Dominic Cummings (1)

I haven’t wanted to write about Dominic Cummings and his actions in choosing to drive 250 miles up the A1 with a small child and the symptoms of Covid-19 even in spite of all advice from his government, which he had presumably been involved in drafting, to ‘Stay at Home’, repeated over and over again in government advertising and by government ministers, most especially, for obvious reasons, the Health Minister. But there is one aspect of it which I am finding increasingly disconcerting, which is that it is being tied into issues round Brexit, the argument being that those who supported Brexit will automatically and inevitably support the actions of Cummings in his obvious distaste and disdain for the rule of law, the presumption that he can do what he wants to do irrespective of the requirements of the police and the government, the Fuck You attitude which he exhibited in his dealings with the press yesterday. I would have thought that most people in government might see that, in the long run, this attitude is unsustainable: that you cannot have a country in which the Prime Minister very publicly supports someone who followed his instincts – the instincts of a father, however understandable and however sympathetic one may feel towards those instincts – against the advice and edict of the Prime Minister himself the day before. This is not about Brexit. It is about the rule of law.

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8 thoughts on “Dominic Cummings (1)

  1. Piers Bedford says:

    i was interested in my own reaction to this messy business.
    My initial reaction was that we have had too many firings and resignations recently, often due to outside pressures but unrelated to their capabilities in their workplace..An example may be McDonalds CEO, recently fired for having a consensual relationship within the company.
    We know that due to the speed of news and external pressures these potential scandals now have to be suitably responded to within about 3 hours to stand any chance of being salvaged..This realisation began some years ago when Hugh Grant had his moment of weakness on Hollywood Boulevard but absolutely immediately went on TV and “fessed up”.
    We all forgave him and some may say his image and career were actually improved by his rapid actions !
    Somehow, naively , I think Boris and Dominic thought this might be swept under the carpet. Instead of statements of condemnation and contrition which just might have defused the event, their arrogance and denial has made the situation worse.
    (An attitude so eloquently and subtly described by Charles as the ” F. You attitude”)
    I have changed my mind..Cummings has got to go.

    • He obviously managed to convince the Prime Minister that there were exceptional circumstances to justify what he did – I can only assume the special permission of the Prime Minister himself, which is presumably why the Prime Minister felt he had to excuse him. But did they not forsee what this would entail, done as it was at the height of the lockdown ? The wrath of the public when it came to light. The double standards. The sense of entitlement. The arrogance.

      • I’m sorry I was obviously quite wrong in thinking he might have had the good sense to let his line manager (actually, I think his line manager might be Sir Mark Sedwill) know that he was going out of London in breach of the regulations. Charles

  2. Kate Woodhead says:

    My son and his wife also have a five year old, and I asked my son what would he have done in those circumstances, and they would have asked one of their local friends to look after their son whist they were ill – they have no family close to them.

    I am presuming that the child in question would have a nanny – both parents work – and so could not the nanny have cared for the child?

    But are we surprised ?? No.

  3. Dear Charles, I hesitate to even write this, but I’ve heard people in London going around saying that you and Romily initially drove to Wales for lockdown but had to leave, and return to London, at the request of the police, because of worries about your safety? I can’t believe that’s true, because you wouldn’t then be commenting on others doing the same thing.
    My own view is that it’s a complex world out there, with a lot of nuance that gets lost in the shouting world that our politics and culture have become. Recently, I have been berated for a reader on my own blog for failing to berate politicians for being so useless. I guess my blog has been mainly apolitical so I was rather saddened by that comment. A few weeks ago, and I know that this is just putting my head in the sand, I decided that the best thing I could do was to try and control the situation I was in control of, and look after the people I could look after, instead of worrying about things that were completely and utterly out of control. I put the government in that category!
    With all best wishes, sorry this is the first comment I think I’ve written on your beautiful blog. Regards, Ben

    • Dear Ben, It’s perfectly true. We went to Wales before the lockdown and, somewhat traumatically, were advised by the police to return to our primary place of residence in London, as were several other people we know of. I think and hope our circumstances were different because we did as we were instructed and would certainly not have travelled post lockdown, particularly if one of us had had Covid-19. Charles

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