Either way, Bozza has been munching on the dictionary again. This time the Mayor has called for a ‘greater sense of euergetism’, urging the super-rich to pay for schools and hospitals to stop the gap between rich and poor in recession-hit Britain becoming as big as it was in Victorian days.
Boris called on multi-millionaires and billionaires to follow the example of Victorian Britain where wealthy individuals viewed it as their duty to fund important civic projects. “Weâ€™re entering a very weird political climate, and we have been for 18 months or two years,” he said.
“Weâ€™re in danger of becoming really averse to wealth creation and hostile to wealth creators as a country, no matter whether theyâ€™re bankers or anybody else. I have to say that alarms me.
“Of course I want to see bankers doing their bit. I want to see a much greater sense of euergetism.
“Itâ€™s incredible that youâ€™ve got the gap between rich and poor opening up now in a way we havenâ€™t seen since the Victorian epoch. But what we havenâ€™t got that the Victorians did have is that sense of duty on the part of the real titanic figures who are making money.
“In those times people really thought it was disgraceful not to endow schools and hospitals and libraries.”
And, just in case you’re not classically trained like the staff here at Boriswatch Towers, The Oxford Companion To Classical Civilisation says that euergetism is â€˜a socio-political phenomenon of voluntary gift-giving to the ancient community embracing the beneficence of Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors, whose subjects saw such philanthropy as a cardinal virtue of rulersâ€™.
So there you go. Euergetism it is, then.