LONDON—Boris Johnson says London boasts the same political culture of freedom, tolerance, and intellectual experimentation enjoyed in 5th century Athens. But the capital city’s mayor urges Londoners and Britons to guard against “illiberal democracy” which threatens these Athenian virtues.
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The mayor’s lecture will examine how the experiences of democrats in the 5th century BC can help us to preserve London’s unique metropolitan character today. But, he will argue, “there is a challenge, global in its extent, to democratic freedoms. We must fight these enemies”, lest we be plunged into a dangerous era of ignorance, prejudice and oppression.
The mayor’s lecture, entitled “Athenian Civilisation: The Glory that Endures”, is part of the Legatum Institute ‘Roads to Freedom’ series. It will be held at the British Academy at 6.30pm and livestreamed via the Legatum website (www.li.com/player).
Sian Hansen, Executive Director of the Legatum Institute, says “This lecture provides a timely reminder that our democratic legacy has deep roots and wields a wide influence. We must ensure its continuation for another 2000 years—and can do so only by defending its core values.”
Hywel Williams, who leads the Institute’s Culture of Prosperity programme, will introduce the lecture. He says “Boris brings imaginative flair and sense of purpose to the public life of our time—qualities that he first displayed as a student of classical culture, the foundation-stone of Western civilisation.”
Cristina Odone, Director of Communications, adds that “Boris Johnson is the most exciting politician in Britain today. When he speaks of a threat to our present freedoms, Londoners should heed his warnings.”
Boris Johnson has submitted his name for selection to stand as the Conservative candidate for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the 2015 General Election. He has been Mayor of London since 2008 and before that served as MP for Henley. Mr Johnson read Classics at Balliol College Oxford as a Brackenbury Scholar.
Notes to Editors
The invitation-only event will take place at the British Academy, at 6:30pm, 4 September 2014
For more information, please contact:
Cristina Odone, Director of Communications
Ph: +44 (0) 207 148 5425 / E: Cristina.Odone@li.com
Hywel Williams (Hywel.Williams@li.com)
About the Legatum Institute Foundation
The Legatum Institute seeks to identify the drivers of prosperity, which we define as both wealth and wellbeing. Our signature product is the Legatum Prosperity Index™, a unique global assessment of national prosperity that assesses 142 countries and is an essential tool for governments across the globe. For more information please go to www.li.com and www.prosperity.com.