A strange choice

November 1, 2013

What do you give the billionaire who has everything?

Another million dollars, it seems, in the view of the Genesis Prize judges, who have awarded their inaugural $1 million prize to Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City. Mayor Bloomberg is indeed, as they put it in their citation, “one of the world’s greatest philanthropists” and “a visionary entrepreneur”.

He is a man who has past his vast fortune to much good use. But he is also – to be blunt – a politician who has grubbed around for votes like any other and whose policies and style sharply divide opinion.

It is difficult to comprehend the basis on which the exalted selection committee decided that, from the entire global Jewish population, Mr Bloomberg was the one person whose actions most “embody the character of the Jewish people through commitment to Jewish values, the Jewish community and/or to the State of Israel”. A bizarre choice.

Last updated: 9:45am, November 1 2013