hard for minimum wage? Does he think he is better than them, cleverer than them? His arguments are crass. I don't care if he went to Eton and Oxford, he is still a fool.

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 15:09:53

I am also left wing on some issues. I voted for the frauds in 1997 when I voted for Blair.

I do use progressive pejoratively to portray the political correctness of the ruling elite and its dominant media in the BBC and elsewhere who use the term "progressive" to cover themselves with a halo and implicitly paint their opponents as "regressive". I use it pejoratively to highlight that those who call themselves "progressives" on our TV screens are not as worthy as they claim and that their opponents are not as unworthy as they imply, that those in glass houses should not throw stones.

I believe in balance. When the Tories went too far in 1997, I voted Labour. When the philosophy of the progressive is dominant everywhere, then I support Anne Widdecombe and am for "cutting the green crap".

When a progressive like Russell Brand says "I am against the Daily Mail", then I am against the progressive, because I am not for Boris Johnson or for the Tories, but I most certainly am for the Daily Mail.

And when balance is lost and if Boris Johnson goes too far, then I will become a progressive too and may one day vote Labour again, just as I did in 1997.

soul2000 Thu 28-Nov-13 15:16:44

I am not even sure that the likes of Johnson/Cameron really know what grammar schools are. I think all they know is that some of their potential voters like them . Cameron on the other hand is frightened that they can be seen as being toxic by the progressives. Cameron has very little experience of state education and what he does know via (Like Blair sending his kids to state schools) is the same that the Royal Family has in using the N.HS . This of course is the very best that both can offer and the experiences bear little in common with the vast majorities experiences.

Ian Duncan Smith just opens his mouth without thinking, therefore he comes up with ideas that sound great but in reality cant or dont work.

Michael Gove is a Zealot who genuinely thinks he is saving education from the teachers,who he believes are part of some stalinist plot. He really believes he is the aire to the "MAD MONK".... Sir Keith Joseph.

pointyfangs Thu 28-Nov-13 15:25:54

It's funny how many things we agree on despite coming at them from radically different perspectives.

The idea that Russell Brand is a progressive sticks in my craw though, after the crap he put Andrew Sachs through - he's a loudmouthed obnoxious yob who's only interested in getting media coverage and he isn't even funny...

I detest the Daily Mail because of what they did in smearing Ed Miliband's father, because of the foul things they always print about working women being bad parents (but SAHM are bad too because they sponge off their husbands, we can't win!) and the gay community and because of the way one of their columnists smeared Jack Monroe - what an article that was, one lie strung after another. However, I have noticed a slight softening in their tone lately, which is interesting.

So far the only paper I find which is mostly neutral is the Independent - the rest are all very strongly on one or the other side of the political divide.

pointyfangs Thu 28-Nov-13 15:28:52

On education I think we need a radical change of tack - I am leaning towards doing what the Germans do, only doing it better. That means investing in excellent vocational education alongside excellent academic education, and valuing both equally (which is what the Germans aren't managing to do because Realschule is still looked down on).

The grammar school model is basically dead because affluent middle class parents who can afford to tutor their children from the word go will end up displacing brighter children from less affluent families. It isn't just about drilling for the tests, it's also about cultural capital. I don't think that system can be rescued, it needs radical replacement with something that genuinely offers opportunity to the best.

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 15:50:45

I am for grammar schools and for Eton and for Oxford. They are all great instiutions of our country and are part of our heritage and our way of doing things which has been historically dfferent to that of Germany's way of doing things.

But I want a society based on meritocracy not progressive equality and not on wealth and privilege. I want a Thatcherite society of enterprise and aspiration and one where Thatcher never ever cut a great company like Remploy unlike Gordon Brown and the progressives who laid workers off from that great company.

I don't believe the arguments of progressives like Gordon Brown who claim that grammar schools only help middle class children. There are lots of working class parents who encourage their children to work and study hard, and some of these parents may work on minimum wage or be recent immigrants, but they know that education is the way for their clever children to do better than them and many of them want their children to enter grammar schools because they believe that they are better than the local comprehensives.

