Tag Archives: Cummings

Why did the Tory government use public money for polls about Opposition politicians?

Dominic Cummings (left): when he was chums with Boris Johnson (right), he ordered civil servants to spend public money on party political polling that should have been funded by the Conservatives, not the nation.

More Tory crony contracts: Ex-Vote Leave boss Dominic Cummings and ex-Vote Leave Downing Street colleague Ben Warner pressurised civil servants to give more than £1.3 million in contracts to polling firm Hanbury Strategy, run by ex-Vote Leave comms chief Paul Stephenson.

Your money was frittered away on Cummings’s Vote Leave friends. And for what?

For party political polling on Labour leader Keir Starmer and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

And emails show Cummings pressuring officials by saying anybody who would “whine” about it should be told the order came from prime minister Boris Johnson.

The emails, published by the Good Law Project (GLP), show civil servants were uncomfortable about the polling, with one saying in May 2020: “Hanbury measure attitudes towards political figures, which they shouldn’t do using government money, but they’ve been asked to and it’s a battle that I think is hard to fight.”

Mr Cummings wrote: “Pls sign off immediately so Paul S can get our large scale polls into field TODAY. Anybody in [the Cabinet Office] whines tell them I ordered it from PM.”

A civil servant wrote: “This all makes me really uncomfortable. Ben Warner wants us to spend £110k of public money per month with the agency who were behind Vote Leave who have no mainstream polling experience.

“And he wants to be in on the call/talking to Hanbury directly. Q is what do we do?”

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner is no angel, as we’ve all discovered, but This Writer thinks she was right when she said, “This has the hallmarks of a racket, not a government acting in the national interest during a pandemic.

“Taxpayers’ money that has been abused in this way should be paid back by the Conservative Party.

“Taxpayers’ money is not the personal cashpoint of Conservative Ministers to dish out to their mates.”

Source: Government used public money for polls about Keir Starmer and Sadiq Khan – Mirror Online

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The vultures are circling Boris Johnson – and not just because he lost Chesham & Amersham

It’s not just losing elections: remember when Boris Johnson showed contempt for our Armed Forces by laying his wreath face-down? That’s just one example of his idiocy, running right up to the G7 meeting this month. He’s an embarrassment to the UK – and it seems his own people are awaiting the moment to push him out.

What a fragile career Boris Johnson has!

He won an 80-seat majority in the 2019 general election, and followed that by trouncing Labour in the local elections and in a by-election that Labour should have won.

But he loses one by-election and suddenly the knives are out – wielded by members of his own party.

Admittedly, they’re members who have already criticised Johnson already – but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong and it doesn’t mean people won’t listen.

So here’s Dominic Cummings calling Johnson a “clueless” “gaffe machine”:

During the 2019 December election, the PM refused to be interviewed by veteran broadcaster Andrew Neil who was at the BBC at the time.

Mr Cummings, the PM’s former top aide, has now revealed the apparent communications strategy behind the decision, claiming the PM was “clueless about policy”.

Mr Cummings tweeted: “Why the f*** would [we] put a gaffe machine clueless about policy & government up to be grilled for ages, upside=0 for what?!

“This is not a hard decision… Pundits don’t understand comms, power or management. Tune out!”

And now here’s another Dominic – Grieve, the former Attorney General – praising the intelligence of Chesham and Amersham voters by saying they had paid attention throughout the Johnson experience and they’d had enough:

Of course, Johnson is oblivious to this kind of criticism from the public and from people outside his camp.

But the fact that this is getting into the Tory-owned media shows that people inside the government aren’t happy with him either.

One by-election isn’t enough to do that.

So I reckon Johnson has put a more than a few Tory government noses out of joint and they’re just waiting for the opportunity to get their own back.

He’s on course to win Batley & Spen, but that’s because Keir Starmer is clueless and doesn’t understand how to keep it for Labour.

I think we’ll see a lot more pressure on the prime minister from now on.

Source: Cummings says Boris is ‘gaffe machine’ who is ‘clueless about policy’ | Evening Standard

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Cummings’s WhatsApp revelation shows up the shortcomings… of KEIR STARMER

Q: which one of these is “totally f***ing hopeless”? A: it was a trick question. They BOTH are.

About half an hour before Prime Minister’s Questions on June 16, Dominic Cummings published WhatsApp messages from March last year that appeared to show Boris Johnson stating that Death Health Secretary Matt Hancock was “totally f***ing hopeless”.

