In a bizarre and rambling speech that seems to have angered more people than it placated, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suggested we clap for bankers. Actual bankers. You know, the ones who caused the last big economic collapse?
The speech, given in Dudley in the West Midlands – not an area popular with bankers – Johnson appeared to be talking solely to his rich and privileged friends as he set out his plans for the future.
Bizarrely stating "I am not a communist" in a way that couldn't fail to evoke Nixon's "I'm not a crook," Johnson went on to say the following:
"Yes, of course we clap for our NHS, but under this government we also applaud those who make our NHS possible.
Our innovators, our wealth creators, our capitalists and financiers – because, in the end, it is their willingness to take risks with their own money that will be crucial for our future success."
If you've been living under a rock (honestly quite a good idea with a deadly virus going around), the clapping he's referring to is the weekly 8pm "Clap For Our Carers" that brought millions of people outside their homes on Thursdays to applaud the NHS and other health institutions carrying the burden of the pandemic.
The weekly clap was cancelled after ten weeks, ostensibly because of concerns it was becoming politicised but likely also because people were getting sick of it, fewer people were turning out, and some bastards had started setting off fireworks.
Johnson's suggestion that we applaud people who are considered by many to be hoarding wealth and destroying lives in the pursuit of a vault like Scrooge McDuck's isn't the only fury-making thing he said in the speech.
He also strongly suggested rich folks wouldn't need to worry about paying any more tax:
"When I say level up, I don’t mean attacking our great companies. I don’t mean impeding the success of London – far from it,” he pledged.
Or launching some punitive raid on the wealth creators. I don’t believe in tearing people down any more than I believe in tearing down statues that are part of our heritage."
Wealth creators? These aren't people who are making money and then putting it on YouTube (like and subscribe, guys!). They make it... and then they keep it. Trickle-down economics has been about as much use as Johnson's condoms.
And nice work on shoehorning in "I disagree with pulling down statues of racists" there, pal.
On the upside, BoJo also promised "jobs, jobs, jobs" but unfortunately failed to give any numbers, numbers, numbers. [The Independent]