Chancellor Philip Hammond is on a (blighted, Tory) roll at the moment. Fresh from insulting more than half the world’s population – and every train driver – by saying, according to press reports, that driving a train was “so easy even a woman could do it” and letting slip that the Tory Cabinet is riven by infighting over Brexit, Hammond was on the hook again this morning.
Hammond was asked directly by the BBC’s Andrew Marr whether he had in fact said that public sector workers are overpaid. That’s firefighters, NHS staff, police – and the hundreds of thousands of people who organise our refuse collections, lift the bins, sweep the roads and do all the countless, vital tasks to maintain our society.
The people Hammond’s party have impoverished in real terms by around 15% since 2010.
I’m not going to talk about what was or wasn’t said in a Cabinet meeting and it’s easy to quote a phrase out of context:
That’d be a yes then.
Hammond then went on to try to deflect attention by blaming those who had leaked what he said – but his refusal to deny the statement makes it absolutely clear:
This incompetent, aloof, grey, rich non-entity – who’d faint if he had to do a tenth of a day’s real work that a public servant takes in her or his stride daily – thinks they’re all overpaid.
And was arrogantly stupid enough to actually put that thought into words.
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