If that’s true, then Hancock should never have been allowed to remain as Health Secretary throughout a pandemic crisis. The incompetence he exhibited to the UK’s prime minister, and the PM’s lack of confidence in him, means he was always likely to preside over more than 100,000 (maybe more than 200,000, if some calculations prove correct) unnecessary deaths.

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner correctly identified this:

But the Opposition leader, Keir Starmer, clearly didn’t – because he never mentioned it in Prime Minister’s Questions:

It’s a basic failure that shows Johnson and Hancock aren’t the only ones in Parliament who can’t do their job properly.

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Johnson’s government actually asked ‘Who do we NOT save from Covid-19?’ – but nobody seems to care now

“Who do we NOT save?” a whiteboard showing the moral bankruptcy the Johnson government reached in the Covid-19 crisis.

There’s a big problem with Dominic Cummings’s evidence to the government, as provided (and reported ad nauseum yesterday): we all know he’ll say anything to justify himself.

Remember the narrative he created in order to justify breaking lockdown rules to visit his family? We all knew he did it because he thought he was above the laws the rest of us have to follow.

And he was proved right, too, because he was not punished at all.

So it is hard to accept anything he said yesterday at face value. He was trying to justify himself and to disparage his former colleagues in Boris Johnson’s Tory government.

For the record, some of his main points were:

“Tens of thousands of people died, who didn’t need to die.” This is the soundbite that sent the mass media into a frenzy. But it has prompted no resignations among the Johnson government yet.

“Senior ministers, officials and advisers like me fell short of standards the public has a right to expect. When the public needed us most, we failed.”

Boris Johnson had ‘ignored advice’ and was late to introduce both the first and second lockdowns. The PM was consistently anti-lockdown, ignored scientific advice and failed to take Covid seriously – even ranting last summer that he should never have done Lockdown 1.

It would not have been helpful for Johnson to attend emergency COBRA meetings in February – five of which he missed – because he would have had flippant responses to the crisis: “In February the Prime Minister regarded this as just a scare story. He described it as the new swine flu.”

It was suggested that Johnson should tell everyone “It’s swine flu, don’t worry about it, I’m going to get Chris Whitty to inject me live on TV with coronavirus so everyone realises it’s nothing to be frightened of.”

Cummings “blamed” Johnson for the second wave, thanks to his flat refusal to lock down for a second time in September. He told MPs: “Fundamentally I regarded him as unfit for the job.”

On March 12, Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill said, “Prime Minister, you should go on TV tomorrow and explain to people the herd immunity and that it’s like the old chicken pox parties – we need people to get this disease because that’s how we get herd immunity by September.”

That day, Chief Scientist Patrick Vallance told the nation suppressing the virus completely was not “desirable” because some immunity was needed. And Boris Johnson told the nation “many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.”

Cummings said March 12 was the most “surreal” day of his time in government because, just as he was waking up to the danger of Downing Street’s “delay the peak” plan, he claimed, “suddenly the national security people came in and said Trump wants us to join a bombing campaign in the Middle East tonight. Fortunately, thank God, the attorney general persuaded the PM not to go along with the whole bombing campaign.”

On top of all this, that day the Times had run a huge story about the Prime Minister and his girlfriend and their dog. “And the Prime Minister’s girlfriend was going completely crackers about this story, and demanding that the press office deal with that. So we had this sort of completely insane situation in which part of the building was saying are we going to bomb Iraq, part of the building was arguing about whether or not we’re going to do quarantine or not, the Prime Minister has his girlfriend going crackers about something completely trivial, and you have all these meetings going on through the course of the 12th.”

Cummings became downright festive in his descriptions of Matt Hancock’s contribution to the Covid-19 tragedy – as described in a separate article on This Site.

Boris Johnson had no idea for weeks that people leaving hospital into care weren’t being routinely tested in late March.

That led to the virus being seeded into care homes and tens of thousands of residents dying.

Matt Hancock promised that people were going to be tested in care homes – but this did not happen: “It was only in April after the Prime Minister and I had both ourselves been ill that we realised that what we were told never did happen, or only happened very partially and sporadically. The government rhetoric was ‘we put a shield around care homes, blah blah blah’ – that was complete nonsense. Quite the opposite of putting a shield round them, we sent people with Covid back to the care homes.”

Until the second week of March the consensus in Downing Street was that there was no point locking down because it would only delay the inevitable peak.

