Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim believed that nice things are nicer than nasty ones.
Boris Johnson believes it too, As far as he has a political philosophy, that is it.
He wants nice things. Lots and lots of nice things. Lots of nice things all for Boris.
But he is not ungenerous. Providing he has far more than his share of the good things of life, he is quite happy for other people to have them too.
Hence the sunny tone of his column in the Telegraph on Sunday:
I cannot stress too much that Britain is part of Europe, and always will be. There will still be intense and intensifying European cooperation and partnership in a huge number of fields: the arts, the sciences, the universities, and on improving the environment. EU citizens living in this country will have their rights fully protected, and the same goes for British citizens living in the EU.
British people will still be able to go and work in the EU; to live; to travel; to study; to buy homes and to settle down.Boris likes having rights and travelling abroad, so why shouldn't other people have them too?
Trouble is, a lot of Boris's new-supporters are not sunny at all.
They like having nice things, but they are much more anxious that other people should not have them. If EU citizens in Britain have rights, then that must be at our expense.
Far better to remove everyone's rights. That way we can be sure that no one is enjoying nice things.
And if that makes the country poorer and less cultured, I am not sure that Ukip and the right-wing of the Conservative party will much care.
Those people are just the ones to whom Boris Johnson has sold his political soul.
He surely wanted to lead the Leave side and lose the referendum. But he won and will now be expected by them to deliver on Leave's promise to cut immigration. He is their prisoner.
Which must explain this tweet from Sam Coates:
I'm told Boris Johnson has made clear to Tory right he WILL end EU free movement after Telegraph column y'day angered ppl.— Sam Coates Times (@SamCoatesTimes) June 28, 2016