Dominic Cumming’s epic confessional puts a new spin on the term “A plague on all your houses.” Well, quite a few of them anyway. Not to mention a few fuel station pumps, public toilets and benches. Correct. He did not mention them.
Oh my eyes! The sight of blustering, near sobbing, begging “Svengali” Cummings was a grave disappointment. Not grave as in ghoulish. Nope, sorry, that bubble has burst. Just an elite bully, who, once exposed as a hypocrite, shirks all responsibility, bites the hand of the gutter press who feed him, and assures us that we’ve all had it wrong all along. We are terrible parents, daughters, sons, Grandparents. We didn’t put the kids first. We did not interpret the rules as we should and could have done. It’s all our fault.
As I write, there’s a whiff of High Noon anticipation in the air. It seems that the unavailable-for-interview Jackson Carlaw has finally shown tiny signs of growth of a spine, under peer pressure. What does the loquacious Ruth have to say about it all? Surely she has an opinion! She did last week. A very long time ago indeed in the world of politics.
As we cower behind our social media accounts waiting to see who will draw first, it’s difficult not to wonder if this is the breaking point for many an undecided voter when it comes to independence. It’s a different country here. Literally and metaphorically. You have to wonder if Dominic even knows that Scotland exists. Surely he’d have driven a bit further north and left his dubious mark here if he’d known? Oh to sneak away while their eyesight is bad!
We’ve all had a good guess at the reasons behind Johnson’s unfaltering support for his right hand man; Dominic has something darned dastardly on the PM, emanating from historic high jinks; Johnson hasn’t actually got a working brain; It’s all part of the herd immunity plot. Maybe any or all of those things. Maybe they’re just a pair of one trick ponies who got Brexit done, then that sodding pandemic arrived and woke them up again, leaving them clueless.
I have a mental image from the early days of the pandemic. It involves a blustering, dishevelled, ever distracted lazy slug of a Prime Minister emptying a full inbox of emails. Emails from the WHO, from the EU, from various Think tanks, Conspiracy theorists, Constituency MPs, Journalists, Public. He couldn’t be bothered, and went his own way via bravado-laden escapades in crowded spaces, until it all got too hot to handle even for him. He caught a glance at the herd immunity memo, then blustered his way through a mock Churchillian speech outlining the inevitability with which we will lose our nearest and dearest. Then eventually lockdown. Too late for too many.
This is cock up theory. To me it fits the brief for a braying cock of a man and his talent-less cabinet of sycophants. This is probably where and why Dominic “The Brain” Cummings fits. He certainly has vision in spades. A far-right, Bannonesque post Brexit vision of wealth and power for the few, not the many. If we think we’ve seen Dystopia. Duck behind the couch and think again.
This is why this man has to go. He’s in it for the long haul, and it’s not a good outlook. It’s not even as if he’s not vulnerable. Not vulnerable as in the pathetic, script reading poor-me victim, droning on from the Rose Garden sense. He is and should be an open target for instant dismissal. He had no answer to C4’s Gary Gibbons, who asked about his responsibility towards “First time (Tory) voters” in the Durham area. Not just an incomplete answer. None. Just a blank stare then more drivel.
Those voters who once pushed for Brexit have seen something more devastatingly life changing as the virus took hold of their community, and many of their loved ones. Like the rest of us, they sacrificed family intimacy and support for safety. If Cummings and Johnson thought that their loyalty was intact, and their appetite still strong, it appears that they have been deeply and grotesquely mistaken. When the curtain was lifted, it revealed nothing but a charlatan. The Wizard of Oz is a fraud.
As the Cummings/Johnson saga unfolds in tandem with the risks inherent in the lifting of lockdown in England, it is glaringly clear that there is no duty of care whatsoever towards the population. It’s difficult to argue that herd immunity wasn’t a plan all along, despite my own feeling that he really just can’t be arsed. Incidentally, I have no problem in believing that he did have the virus, in light of his cavalier attitude to it in the early days. But he survived and that’s all that matters to him.
A recent poll by Ipsos MORI shows a chasm between Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson, when it comes to confidence in leadership through the pandemic. He doesn’t even pretend to care any more, if his unwavering support for Cummings is anything to go by. He may yet prove to be untouchable. He’s got away with racism, bigotry, domestic abuse, proroguing of parliament, losing every single vote. All that just in his first weeks as PM. This crisis cuts deeper though. It affects every single one of us in our, sometimes hopeless efforts to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the worst that this virus has to offer. Tory policies cost lives. Universal Credit, starving of funds to the NHS and an endless list of pro austerity measures. Will a growing band of Tory back benchers find enough backbone to buck the trend of devastation, represent public voices, and save lives that are being starkly and callously disregarded by a selfish pair of elites? Don’t hold your breath.