Okay, well all my out-of-work journalist and inpecunious writer and reviewer friends will be thrilled to hear that Boris Johnson, our very own Moptop Mayor, gets £250,000 a year to write a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph.
That’s the same as ten, say, sub-editors working far more than Sunday mornings. It’s the same as me, Ms B, working from the age of, oh, 35 till now. The other difference is that they, or I, would be living on that fraction of this sum, where for Boz it merely more than doubles his Mayoral salary, which is already something like five times the average income… God, and people keep saying the journalism sector has dried up!
You know, I do love the slightly anachronistic dilettantism Boris brings to his work. He enacts the self-help dictum that you should “work like you don’t need to” (ahem!); and one can only support his support of the arts, especially for young deprived kids. It’s about time we started appreciating publicly the great richness of our culture. Plus, there is a deep suspicion here in Baroqueland of the kind of grim, empiricist appraisal-based target-&-objective sapjoy spirit that has ruined modern life. That, and plastic buses.
But here’s what the cuddly moppet says of his column, and I can’t help feeling just a little, tiny, teensy, weensy, eensy, peensy, meensy bit put out about it. He says:
“It’s chicken feed.
“I think that frankly there’s absolutely no reason at all why I should not knock off an article as a way of relaxation.
“I write anyway, 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.”
Well, it is time to man the barricades, or something. But rivers of blood, they’re a little been-there, today of all days. Do we really want to see heads on pikes for their own sake, or just so we can write about them? After all, it’s good to see there’s still plenty of money about. Maybe, bearing in mind the Cuddly One’s penchant for giving it away, this is the moment to get crafting that pitch letter to end all pitches.
Or – instead, maybe write to the editor of your choice: a Sunday morning feature on Who Ate All the Pies…