“People Were Being Infantilized and Made Dependent”

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Mayor of London Boris Johnson. Source of caption and photo: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.

(p. 16) While I was reading your book “Johnson’s Life of London,” in which you take readers on a tour of the city while discussing some of history’s most famous Londoners, I thought to myself, Being mayor of London can’t be that taxing if you could find time to write such a decent book.
The job of mayor of London is unbelievably taxing, particularly in the run-up to the Olympics. It just happens I write fast and always have done. Some people play the piano, some do Sudoku, some watch television, some people go out to dinner parties. I write books.
. . .
Do you remember the moment you knew that you were a Conservative?
When I was a 22- or 23-year-old reporter in a place called Wolverhampton. I got impatient with some of the stuff I saw going on about damp and mold, about who’s ultimately responsible for improving the ventilation in people’s houses. I felt that people were being infantilized and made dependent by the system and that the local Labour politicians had no interest in sorting it out, were content to harvest these people’s votes without improving their lives.
Wow. You were politically formed by mold.
It was the spores of damp, of mold forming on the walls in Wolverhampton.

For the full interview, see:
ANDREW GOLDMAN, interviewer. “TALK; Boris Johnson, Tory With an Attitude.” The New York Times Magazine (Sun., June 3, 2012): 16.
(Note: ellipsis added; bold in original.)

Johnson’s book is:
Johnson, Boris. Johnson’s Life of London: The People Who Made the City That Made the World. New York: Riverhead Books, 2012.

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