But former Deputy Cabinet Secretary Helen Macnamara allegedly said another top official, Mark Sweeney, had told her: “I’ve been told for years there is a whole plan for this. There is no plan. We’re in huge trouble.” In fact there was a plan – but it had last been updated in 2011 and was nine years out-of-date.

Ms Macnamara said on March 13: “I think we are absolutely f****d. I think this country is heading for a disaster, I think we are going to kill thousands of people.”

Carrie Symonds had pursued “completely unethical and clearly illegal” attempts to pack No 10 with her own friends. Cummings said: ”My resignation was definitely connected to the fact that the Prime Minister’s girlfriend was trying to change a whole bunch of different appointments in No10 and appoint her friends to particular jobs. In particular she was trying to overturn the outcome of an official process about hiring a particular job in a way which was not only completely unethical but was also clearly illegal.

Cummings said he told the PM on March 14: “There is no lockdown plan. It doesn’t exist. SAGE haven’t modelled it. [The Health Department] don’t have a plan. We are going to have to figure out and hack together a lockdown plan.”

He said by March 11, when there was “pushback” about ordering people with coughs to stay at home, he believed “the system is basically delaying announcing all of these things because there’s not a proper plan in place.”

Officials also dodged locking down because they thought the public wouldn’t accept it. But that was clearly “false”, and he said he realised that when family members were texting pleading for information.

Cummings said claims about extensive preparations for a pandemic were ”basically completely hollow” and “we didn’t figure this out until the back end of February”.

Boris Johnson refused pleas to lock down for a second time in September, only doing it from November 5.

“He wasn’t taking any advice. He was making the decisions himself,” said Cummings.

“The Cabinet wasn’t involved…there wasn’t any formal Cabinet meeting to discuss it. Or if there was, it was a purely Potemkin exercise.”

The PM had decided he was protecting the economy, and Mr Cummings said “we could not persuade him that if you basically took the view of ‘let it rip’”, it would lead to an economic and health “disaster.”

Mr Johnson later used the phrase “let it rip” as a catchphrase to showcase the kind of approach he would not take.

The government was turning down ventilators in late March because prices had been marked up. [Instead, it has been alleged elsewhere, Johnson offered James Dyson tax breaks to manufacture ventilators – but that came to nothing].

Downing Street staff drew up a back-of-a-fag-packet plan for Covid-19 on a whiteboard, which included the line “Who do we not save?”

We’re about halfway through Cummings’s allegations. They have prompted a huge verbal response from the public, along these lines:

And yet there is very little demand for change.

Even Matt Hancock, the minister Cummings attacked most strongly, is still in his job.

Have we all stopped caring that these self-obsessed incompetents killed off our relatives and friends due to their own inability to do their jobs?

Or have we just given up expecting them to be visited by any kind of justice – after Cummings himself got away with his Barnard Castle rule-breaking junket?

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Defending the indefensible: Hancock responds to Cummings allegations – with LIES

Liar: Matt Hancock is so incompetent that the web of lies and half-truths he spun before Parliament, in response to Dominic Cummings’s allegations about him, is easily shredded.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been trying to defend himself against claims by former Downing Street aide Dominic Cummings that he should have been sacked for dishonesty and incompetence in the early weeks of the Covid-19 crisis.

It isn’t going well!

Cummings said he called for Matt Hancock to be sacked “almost every day” due to alleged “criminal” behaviour but claimed Boris Johnson was advised to retain the health secretary because “he’s the person you fire when an inquiry comes along”.

He said Hancock should have been fired for “at least 15 to 20 things – including lying to everybody on multiple occasions”.

And he implied that Hancock should face charges of corporate manslaughter for allowing unnecessary deaths.

Cummings accused Hancock of being obsessed with meeting a “stupid” target he set himself to offer 100,000 Covid tests a day and of diverting officials’ attention away from the task Cummings had set them to build a test-and-trace scheme from scratch capable of processing 1m tests a day.

Recalling a major battle in Whitehall, Cummings said he had to call around and tell people “do not do what Hancock says, build the thing properly for the medium-term”. Meanwhile Hancock was telling them to “down tools on this” and “hold tests back so that I can hit my target” in order for him to crow about his success in TV interviews.

Cummings also said he warned the prime minister in February and March that if Hancock was not fired, “we are going to kill people and it’s going to be a catastrophe”.

Turning to the times Cummings said Hancock lied, he recalled that the health secretary blamed Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, and Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, for a shortage of personal protective equipment, claiming they had “blocked approvals”. Cummings said he asked Sedwill to investigate to find out if that was correct, and that Sedwill later told him it was “completely untrue”, meaning he had “lost confidence in the secretary of state’s honesty in these meetings”.

