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June 11, 2008

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angela

I'm not sure about this one. My education stopped at grammar school, but I did do a Latin "O"level and I absolutely loved it. There is a sort of beautiful clarity and symmetry. It would depend how it was presented, and I can understand that some might think it an absolutely ridiculous idea, but I don't know, it could work. I don't agree that Boris Johnson is the wrong person to present this, people don't regard him as a toff, more as a hugely original one off.

If anyone could get the point across, he could, but it could fall flat as a pancake, because he couldn't teach it single handed, and he is a bit busy at the moment.

Dave Cole

I hate to point this out, but Shakespeare's rendering of Caesar's last words - et tu, Brute? - was wrong. Suetonius reports him dying with a grunt while Cassius Dio reported him, no later than 229, as saying 'kai su teknon'. Literally, it means 'you too, my son', but a better rendering might be 'to hell with you too, lad'.

Dave  Hill

I just knew this would happen....!

Tom

"I don't agree that Boris Johnson is the wrong person to present this"

I do, he's currently elected to run London in respect to the areas set out by the law of the land, not pontificate on things outside his areas of responsibility.

If he wants to resign and go back to being a right-wing journalist, that's fine by me, but
a) not doing what you're elected for (like London's transport or planning decisions)
and
b) mouthing off about things you weren't elected to do (like education)
is frankly not on.

Rob

"I do, he's currently elected to run London in respect to the areas set out by the law of the land, not pontificate on things outside his areas of responsibility."

Tom, I noticed on your blog that you recently quoted Ken's opinions on George Bush. Is pontificating on other countries' leaders within the scope of the Mayor's responsibilities, as set out by the law of the land, or did you find that similarly disagreeable?

I don't think we need get too het up about the Mayor expressing his personal opinions even when it's on things he has no direct control over. The only time I've seen Boris talk about Latin recently was when an Italian journalist asked him about it at his press conference, so actually if it garnered any positive coverage for London in Italy, I think that's a good thing.

Tom

"Is pontificating on other countries' leaders within the scope of the Mayor's responsibilities, as set out by the law of the land, or did you find that similarly disagreeable?"

Good point well made, but Ken did find the time to, for instance, chair TfL rather than handing it over to someone with absolutely no prior interest in transport policy. Boris has so far demonstrated a great (and expected) willingness to get other people to do his job for him, but not so much for doing certain of the job himself, such as answering questions from the press for more than six hours a year. At least Ken actually showed an interest in being Mayor.

What I'm saying is that of course the Mayor can take time off to express his opinion of things, but it looks an awful lot better from someone who actually does the job he's paid and elected to do the rest of the time.

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