Boris in Any Questions, Radio 4, 20 March

Boris is taking part tonight in the Any Questions topical radio debate chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby at Kings College, London.   Regular listeners know this is usually a lively show and the line-up tonight includes not only Mayor of London Boris Johnson, but Minister of State for Employment and Minister for London Tony McNulty (educated in UK and US, former lecturer in organisational behaviour) , director of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and historian Professor Lisa Jardine and the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali.  It is on Radio 4 at 8pm  (FM only) and can be heard again tomorrow lunchtime on all Radio 4 channels at 1.10 pm.

10 thoughts on “Boris in Any Questions, Radio 4, 20 March”

  1. Yes, this should be absolutely great! Will definitely listen tomorrow and hope for some fun, because a lot of the news at the moment is desperately sad and depressing.

  2. Boris has been sadly missing from our t.v. screens and so this radio appearance will be eagerly anticipated.

    The Musical Instruments Amnesty was a beautiful, inspiring idea, as was the poetry article. In these dark days, we need inspiration and things that lift us out from the common run. Keep up the good work Boris!

  3. The No Strings Attached scheme was such an inspirational idea, as was the poetry article. We need inspiration at the moment. ANY QUESTIONS is a must.

  4. Boris was funny on ANY QUESTIONS! He also made some excellent points. I particularly agreed with him when he explained why he did not believe in brutal taxation for high earners.

    If people have the guts and talent to back themselves, they should not be penalised for that. It is that entrepreneurial spirit that will save us in the credit crunch and we should be rewarding it and supporting it with every fibre of our being.

    Had to print this quote from today’s TIMES.

    “They say money can’t buy happiness, and I can confirm that
    is entirely true. The economic outlook is dire, they bemoaned. There is no hope left, they muttered over their shoulders as they slinked off to their yachts and into the night”.

    BORIS JOHNSON, Mayor of London, after attending an international property developer’s conference.

  5. Only one thing cast dread into my soul when this programme was on.

    Someone asked out Mayor why he had never appeared on the Jonathan Ross Show. “I have never been asked” replied the Mayor beguilingly.

    Does that mean that if asked, the Mayor would…. he COULDN’T! HE WOULDN’T! Oh well, I suppose Boris certainly has the wit to run rings rounds Jonathan Ross and he might, by example, give him a much needed lesson in how to be funny without being scatalogical.

  6. Boris’ remark about the top rate of tax in Any Questions was quite revealing. He said,

    “It sends out a signal to people who want to create wealth, people who are energetic, who believe they have something to do in the City, and then they can generate new industries or drive huge enterprises of one kind or another. It sends out a signal that we basically want to take more of their proceeds away than before. And I think it is a deterrent to enterprise”

    The implication is that no-one could possibly be ‘energetic’ to create wealth, generate new industries etc. knowing an increased share of their hard-earned money will benefit public services and public debt reduction via tax ie. they basically would like to keep all the money they’ve earned for themselves, and will only grudgingly give any away.

    This is just not true. People create industries for all sorts of reasons, and wealth is often a secondary consideration. The fact that Boris doesn’t realise this confirms my suspicions about the Cameron conservatives, which is that they aren’t all bad, but they just don’t have social instincts, and so approach the necessarily ‘social’ questions of government from the wrong angle. This, in my view, is why the Tories have failed pretty badly and encouraged social inequality in recent past times, and why there’s no reason to feel they won’t again.

  7. I think Andrew Woodard is being both too judgemental and simplistic in using criticism of Boris Johnson’s argument for reducing the top rate of tax. I would also like to know the source of his assertion that “wealth is often a secondary consideration” for those who create industries? Even if it is a secondary consideration it may well still exceed the consideration of being burdened with high rates of tax for their efforts. After all even many altruists and philanthropists have been full on capitalists who had a sharp eye on the bottom line. It is just that many also thought that give the government too much of our money and they will squander it. New Labour has shown that even “when the sun shines” they are not fit custodians of our hard earned taxes.

  8. They should also talk about the BBC TV licence.

    ITV 1, 2, 3 and 4, C4, C5… are going to put on Sky and Virgin. Viewers will be charged for viewing. Very good ideas. If you want to watch them, you have to pay. If you don’t want to watch them, you don’t have to pay.

    People want to know why the BBC can’t or don’t want to do the same? Why do we have to pay for a BBC TV licence even if we don’t watch them?

    In Japan, they have a state-run BBC-like TV station which is funded with government money and public donations. No TV licence is needed for this state-run TV station. This way, the directors will have to think twice before they decide how much they should pay themselves, their staff and the celebrities. Other stations like the UK’s ITV, C4, C5… are free.

    Unlike the BBC fat cats who have been rolling in TV licence payers’ money for years. They c[***]ingly pay celebrities obscene fees ( Ross’s £18million/3 years contract… ) to make their own huge salaries look small in comparison.

  9. I agree with Philip Lewis’s remark that many philanthropists have been full on capitalists, although I would tend to put it the other way round ie. many successful capitalists have been able to afford the luxury of being philanthropists (sometimes by donating to the Labour party, which can have a nice little side-effect of a peerage in return). It is of course also true that governments invariably squander our taxes (I think that’s been true of every government in history).

    Thinking about this, it’s clear that Boris was referring to the super rich, who he hopes will still want to be based in London/attracted to come here, and who will start up new hedge funds etc. Today’s Times makes this inference too: (or they possibly asked him directly). Boris could of course be right about this “financial elite”. They’ll go wherever they can do business with the least interference from the taxman. In this sense, Boris is just a realist. That still doesn’t make him a socialist of course, but I guess he would never claim to be one.

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