WHAT does Boris Johnson believe in other than his own destiny to be Britain’s prime minister one day by hook or by crook?
His Bullingdon Club cronies David Cameron and George Osborne thought that he was on board with them on the EU referendum only for him to jump ship when he saw which way the wind was blowing.
Last week, amid growing unease on Tory benches over the government’s unending offensive against public service workers, Johnson suggested that it might be time to phase out the 1 per cent cap on public-sector pay rises.
But after Theresa May threw her weight behind Chancellor Philip Hammond’s ongoing capitalist austerity agenda, Johnson wants to have it both ways — posing as a Cabinet loyalist while hinting that ending pay restraint is just around the corner.
He tries to straddle his own credibility gap by stressing the importance of recognising that “people are weary of restraint” and that government will look at public-sector pay review bodies’ reports “very closely” while accepting Hammond’s warnings on extra borrowing and managing the economy “sensibly.”
To this end he returns to attack dog mode, attacking Labour’s plans for industrial recovery as “a crazy Corbynite splurge.”
Tories love him in this role, relying on an excess of posh-boy self-entitlement to play to the gallery by deriding Labour’s plans to look after large numbers of people who have been ignored for too long.
“You can’t endlessly spend,” says the man who demanded that Cameron cut income tax for the rich elite while slashing benefits for the working poor.