Cummings Crisis: Is It Over?

Depends what you mean by over. If you think over means that’s it we move on and forget about it, no. If you think over means there has been no damage to the government’s standing and credibility in the Covid 19 emergency, very no.

The gullible may have been impressed by the Cummings performance in the garden of No 10 yesterday. Personally I saw an elaborate reworking of the circumstances driving a decision, to fit both the chain of actual events and the political demand. But the fact of the decision remains clear and stark. In defiance of the universal understanding of rules for the lock-down Cummings and his wife decided to jump in their car and undertake a journey of over 250 miles to change the location of their compulsory isolation, when at least one of them had Covid symptoms.

Their child was with them and the excuse offered was that his welfare empowered them to this breech of lockdown,¬† which would have involved a ¬£1000 fine for anyone else under emergency rules, of which Cummings himself was a lead author. Without bothering to expose the obvious bullshit at the heart of this stuff, as it is well rehearsed everywhere, that will not make this issue go away. As for the assertion that a sixty mile round car trip to test Cumming’s eyesight was within these rules, or even within the Highway Code, is so ridiculous as to be literally beyond belief.

What is important is this. The Boris/Cummings team of political campaign  management has become a legend of invincibility. The Brexit referendum, the Tory leadership election and the 2019 general election victories, all proved they appeared to be unbeatable. What this episode has revealed is that once in government their combination is a weakness which, if not ended soon, will in time bring the whole government down. People have rumbled a flaky brand.

 

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