Asked if he made a note of Sedwill’s findings, Cummings said yes and promised to supply proof to the two committees quizzing him.

He said there were numerous other examples, also citing Hancock claiming over the summer that “everyone who needed treatment got the treatment they required”.

Cummings claimed: “He knew that was a lie because he’d been briefed by the chief scientific adviser [Sir Patrick Vallance] and the chief medical officer [Prof Chis Whitty] himself about the first peak, and we were told explicitly people did not get the treatment they deserved. Many people were left to die in horrific circumstances.”

It seems Tory MPs leapt to Hancock’s defence, even though it is unlikely they knew any of the facts:

Hancock himself said he didn’t watch Cummings’ testimony because he was busy “saving lives” – attracting a huge amount of ridicule, of which the following is just a part.

We know some of the facts:

Fact-checking by The Guardian states that Dominic Cummings’ claim – that Matt Hancock had said a protective shield would be put around care homes but that this was nonsense – was true.

Responding to MPs’ questions in the House of Commons today, Hancock started by saying the government had met every goal it had set. This is clearly nonsense.

Did the government reach its goal of testing 100,000 people a week by May 1? No – and Hancock lied about it. This Site reported the facts at the time.

Other lies included the claim that Covid-19 vaccines only won swift approval in the UK because the UK is no longer part of the European Union. In fact, the approvals were granted according to EU rules. This Site reported the facts at the time.

He lied that suicides had decreased during the pandemic. This Site reported the facts at the time.

And as late as February this year, he lied that there had never been a national shortage of personal protective equipment. Again, This Site reported the facts at the time.

So his evidence to the Commons didn’t get off to a good start: consciously lying to Parliament is a sacking offence.

He said the government had been straight with MPs and the people. Judging from the evidence above, this is clearly another lie.

He said scientific developments had been followed by ministers – but this is another lie. Boris Johnson admitted lying about “following the science” in February.

He has dodged questions about the “test and trace” fiasco. The government launched a privatised scheme and threw £37 billion at it. Nearly a year later, it still doesn’t work.

He has been asked why there was no national plan for the pandemic, and said that the government has been learning how to respond by dealing with Covid-19. This is dissembling. The Tories do have a national plan for dealing with a pandemic emergency – but it was last updated in 2011 and was hopelessly out-of-date when Covid hit the UK.

This appearance has been a tissue of lies and evasions which even the most cursory fact-check can tear apart with ease.

Hancock was clearly trying to hide the fact that he has failed to handle the Covid-19 crisis with anything like the competence expected of a government minister.

He was also trying to hide the fact that he has lied to Parliament and to the nation on dozens of occasions – by lying yet again.

He has to go. More to the point, the prime minister who protected him has to go as well. When will Boris Johnson face a similar interrogation?

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The madness of Priti Patel: she denies the Tories backed ‘herd immunity’ but we all know it’s true

Eyes wide, teeth bared: Priti Patel looked more ready to murder Andrew Marr than respond to his questions in any reasonable way. While she managed to stop short of doing the former, she also failed to do the latter.

I wish I had seen Priti Patel on the Marr show, eyes wide and staring, lying through her bared teeth that the Tory government didn’t follow a “herd immunity” policy that would have been more like mass murder.

I would have laughed. Bitterly.

She was responding to comments by Dominic Cummings:

Asked by the BBC’s Andrew Marr whether herd immunity had been government policy at the beginning of the Covid pandemic – before a vaccine had been created – Ms Patel replied “absolutely not”.

She said she would not comment on what Mr Cummings would say ahead of his appearance in front of a parliamentary committee this week, but added “our strategy was always about public health, saving lives and protecting the NHS”.

Cummings himself has felt no such need for restraint, but has managed to make himself appear far more rational:

 In a flurry of tweets the PM’s former top aide said it had not been a secret at the time.

“Herd immunity wasn’t ‘a secret strategy’, it was THE OFFICIAL PUBLIC EXPLAINED ON TV/RADIO STRATEGY!”

He noted health officials, including SAGE members, had explained the strategy in those terms in broadcast interviews during March and April.

We know this to be true. Boris Johnson infamously pushed “herd immunity” during an interview on ITV’s This Morning:

Cummings continued:

“It became clear neither [Matt] Hancock/[Cabinet Office] understood herd immunity effects: 100s of 1000s choking to death + no NHS for *anybody* for months + dead unburied + [economic] implosion.

