Boris Johnson says, "lift 1% ceiling on public sector pay increases".
Everyone always knew, or at least had very strong suspicions, that Boris Johnson is a conniving opportunist, who harbours a burning desire to be the leader of the Conservative party and, as circumstances exist at this time, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Boris Johnson also cultivates the image of the buffoon playing to the audience of public perception, propagating popularity and reaping the sympathy vote. However, all too often the image of the buffoon, by some bizarre transformation becomes a reality, prone to gaffes, blunders and insults towards others more fitting to some uncouth bar room lout than someone aspiring to the highest elected office in the country.
Since June 9th, Johnson has been a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Theresa May, telling anyone who was prepared to listen, how she had a mandate from the electorate, winning more seats and gaining more votes than the Labour party and consequently had the legitimacy to form a government. Moreover, she had the unqualified support of her cabinet and the deal with the Democratic Unionist Party for the "confidence and supply" agreement, ensured that she could lead the government for the full five year term and through the Brexit negotiations to come.
However, Johnson is a cunning fellow, and has for the most part, remained aloof from the almost daily sniping at the Prime Minister in the media and more importantly from her own back benches. Over the last few days the political situation has changed, as more and more people, including MP's, now accept that the 1% cap on Public Sector Workers Pay is untenable and must be removed.
Only Chancellor Philip Hammond and the Prime Minister herself, cling to the Conservative Party Manifesto promise that the cap on public sector pay will remain until 2019 at the earliest. Now, Boris Johnson emerges from the shadows, like some present day Brutus in the senate, to join Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt and Justine Greening and plunge his little dagger into Theresa May, while calling for the 1% ceiling on wage rises to be lifted for "austerity-weary workers" including nurses and teachers.
It is indeed ironical that only last week, on Wednesday evening in fact, these four conservative front bencher’s had the opportunity to bring an end to the Public Sector Pay freeze by voting in favour of an amendment to the Queen's Speech which would have resulted in an immediate lifting of the freeze for Public Sector workers. They chose instead to vote against the amendment and even joined in the cheering on the government benches when the amendment was defeated.
Clearly, these cabinet ministers have had a complete change of mind over the last 4 days, which it seems, is not unusual in today's conservative party. Notwithstanding what Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson may say to television interviewers or write in his newspaper features or post to his Twitter account, he is positioning himself now to challenge for the Conservative Party leadership sooner rather than later.
His cynical, or even hypocritical reference to Public Sector Pay is merely a vehicle for him to further his ambitions and to garner some support while marginalising Philip Hammond and any leadership aspirations that the Chancellor may still hold. Johnson is a conniving and cunning opportunist who is sometimes a complete buffoon. Both versions should they ever become Prime Minister, would be equally appalling.