Dominic Cummings says he was dealing with exceptional circumstances that other people got a telling off from the police and a fine for. To Boris Johnson he has behaved “responsibly, legally, and with integrity”.

First published in May 2020.

Well that was, ahem, interesting. The much touted press conference with Dominic Cummings started a half hour late, but it still hadn’t given him enough extra time to tuck in his shirt. The short version is that he’s not apologising, he’s not resigning, and everyone should feel sorry for him. It’s really all the fault of the media for misunderstanding how wonderful, humane, and tortured he is. It turns out that his slick and polished media manipulator explanation of the allegations that were made against him was to confirm with a massive dose of self-pity that he did in fact do exactly what everyone has said that he did. We’re so glad that he’s cleared that up for us all.

Watching Dominic Cummings give a press conference to explain his actions in breaking the lockdown regulations was the worst episode of Watch With Mother ever. He’d have done a whole lot better if he’d just strode into the Rose Garden, told the press to f**k off, that he didn’t care, and that everyone could just bugger off and stick their press releases up their collective a**e than to come out with this pathetic attempt at poor me feel sorry for me drivel. At least then he might have preserved his carefully honed reputation for being a master of manipulation.

Instead he revealed himself to be a pathetic and shambling individual, trying to justify himself and failing badly. He showed himself to be incapable of taking personal responsibility, of perpetually seeing himself as the victim, everything was everyone else’s fault. It was all the classic hallmarks of a bully and a coward. It seems that the reason he’s so close to Boris Johnson is because they’re both creatures cut from the same cloth. If this is the most brilliant man in government, it really doesn’t say much for the rest of them.

What made it all the more surreal was that it was being played out to the accompaniment of some peculiar noise in the background which sounded very much like someone had decided that this was the ideal time to learn how to play the smallest violin in the world. Which was quite appropriate given what was transpiring.

Dominic feels that he did nothing wrong, and if other people think that he broke the rules that’s not his fault because they’re obviously not able to interpret the rules properly like he can, what with his massive brain and everything. He thought that what he did was perfectly reasonable, which is why he’s spent the past two months trying to cover it up. His wife, who is an editor on the Tory house magazine the Spectator, wrote about her family’s time with Covid-19, but strangely omitted to mention that they’d travelled to Durham where they could go for walks in Dom’s family’s private woodland. That’s the Dominic who’s always railing against the elites there.

Martyr that he is, his first thought after his wife fell ill was to wonder if he could get back to work so he could save us all, what with his massive brain and everything. Although he somehow hadn’t noticed that it says in the regulations that if a member of your household falls ill with Covid-19-like symptoms that you should also go into self-isolation irrespective of how well you’re feeling. A significant proportion of people who become infected never show symptoms at all, yet are still infectious.

He did tell the Prime Minister, but apparently the two of them were so delirious at the time that neither of them can remember the conversation. And then he got into his car and drove 260 miles to Durham. Or something. No, it wasn’t really clear on any of that either, and I suspect that was entirely the point.

We also learned that the only reliable and proper way to check whether your eyesight is safe for you to drive is to get in the car, drive about for half-an-hour then get out of your car, walk about in the countryside for a bit, get back in your car and then drive home. That’s following the science. The coronavirus test drive. That’s a thing. Or at least it is now. It’s quite fitting in a strange way that telling everyone that you went for a drive to test your eyesight turns out to be such a car crash of a statement. Going for a drive to test your eyesight makes Prince Andrew’s claim that he doesn’t ever sweat seem pretty plausible by comparison.

Apparently driving 260 miles was the safest option. That’s because the vile and nasty press had made it unsafe for him to remain at his own home. It’s not his fault that he had to choose, nay, was compelled, to get in his car to drive all the way to Durham for childcare that he later told us he didn’t actually need. He was dealing with exceptional circumstances. Other people who had to deal with his exceptional circumstances got a telling off from the police and a fine.

And then he drove to Castle Barnard, and then he drove back to London again. And apparently he didn’t have to fill up with petrol at any point along the route. Can he please let us know the make and model of his car, because we’re all well impressed with the fuel efficiency.

This, by the way, is the statement that Boris Johnson told us all gave him full confidence that Dominic Cummings had behaved “responsibly, legally, and with integrity”. His wife had symptoms but he returned to work that afternoon. Then he took her and their child on a 260 mile trip to Durham without stopping anywhere for petrol. Because his eyesight was impaired he took another drive for 30 miles with his wife and kid, quite coincidentally on her birthday, to test just how fit he was to drive, during which he went for a walk in the woods because his kid who didn’t need a toilet break all the way from London to Durham needed one after a 30 mile jaunt. And this is the story that made the PM think he should stay? Uh, and indeed, huh. Seems that the real reason that the British Government changed its advice to stay alert was so we should watch out for drivers with impaired vision on the A1.🔷

[This piece was originally published in Wee Ginger Dug’s blog and re-published in PMP Magazine on 26 May 2020, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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