I believe in freedom and am against any progressive politician introducing biometic ID cards or DNA databases or of telling parents what school their children should go to. I believe in freedom and choice. And just because not every working class child can go to a grammar, or just because not all working class children are as bright as some others, that doesn't mean that those who are bright enough shoud not have the opportunity to go to grammars and eventually maybe displace from Oxford or Cambridge or Eton or the Cabinet, the arrogant privileged fools who thiink that "some people are just too stupid to get on in life".

I have no envy, and I do not envy those who are where they are by meritocracy, but I have anger against injustice and arrogant fools who believe they are better than others by dint of their privilege or wealth.

There are thousands of children like the following one in our country and I want them to give Boris Johnson and the arrogant elite a run for their money and I want them to earn "loads of money" and prosper and live well, as they wish in freedom and with real choice.

"A YOUNG maths prodigy, raised above a Chinese takeaway by his doting parents, has won a scholarship to Eton College.

James Yuen, 12, astonished his parents when he announced he was heading for the prestigious college whose pupils generally come from elite public schools. The bright youngster secured his place after bagging an A grade in GCSE maths at the age of ten and then followed that up with an A at A-Level last year. After attending an open day and sitting gruelling entrance exams he has been granted a New Foundation scholarship to the famous college in Windsor, Berkshire."

www.echo-news.co.uk/news/10254070.Southend_maths_prodigy__12__wins_Eton_scholarshop/

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 16:01:29

And when all these great children eventually make it to the heights of our society and when they are in Parliament and in the Cabinet and in the House of Lords, I want them to remember where they came from and who they are. I want them not to forget the others just like them and I don't want them to pull the ladder up and scrap the grammars that gave them their chance, just as the grammars gave Thatcher and Wilson and countless others their chance.

ttosca Thu 28-Nov-13 20:43:47

Yeah, Thatcherism worked out really well for the working class, didn't it?

That's why there are so many working-class Thatcher fans.

gazzalw Thu 28-Nov-13 20:45:03

hmm Only someone who went to Eton could even utter such a crass statement!

ttosca Thu 28-Nov-13 20:45:15

You're just a big bundle of confusion, contradiction, and incoherence, arentcha claig? Yes you are! Oh yes you are!

pointyfangs Thu 28-Nov-13 21:02:19

We'll have to agree to disagree on grammar schools, claig. IMO they aren't the answer - because there are only a tiny number of them in a tiny area, and it will take years if not decades to 1) create new ones in all areas and 2) find ways of ensuring that their intake is fair. Because however you spin it, currently it isn't. Grammar school populations are never, ever representative of the school's catchment - middle class affluent children are disproportionately represented, and I refuse to believe that affluence = high ability. Far too many children are missing out.

I would like to see some form of academic selection, perhaps implemented within rather than between schools. My DD1 goes to our local comprehensive - no grammars where we are, just some rather mediocre independents. The school caters for her and her peers very well. She's in Yr8, doing Yr 10-11 work as a matter of course in the academic subjects. She won't be sitting GCSEs early - Michael Gove has put paid to that anyway and in any case I disagree with early exam entrance unless there is a real prospect of that young child reaching their full GCSE potential so early. Instead the school focuses on teaching them in depth and breadth and preparing them so that the transition to A-level will be smooth because they have already set out on that path, and on getting the best out of them. Her peer group, from a very ordinary and not homogeneous affluent background, are working towards Oxbridge/RG universities. High ambitions, high standards, working towards excellence, all proving that the comprehensive system can deliver if the will is there. The school is an academy, but without the draconian rules on discipline and uniform we see so much of in the press, and it just works.

ttosca I don't think claig is entirely inconsistent although I disagree with her on many things, and I don't think that comment of yours adds anything to the debate at all...

