Analysis comment

Video: desperate to defend Cummings’ Travelling Circus, Tories now claim lock-down rules were a matter of personal interpretation. But footage shows otherwise

Frantic to protect Johnson’s handler, Tories try to rewrite history to excuse Cummings’ decision to travel 260 miles – while confirmed as infected, according to police

There has been a frantic scramble at Westminster to protect Boris Johnson’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings after widespread calls for Cummings’s resignation over his decision to travel 260 miles from London to Durham – while confirmed as infected with the coronavirus, according to Durham Police.

While Johnson himself has, as so often, remained in hiding, Downing Street even effectively accused the police of lying, saying that only Cummings’ wife was infected at the time.

But the desperate Tories have also descended into shameless rewriting of history in their attempt to protect Cummings from the consequences of his choices.

Journalists – for a welcome change – hammered spokesman Grant Shapps (Johnson being in hiding, remember) with questions about Cummings’ actions and position. Shapps eventually collapsed and resorted to a bare-faced claim that the application of the lock-down rules – announced a week before Cummings took his ‘travelling circus’ on the road – were always intended to be a matter of personal interpretation.

Unfortunately for Mr Shapps, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been filmed on several occasions testily snapping that people are meant to just follow the rules, not decide for themselves – for example in this interview with ITV’s Piers Morgan in the days before Hancock took to hiding from Morgan.

And Hancock’s stance was even noted by the BBC in its follow-up to today’s press conference:

As Hancock made clear in advance, Cummings put the lives of the public and of NHS staff in danger by his actions. His position is untenable – and the desperation of the Tories to save him couldn’t be much more transparent.

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21 comments

  1. “Cut him loose, Boris, cut him loose!
    He’ll drag us all down with him!”
    Oh, Schnapps, half an hour ago.

  2. It means the lockdown is broken. If you don’t like the rules it’s easy now to tailor your reasons for breaking them. Why the hell should ordinary people carry on with the farce when the nobs (or knobs) do as they wish? Cummings of course never believed in the idea and is happy to undermine it as he and the hard right in Govt have been doing all along. His arrogance is the perfect summation of aristocratic Tory disdain; Rules are for the lower orders or “you guys” as they’re now known.

  3. I think the real scandal here is that the British Prime Minister’s Chief Adviser apparetly can’t afford a live-in nanny and a private nurse for two weeks.

  4. I think they know that Cummings will have to go, but they have two problems 1)They are reluctant to be seen to bow to public pressure (stupid, but true) and more importantly for at least some of them 2)They know that Cummings knows where all the bodies are buried and fear that if they force him out he will go public with that information, and that thought gives them the collywobbles.

    1. Also the Tories know if Cummings goes Johnson can’t cope without him. Leading him to collapse and perhaps bring the whole govt down

      1. SIR Dire Stomar knows that too Backofbeyond. So expect that despite pushing Remain so that we would lose the election, make Cumming’s johnson take our victory, Starmer will now stop pushing Remain.

        He is prepping as anything can happen at anytime. So no more convoluted laughed at laughable “CONSTRUCTIVE AMBIGUITY” rubbish. Peter Mandelson’s band are nothing if not duplicitous X 666 and determined. Like true Tories, by unfair or foul means, they pursue their aims ie WIN ELECTIONS in this country then invade every oil or resource rich country abroad by the foulest means.

        While this morning I heard WMD Bliar’s apparatus say on radio that johnson won because people thought he cared for this country while Jeremy did not. That was being said at the same time I was reading that the establishment + MSM will never allow a Palestinian supporting PM.

        That made me think how peculiar that someone wanting to be PM of this country should have a USP as the supporter of another country???

        How easy then for Bliar’s apparatus to portray Jeremy as he did. Wonder if the people suffering due to Covid-19 would think that’s what we need as leader, the saviour of Chile, Columbia, the upper outer quadrant of Mongolia, a poor man somewhere in Patagonia?

        Logically that’s quite an easy sell to someone in Durham or anywhere. They could easily believe that X MP is more concerned with foreign affairs than their affairs.

        The proof of that is this. The slanders all lost their seats, EVEN when they adopted ones they assumed would be full of LIARS like themselves. They were wrong. Their lies obviously failed to ring through with the people of the City of London and elsewhere.

