What would Old Boris think of his future self introducing a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars within a decade? If this weekend’s reports are true, the ban to be announced this week, may even be accompanied by a new national road pricing scheme to fill the tax shortfall created by the switch to electric. The government collects more than £28bn each year from fuel duty. Going green means a big hole in the finances.

A road pricing announcement would be in line with Johnson’s policies as Mayor of London, where he championed cycle highways and delivered one of the largest cycle-hire networks in the world. A staunch defender of the Congestion Charge, now in Number 10 he continues to push the new mayor to expand the zone and hike fees. This is all New Boris. Green Boris.

To encounter Old Boris, we must zoom back to a pre-Mayoral age, when Johnson was a mere journalist – a motoring columnist at GQ magazine, among other gigs. This Boris had spanking new gas-guzzlers delivered to his North London home each week.

He would drive his special friends  around central London before “double parking a new Lamborghini outside somewhere like New Scotland Yard or the Royal Festival Hall,” according to his former editor.

Old Boris despised the tyranny of green motoring policies. “I foresee a time when you will have to engage in carbon offsetting every time you make a trip to Waitrose. You will have to ring up Environment Secretary David Miliband or one of his officials to explain how you are going to propitiate the watchful sun god,” he wrote in GQ.

“The government will make us have little inboard satellite devices – installed by the state in attack-proof steel black boxes – to verify that we have travelled no further than agreed, and that we have taken the shortest route, and that our engines have parked and puttered no more than their stipulated quota of carbon fart.”

Sounds remarkably like Boris’s road pricing scheme.