Boris flogs a dead goose


Originally published on LabourList, Aug 31 2009

On the front page of Thursday’s Evening Standard, and inside Fridays’s Daily Mail, Boris Johnson was again on his high horse badmouthing much needed changes.

Lord Turner, chief of the Financial Services Authority called for the big spenders to pay their dues. He suggested a levy on more frivolous financial transactions, a curb in excessive pay (and bonuses) and the need to refocus banks on people, not profit.

Boris claimed this was in danger of killing the golden goose. The Mayor is clueless to the fact that the goose stopped laying golden eggs long ago and has recently been shitting everywhere.

As the dust settles around the city I hope even the most zealous of bankers realises we need some serious changes. To make right what went so wrong we need new ideas, new minds, new passion, a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Boris’ goose just won’t do.

Central to Lord Turner’s plan is a Tobin tax. Named after US economist James Tobin, who suggested placing a small duty on international currency transactions, basically using cash from high finance to help those at their lowest.

But Boris isn’t happy. I wonder what’s going on beneath the blond hair, behind the smile. None of the Londoners I meet day in day out can see the golden egg he speaks of. I overheard a man on the bus say the big banks have dished out far more golden showers than golden eggs.

Boris is a funny man, I’ll give him that, but the joke’s gone on long enough.


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