Politicians and the newspapers in the UK like to have a go at pretty much everyone. Footballers, Wonga, drug users, gangs, immigrants, travellers and religious extremists have all had plenty of abuse over recent years as have, in many cases, this country’s super-rich.
Now, though, the landowners and zillionaires of the UK have a staunch new ally. Boris has used his regular Daily Telegraph article to urge people to stop ‘bashing’ the super-rich, comparing them to hard-pressed minorities like the homeless, Irish travellers or ex-gang members.
[I know, I know. People with nineteen noughts on their bank accounts are just the same as the homeless. Good grief. Bear with us, though – Boriswatch Ed]
The Mayor of London accused “everyone from the Archbishop of Canterbury to Nick Clegg” of bullying the group he defined as “zillionaires” – and said the most rich of all should receive “automatic knighthoods”.
[Again, bear with us. People should get a knighthood on account of massive wealth? Sounds like the 17th century – Boriswatch Ed]
Boris said the rich deserve our “humble and hearty thanks” for their contributions to charity and the exchequer – quoting figures that say the top 1 per cent pay 29.8 per cent of all UK income tax. He wrote: “It is my duty to stick up for every put-upon minority in the city – from the homeless to Irish travellers to ex-gang members to disgraced former MPs. But there is one minority that I still behold with a benign bewilderment, and that is the very, very rich.
“These are the people who put bread on the tables of families who – if the rich didn’t invest in supercars and employ eau de cologne-dabbers – might otherwise find themselves without a breadwinner.
“We should stop any bashing or moaning or preaching or bitching and simply give thanks for the prodigious sums of money that they are contributing to the tax revenues of this country, and that enable us to look after our sick and our elderly and to build roads, railways and schools,” he said.
As you may imagine, quite a lot of people were queuing up to add the Mayor to another minority that they wanted to ‘bash’. Paul Isemonger said the comments were “an absurd anachronism”, while student activists People’s Assembly Against Austerity from King’s College, London said: “Boris Johnson has suggested that the super rich are an oppressed minority. These people just don’t get it, do they?”
So, is he right? Should we shut up and let billionaires get on with earning their cash and paying their taxes? Or is Boris being a blathering idiot? Share your thoughts below.