Opinion Editorial

Editorial

What would Maggie do?

London's mayor Boris Johnson speaks at the annual CBI conference in central London, Nov. 4, 2013. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

London's mayor Boris Johnson speaks at the annual CBI conference in central London, Nov. 4, 2013. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

Last week London, England, Mayor Boris Johnson delivered a speech titled "What Would Maggie Do Today ?"

The Conservative politician's comments on what Margaret Thatcher would think and do today bear repeating for Canadian readers.

Thatcher, PM from 1979-90, "put a stop to the talk of decline and she made it possible for people to speak without complete embarrassment of putting the "great" back into Britain. And she gave us a new idea -- or revived an old one: that Britain was or could be an enterprising and free-booting sort of culture, -¦ a buccaneering environment where there was no shame -- quite the reverse -- in getting rich."

Unlike so many in the world today, both Thatcher and Johnson understand that economic success is actually a key ingredient for helping those less off.

Back to Johnson: "But I also hope that there is no return to that spirit of Loadsamoney heartlessness -- figuratively riffling banknotes under the noses of the homeless; and I hope that this time the Gordon Gekkos of London are conspicuous not just for their greed -- valid motivator thought greed may be for economic progress -- as for what they give and do for the rest of the population, many of whom have experienced real falls in their incomes over the last five years."

Yes, we need a strong economy in Canada so we can continue to fund our social programs and so our philanthropists can continue to support causes dear to them.

Big government interventions to end income inequality don't actually work. Which brings us to Johnson's most controversial comments: "I stress: I don't believe that economic equality is possible; indeed, some measure of inequality is essential for the spirit of envy and keeping up with the Joneses that is, like greed, a valuable spur to economic activity."

Johnson concludes: "It was (Thatcher's) fundamentally positive and can-do vision that turned this country around and that we should remember today."

So much left-wing activism these days is based on a culture of "no." Barack Obama's "Yes we can" was an Orwellian mantra. It actually meant "no you can't" -- without government, that is.

Canadians need a can-do vision moving forward so we can rise up together.

 


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