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9 July 2008

High farce from Boris Johnson

"AFTER PRIDE comes the fall" is a saying often quoted to those who would celebrate prematurely, especially in politics. London Mayor Boris Johnson, himself a Classics graduate, may well be contemplating this as he surveys the fall-out from the resignation of Ray Lewis, whom he had made his Deputy Mayor for young people.

Neil Cafferky

Given that tackling youth crime was the centre-piece of his election campaign, this is a serious blow for the Johnson administration.

The issues surrounding crime are undoubtedly serious but Boris Johnson has managed to bring an element of high farce to the whole affair.

Ray Lewis, an ordained Church of England priest, was forced to resign after allegations of 'financial irregularities' (that's stealing for you and me) arose from his former parishioners.

Although the money was eventually paid back with interest, Lewis was subsequently demoted from a priest to a minister, despite protesting his innocence.

Just resting?

Perhaps the money was just resting in his account? To make matters worse he then lied about being a magistrate.

Readers of The Socialist will recall Johnson praising Lewis for his work with young people at Eastside Young Leaders Academy: "Ray's approach has been to take young black males who have been excluded from school and imbue them with magnificently untrendy, boot camp style discipline."

Clearly Ray is in need of some boot camp style discipline himself if, as a church minister, he cannot remember those bits from the Bible about stealing and bearing false witness.

The Socialist would be interested to know the penalty at Eastside Young Leaders Academy for such crimes.