If you’re British and you’re reading this, then you should get back to work in order to up Britain’s per capita productivity, according to London’s mayor Boris Johnson.
In a column recently published in The Telegraph, Johnson expressed his support for those Tory MPs calling for a referendum on Britain’s EU membership. In the course of his piece, he lists those reasons why a ‘rational person’ might want Britain to stay integrated with Europe, as well as the ‘advantages of getting out’ of the union.
However, Johnson’s fourth reason for setting the isles adrift from the continent is somewhat bizarre, and has caused a flurry of comment in the British press.
“We can no longer blame Brussels,” Johnson wrote, labelling this the ‘most important point'. “We would have to recognise that most of our problems are not caused by “Bwussels”, but by chronic British short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills, a culture of easy gratification and under-investment in both human and physical capital and infrastructure,” he argued.
Perhaps he thought that by slipping the accusation of ‘sloth’ between ‘inadequate management’ and ‘low skills’ his readers wouldn’t notice. However, the accusation is compounded in the next paragraph: “Why are we still, person for person, so much less productive than the Germans? That is now a question more than a century old, and the answer has nothing to do with the EU.”
Britons may take heart that, even if they are lazy, New Zealanders are lazier. According to the International Monetary Fund, the average British worker produces around $7,000USD more in GDP per year than the Kiwi worker.