Boris Johnson: £250K is "chicken feed"

Boris Johnson, eh? We never quite know what to make of him. As a Tory politician, we have to hate him on principle - but then he goes and commissions a London School of Economics report which utterly demolishes a fair old chunk of anti-immigrant racist philosophy. But next thing you know, it turns out he tried to claim back the cost of a Royal British Legion poppy wreath on expenses so you have to hate him again. You just can't tell - is he yet another Conservative scumbag or is he a good bloke?

Boris Johnson must keep his head in a bucket to be so blind to the realities of the everyday lives of most of the people he represents if he thinks £250K is chicken feed. Hmm...come to think of it, that explains the hairstyle too.

Boris is paid just short of £140,000 per year as the Mayor of London, which is a pretty good wage by anyone's standards - he does a very important job, after all, and the people of London obviously have enough faith in him to have voted for him to get the position. People have been wondering just lately if he's truly committed to the job though, because he also writes a column every week for the Daily Telegraph and he gets another £250,000 for doing so. £390,000 per annum - tasty.

David Cameron, the Tory leader, has instructed his MPs to give up all outside work because the public are of the opinion that they should focus wholly on their Government jobs and he wants to get them on his side before Gordon Brown thinks of doing the same thing, in the hope that he may be able to persuade the last remaining Labour voters to vote for the Conservatives instead. But Boris thinks it is “wholly reasonable” that he continues writing his columns because, he says, "I happen to write extremely fast. I don’t see why on a Sunday morning I shouldn’t knock off an article, if someone wants to pay me for that article then that’s their lookout and of course I make a substantial donation to charity." Give yourself a moment to recover from reading the terms "knock off" and "column" in a paragraph about Boris Johnson - we know that it creates disturbing mental images.

Despite his distinctly uncharitable attempt to recover the cost of the wreath, he's not lying on that last point - he does give £50,000 to charity every year, so once again we all have to start wondering if maybe he's a good chap after all.

However, when asked by the BBC's HardTalk television prpgramme whether it's right for him to receive the quarter of a million pounds in addition to his mayoral salary, he replies: "It's chicken feed."

Why did the chicken cross the road? Well, it just happened to be in Knightsbridge and simply couldn't resist popping into Harrods for a tin of Beluga, dahling...

You must have some very well-fed chickens, Boris - even Peter Viggers' ducks would be jealous of them! What do they eat - truffles and caviar? Did you know that rather a high percentage of the people who live in London, the people you are supposed to speak for and represent, have never tasted truffles and caviar? Instead, they have to try to make ends meet on their low or average wages; eating Asda Smart Price frozen meals and whatever they can get in Aldi (you might not have heard of those two places - they're a bit like Fortnum and Mason's, only they sell Lambrini instead of Krug and people usually go there on the bus rather than in the Maybach)? There's a lot of them who can't even afford that: once they've used up their pathetic dole money they have to hunt for food in bins - surely you've seen them when you're out on your bike? Or are you so blind to the realities of the harsh lives led by thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in your city that you don't even notice them, you greedy bastard?

"Londoners struggling through the recession will be astounded that their Mayor is so out of touch with reality," says John Biggs, the Labour deputy leader of the London Assembley. "How can we have any faith in a Mayor who believes earning more than ten times the majority of those whose interests he is supposed to represent amounts to nothing more than chicken feed?"

How indeed. Meanwhile, if Boris doesn't start noticing a bit more of what's going on around him, Ken Livingstone might just be with a chance at getting his old job back in 2012. We don't like him very much either, incidentally.


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