        Wonder what are all the reasons the smart people of Finchley and Golders Green were not impressed by Luciana Berger. Berger failed to impress them. They obviously did not trust her to seek their interest here. They may have seen her as a self serving opportunist. Or distracted by other concerns NOT THEIRS HERE.

        Someone with a less than loose relationship with truths. After all she was appallingly close to the WMD creature’s spawn. hmmm not good. But that is some proof, our priorities should have this country at the top. This country’s interests must NEVER be second to others. That is not a fashionable view to our lot nor the Tories incl Bliar etc for that matter. They hide it well. Our lot with unwitting perversion, imagine it to be virtuous. But the proof is Tories have already flogged off most of our assets to foreign operators. Water, transport, airports, electricity, ALMOST EVERYTHING flogged off to kleptomaniacs, oligarchs and spivs.

        But, were I some poor person outside London… say in Durham where Dominic Cummings drove another 200+ miles, not just in March but allegedly on April 19th… I would want to feel an MP and PM felt my concerns were their priority, not an afterthought. It is reasonable that a British PM should be PASSIONATE about the welfare of people here FIRST 🌹🌹🌹

  5. A prerequisite for a Gov Cab Officer is to be a pathological liar and it is reprehensible for Grant Shapps and others to defend Cummings Egregious Conduct. In the grand scheme of things Nikita Cummings misconduct is not even close to the evil actions of Johnson and Lying Cheating Scoundrel disciples ,i.e. Murder and Genocide. BTW Johnson has this week cancelled the Chinese 5G which has been rolled out and been responsible for 35k deaths to date. I really do believe the Queen should denounce her Government on the grounds of Treason/Murder and Genocide.More Tea Vicar?

  6. Imagine if Corbyn or one of his aides had done this … there would be 24/7, wall to wall coverage and he/they would be expected to sacrifice their first born and wear sack cloth in ashes as penance.

    1. I think we can safely acknowledge that on this rare occasion the Tories are also being treated to the full 24hs wall to wall coverage treatment.

  7. If it’s only a matter of “personal interpretation”, why did Neil Ferguson resign and why did Matt Hancock say he backed police action agaist Ferguson for contravening lockdown rules? Why did Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer also resign for being caught contravening lockdown rules? Clearly it *is* a resigning matter.

  8. I think that if I had been fined by the police or even turned away from a fishing trip, I’d be pretty cross. Perhaps all those who have been threatened with a fine should simply disregard them?

    1. People should certainly consider appealing fines many of which were illegally and improperly imposed anyway, let alone the defence that in the circumstances it was in fact essential that they were doing what they were fined for. As the Govt now says the rules are in fact flexible.

  9. Grant Shapps did his best and it failed miserably. Calls for BoJo the Clown to sack his Malcolm Tucker grow louder by the hour.

    Bojo will have to deploy the Big Guns. Andrew Marr tomorrow and Laura Kuennsberg for the rest of the week.

    Laura will Demonise on air every witness who saw Dominic Cummings in Durham and Teesside (30 miles away) when he was claiming to be in London. Robin Lees, 70, a retired chemistry teacher from the town, who says he saw Cummings and his family walking by the Tees before getting into a car around lunch time on 12 April Is not known to be an anti emite, BUT has – at least once – possibly voted LABOUR.

    Come-on Kuennsberg, your master needs you!

  10. Who leaked this story to the press? happened in March.
    Could this be a ploy to get Machaevelli out of the scene totally by members of the Tory department..
    A sacraficial lamb especially his involvement with SAGE and his expertise with Mathematical modelling-no ethical or moral restraints.

  11. ” Lockdown rules A matter of personal interpretation ” fuck me !!! well just great then , I am off to bloody Spain and then France and back to London and pay a visit to Doms Dads on the way back then ,,, all fine and fuckin dandy then !
    Christ on a fuckin bike the Tories … just beyond anything … just anything ! and the moron idiots for this …

  12. ” idiots voted for this ”

    Yehhh all in this together aren’t we , yehhh right ,,, all . in. it . to-gether … yeh ! unless you’re a Tory lovey then hey anything goes .

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