Just when you thought Boris Johnson’s handling of the coronavirus crisis had hit peak blunder, the prime minister has said (in public, out loud and on camera) that Britain should clap for bankers in the same way they do for the NHS.
Oh, and he wouldn't promise to give NHS staff a pay rise as part of his "new deal" plan to recover from the pandemic either.
Yesterday the PM promising to tear up planning regulations and invest £5bn in infrastructure projects as part of his “new deal”.
During the speech, he said:
My friends - I am not a communist.
I believe it is also the job of government to create the conditions for free market enterprise.
And yes of course we clap for our NHS - but under this government we also applaud those who make our NHS possible - our innovators, our wealth creators, our capitalists, our financiers.
In the end, it is their willingness to take risks with their own money that will be crucial for our future success.
To make matters worse, after the speech he was asked by the Mirror if he'd consider a pay rise for public sector workers, but they say he wouldn’t commit to it.
The "clap for carers" event drew millions out onto the streets every Thursday evening, before its organiser stopped it because of fears it had become “politicised”.
Of course the idea that Britain should clap for “financiers”, who were bailed out by the taxpayer despite being blamed for the last financial crash in 2008, has gone down about as well as anyone could expect.
On Twitter, people were not happy.
This isn’t the first time Johnson has been heard praising bankers. In resurfaced footage, he was seen saying that “nobody” stuck up for bankers more than him in the aftermath of the 2008 recession.
People normally like it when politicians say what they really think but, to be honest, maybe Johnson should lay off the banker praise for a bit?