newsflash! Storm City Hall the Bastille!


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.

“Dear Boris…”

Or – instead, maybe write  to the editor of your choice:  a Sunday morning feature on Who Ate All the Pies…


Filed under bagatelles, important things, Life, Living With Words, London, Marie Antoinette, politics, pseud's corner, what IS it with this lot??

6 responses to “newsflash! Storm City Hall the Bastille!

  1. My dear Ms B, as you know well, newspaper columns are not journalism. Herr Bojo, descendent of Württemberg royalty, is being a princely sum to write opinionated bollocks. And he is far from alone when it comes to overpaid scribblers of egocentric toss.

  2. Hullo there Mr Underworked, I was wondering how you were. You speak the truth, of course. But I still thought the rest of us might find it cheering to know that the Tellygraph has so much spare dosh hanging around that it could be mistaken for giant sacks of corn…

    Guess there’s little point in asking you how it’s all going then?

  3. It’s “Dr Underworked”, thank you very much!

    I’ll email re. your question.

  4. Bojo is not being paid £250k for his words as such, but for his presence on the page, hence the wordage MacGuffin: in PR one would call it a royal wave. His hooray schtick, laced with shrewdly recalled classicisms from school days, certainly amuses, even enchants, for a while. But ask him some questions about the Metropolitan Police, inter alia, and he reverts to what he is: just another slippery politician.

  5. Ah, Dr U, so I see you’re fine…! God, I guess if I’d done a PhD I’d want to get what credit I could for it, since you can’t even sell them…or can you?

    And darling Mme A, I see this one has brought everyone out! Yes, you are quite right – as always – and with extra points for mentioning MacGuffins.

  6. ‘Tis yours for 100 guineas, darling. You too can be a fizzysist. Or a fizzy-sistah?

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