“So we moved to Plan B: suppression and a ‘Manhattan Project’ for drugs/vaccines + test&trace etc.”

And now we hear that, because they did it in such a stupid, corrupt and cack-handed way, it’s estimated there have been around 210,000 “excess” deaths – deaths that should have been avoidable.

They fooled the nation back in March 2020 – and they’ve been fooling the nation ever since.

Are you going to let them fool you?

Source: Coronavirus: Patel denies No 10 pursued herd immunity policy – BBC News

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A family at war: after Johnson accused Cummings, former advisor blazes back

Spotted on the internet: and who knows how many more nasty little secrets Dominic Cummings will be able to release, just when they will do Boris Johnson the most harm?

I’m waiting for Theresa May to turn up and say, “Now, boys, play nicely!” Not that she’d have any effect at all.

It seems that Boris Johnson thought details of his text conversation promising tax breaks to James Dyson had been leaked by Dominic Cummings.

Denying this, Cummings has nevertheless come out with a different claim – that Johnson had planned a “possibly illegal” way to get Tory donors to pay for renovations to the Downing Street flat that the prime minister uses.

We knew that, didn’t we?

Cummings wrote in his blog: “The PM stopped speaking to me about this matter in 2020 as I told him I thought his plans to have donors secretly pay for the renovation were unethical, foolish, possibly illegal and almost certainly broke the rules on proper disclosure of political donations if conducted in the way he intended. I refused to help him organise these payments.”

For good measure, Cummings has also denied leaking details of the UK’s second Covid-19 lockdown last summer – but he put an extra sting into this one.

He said Johnson had considered stopping an inquiry into that leak (that eventually exonerated Cummings) because (he reckoned) the evidence pointed to Henry Newman, a close personal friend of the prime minister’s fiancee, Carrie Symonds.

Cummings claimed Johnson was concerned that he would have to sack Newman, and this would cause friction with Symonds.

The official line from Downing Street is that Johnson has never interfered with any inquiries – but that’s not what Cummings claimed.

The claim was that Johnson had considered interfering – and this is entirely plausible after Johnson admitted promising to interfere with the tax system for Dyson, at Prime Minister’s Question on Wednesday. (Or did he? Will we have yet another clarification from “a Downing Street source” that he meant something completely – and implausibly – different?)

The result of the inquiry has never been published.

Cummings wrote: “I told him that this was ‘mad’ and totally unethical, that he had ordered the inquiry himself and authorised the Cabinet Secretary to use more invasive methods than are usually applied to leak inquiries because of the seriousness of the leak. I told him that he could not possibly cancel an inquiry about a leak that affected millions of people, just because it might implicate his girlfriend’s friends.”

He added: “It is sad to see the PM and his office fall so far below the standards of competence and integrity the country deserves.”

Asked to comment on the matter, Johnson himself came out with what may be his only accurate words on any of the corruption allegations that are currently pelting his government. He said:

“I think people aren’t so much interested in who is leaking what to whom as the substance of the issue at hand.”

Yes indeed.

We want to see accurate, verified evidence showing whether Johnson intervened with HMRC to change tax rules of Dyson.

We want to see evidence showing whether Johnson was implicated in the Greensill lobbying scandal.

We want evidence on how Johnson funded his flat renovations.

We want to know why the inquiry into the lockdown leak wasn’t published.

And we want to see evidence on the accuracy of all the other corruption claims that have come out of the woodwork – and that are likely to emerge in the future.

And no – “a Downing Street spokesperson denied the allegations” will not be acceptable.

Source: Dominic Cummings launches attack on Boris Johnson’s integrity – BBC News

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If Boris Johnson wants to give cash to firms run by his cronies, why should we foot the bill?

Cronies: Dominic Cummings with Boris Johnson, whose government gave hundreds of thousands of pounds to a firm run by a former associate of the former and a woman who co-wrote the latter’s 2019 Conservative election manifesto.

Squirm as it may, Boris Johnson’s government cannot deny giving a hell of a lot of public money to Conservative Party cronies, bypassing the usual tendering system by claiming it is under emergency procedures.

So it cannot suggest it is unreasonable for the courts to investigate whether the process was used properly and the money given to professionals who could carry out the necessary work correctly.

In the case mentioned by the Mirror, it may prove hard to support a claim that the cash was handed over in a proper way.