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 21:30:20

Yes you are right, Gove did a good thing to get rid of early sitting of GCSEs. What counts is breadth and depth of education, not just getting paper certificates early to benefit school targets.

And you are right that comprehensives can also be very good schools. I am in favour of different models - selective schools at 11, alongside comprehensives and selective schools at 14 and vocational schools at 14 etc. I believe in choice and letting parents choose which option they want.

pointyfangs Thu 28-Nov-13 21:49:13

The only problem with the model we both prefer is that it will need a step back from the DfE's current 'one size fits all' attitude. This started with the National Curriculum and has only got worse since, with the deterioration accelerating under Michael Gove, the man who is on the record as saying 'all schools should be above average'.

We have to start acknowledging that children learn at different rates and in different ways, which is why we need selection at different ages - I'd argue for a third intake at 16 for the late developers. That means trusting not only parents, but schools and teachers too, and the DfE isn't doing that at all at the moment. My DD2's school is an example - they were given 'Requires Improvement' at their last OFSTED, but the inspector said that had the team come on a different day, they would have got Good and been borderline Outstanding. That tells me the inspection regime is completely dysfunctional. The school is a good school - a great school, with amazing pastoral care, teaching which manages to be both inspiring and creative and an ethos of teaching to the child's best, not to national targets. However, that doesn't fit the SATs factory mould and so is not properly appreciated, except by parents and children.

Until we have an education system that serves all children and delivers each child's maximum potential, we will never get anywhere.

And getting back to topic - if Boris thinks I'm going to humbly thank the super rich for anything, he has another think coming. I admire those who have risked their own money and started businesses, employing lots of people. However, asking me to admire those who have done nothing but inherit from mummy and daddy - save me!

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 22:31:28

I am with you completely. We need different models and need to scrap the 'one size fits all'. Notmany of us would choose to wear a 'onesie', so why should schools be 'one size fits all', which is why I am not in favour of a comprehensive only model, and ys since teh school laving age has increased, then why not intake at 16 too.

' I admire those who have risked their own money and started businesses, employing lots of people. However, asking me to admire those who have done nothing but inherit from mummy and daddy - save me!'

Exactly, I admire meritocracy and people who have achieved and created something against the odds. I admire exceptional people, which is why I admire Thatcher, but I don't admire people who were born with a silver spoon n their mouths and then look down on others less privileged than themselves.

claig Thu 28-Nov-13 22:34:26

Boris's "unpleasant elitism" will be discussed on Newsnight now. I will have to Sky Plus it, because I will be watching Question Time instead.

TheLeftovermonster Thu 28-Nov-13 23:17:16

Hmm, looks like he is suckuing up to some of the filthy rich, who will then back his political ambitions. In exchange for something.

ttosca Sat 30-Nov-13 13:49:24

And now for something completely different:

Stupid poor people are stupid and poor, says massive blonde-haired child

www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/stupid-poor-people-are-stupid-and-poor-says-massive-blonde-haired-child-2013112881538

petteacher Wed 04-Dec-13 13:35:15

Boris was being his daft/mystical self with a few jokes thrown in

Juliet123456 Mon 09-Dec-13 13:57:54

It certainly is true that if you pay a lot of tax in the UK (as I do although I am certainly not in the super rich league) and create jobs you don't get much thanks. He was just trying to encourage people to remember that 30% of the tax is paid by 1% of tax payers.

yorkshirenipper Fri 13-Dec-13 14:55:30

Boris goes for PUBLICITY and forgets about commonsense.

columngollum Mon 03-Mar-14 09:44:44

I don't know if it's worth a new thread. But his latest outpouring is that children at risk of radicalisation should be taken into care.

Surely the obvious thing to do with anyone at risk of radicalisation is to talk to them (which many people already are doing.) You can legislate against what people do in a democracy. But you can't legislate against what people think. All you can do is reason with them. And if they break the law you can put them on trial.

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