Doctor Boris Johnson, staunch champion of the city of London has vigorously defended skimming, the multi million pound operation that he views as a key employer in the capital and that enables a trickle down of wealth from rich to poor. He was responding to Lord Turner's report last week that suggested a Tobin Tax should be levied on all bonuses. Commenting that the financial sector - which he described as an intermediate rather than an end product activity - had become too large, Turner condemned some financial innovation as "socially useless", questioning for example whether "the world would have been better off without any credit default swaps".
However Dr Johnson has hit back at Lord Turner, asking: "What is a flaming pinko doing running the FSA? People certainly have very short memories don't they? I should say so. Don't people remember the Bolsheviks? One day they were trying to curb the excesses of the bankers, the next they were pumping lead into members of the royal family."
Mr Johnson was not slow to point out that many people in the economy benefited from skimming. He suggested that were regulation on skimming actually to be decreased - either for credit card skimming or casino skimmming - the activity would then flourish, bringing much needed taxes into treasury coffers. "You ask the taxi driver, the celebrity chef, the diamond dealer, the super-car or yacht trader whether that wealth placed in the hands of a few people does not benefit the economy... And it's not just that. There is also a 'trickle down effect' via taxation. Many of the taxes that pay for your schools and hospitals, your roads and your police could well be funded in the future by an expanded 'skimming' industry. You might call skimming an intermediate activity, since it does not offer an end product, but that does not stop it allowing money to flow. And the flow of money is just what the economy needs right now!"
Doctor Johnson concluded by adding: "It is clear that when a man is tired of the City of London, he is tired of lies."