It went to a firm run by a now-former associate of Dominic Cummings and a woman who co-wrote the Conservatives’ 2019 election manifesto.

And it is said that more than a quarter of a million pounds of public money was handed over to Public First on the basis of nothing more than a handshake.

According to Cabinet Office records, there seems to be some confusion about what the work entailed, as some of it is stated to be related to Brexit rather than Covid-19.

Public First was also involved in the fiasco in which an algorithm was devised to dictate the grades that ‘A’ level students would receive rather than taking the exams, after being granted a contract that, once again, was not put out to competitive tender.

The algorithm artificially boosted the results of pupils who attended private schools, while state school pupils’ grades plummeted – even in the most promising of cases.

Ofqual boss Sally Collier later resigned – apparently over the decision to provide the contract to Public First.

Prima facie evidence would suggest that there are questions to be asked about the firm’s competence.

And that leads This Writer to the following urgent question:

Given what we know about the nature of money – that it is created by the government and paid into the economy for particular purposes before being taxed out of it again, why should the public as a whole pay back in taxes the cost of an example of Tory Party cronyism that appears to have caused more harm than good?

Source: High Court ‘set to hear from Dominic Cummings’ over controversial Covid contract – Mirror Online

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Cummings wasted around a quarter of a MILLION pounds this year. Why did we pay him ANYTHING?

Nothing but a burden on public finances: Dominic Cummings and Boris Johnson.

What a waste of public money Dominic Cummings turned out to be.

Not only did he take a pay rise of around £50,000 – on top of the £95,000+ he was already getting as Boris Johnson’s chief advisor – while he was flouting Covid-19 lockdown restrictions with junkets to Barnard Castle (for example), but…

He also indirectly caused £200,000 to be wasted after an advisor to then-Chancellor Sajid Javid was escorted out of Downing Street in the wake of a confrontation with him.

Documents … show that the prime minister overruled the advice of the civil service’s chief executive, John Manzoni, in March that the government should seek a settlement with Sonia Khan, a former adviser to the then chancellor, Sajid Javid.

Johnson refused to listen to the advice, which meant that the case continued until November, driving up legal costs. Khan was eventually paid between £50,000 and £100,000 in November, days after Cummings announced he would be standing down from Downing Street at the end of this year. Legal sources estimate that the total costs including Khan’s payoff could be nearly £200,000.

That’s a loss of a quarter of a million pounds, due to the incompetence and hubris of just one man – and there are hundreds of people in Boris Johnson’s Conservative government.

Of course, Cummings won’t have paid a penny of those legal costs, just as Boris Johnson didn’t pay a penny of the extra salary he gave to the soon-to-be-former advisor. We did.

And we have absolutely nothing to show for it. Worse than nothing, in fact – because Cummings’s advice has been alleged to have caused a lot of harm to the population, especially at the start of the Covid crisis.

I know what the diehard Tories will say: “It could have been worse. We could have had a Labour government.” It’s their usual mantra.

But we don’t have a Labour government. This waste and damage was caused by Conservatives.

And if they want their criticisms of the Opposition to have any meaning, they should set a higher standard.

Source: Johnson ‘wasted public money’ over adviser sacked by Dominic Cummings | Dominic Cummings | The Guardian

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Cummings is out of Downing Street – but what does it actually mean?

Cummings and Boris Johnson: I never really bothered to do another image of him and now I’m glad I didn’t; he’s gone. But how far has he gone?

Many will be saying Boris Johnson will have to take responsibility for his own cock-ups from now on – but will he?

Johnson has had the benefit of a lot of media belief that he’s the monkey to Dominic Cummings’s organ grinder, ever since he moved into Downing Street in July 2019.

Now, with Cummings moving out of Downing Street “to clear the air”, he won’t have that excuse – even if it is still applicable.

You see, Cummings may have left his official role but this just means we don’t know what he will be doing, who he’ll be doing it with, or how much influence he may continue to wield.

And it is entirely possible, of course, that the whole story about Cummings being the secret mastermind was just a blind, and the Johnson government will continue self-combusting, as it has been ever since that fateful July 2019 day.

Time will tell.

But it seems clear that the future under Johnson’s Tories holds just two possibilities:

  • Life in the UK will stay as bad as it is now.
  • Life in the UK will get much, much worse.

For now I think it is okay to sympathise with all those who are celebrating with a few choruses of “The witch is dead”…

But I think we have to temper that sympathy with a clear understanding that the UK is not out of the woods yet – by a very long way.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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