Michelle’s right, the last thing we need is Cummings to go…


Enter a caption

On a day when very little of what was said carried much authenticity, I heard a lady from Newcastle University say something that seemed real to me.

Speaking on the BBC evening news following the interrogation of Dominic Cummings in the Rose Garden, she explained that most working class people she knew didn’t find a rich elite British male doing what he liked the slightest surprising – or even interesting, their thoughts were elsewhere. She explained they were concerned with   how they would make ends meet over the next few months,

To suppose that we are all in it together is absurd, as she went on to say 99% of people in the north east don’t have the choices Dominic Cummings had – to them he was quite simply -irrelevent

Cummings matters to the liberal elite – because he represents us.

Listen to the people who are howling against Cummings and what you are hearing are people who have also had his choices and chosen not to take them. The stench of entitlement is overwhelming as we hear of the sacrifices we made to the general good.

But by and large our suffering has been minimal , by and large we are raging against the opportunity that we turned down and Cummings grasped, the loophole we missed. And in likening ourselves to Cummings, we elevate ourselves to his level of public service. Cummings wasn’t broadcasting from Downing Street’s Rose Garden for nothing, he is doing more than what we do – he is running the country.

This spelt out to me my unquiet, explained in my  two blogs , making your own rules and Boris’ Bismarck. 

No matter how much better  blaming Cummings makes us feel,  sacking him is not going to help people pay the rent.

As Michelle Cracknell put it on Linked in

“Love him or hate him, the last thing all of us need is for Dominic Cummings to go. We need to focus on the things that matter (testing, PPE, moving out of lockdown) rather than what DC did or did not do”.

Michelle was agreeing with this statement

Cummings is a vital cog in the strategy to defeat Covid. Not some clown driving across the country to buy a puppy.

How this reflects on us?

Dominic Cummings has still not been tested for Coronavirus, he does not appear to have been treated as part of “Government” at all.  He was juggling his job and duty to Johnson and the country against personal fear for his health and the health of his wife, child and wider family and he was seen running accross Downing Street in what looked like panic to the press.

Screenshot 2020-05-26 at 06.26.24

Cummings running to help his wife

We now know that Cummings was not running away in fright, he was running to his wife who had symptoms of COVID-19. The images we have of Cummings are of a man isolated and pursued by cameras, he is also a husband and father.

Yesterday we saw a man give a press conference who was nervous. Never once did he play to the camera or the press. He did not impress as a politician would have impressed.  He didn’t impress at all.

Frankly it does not matter much how many times he stopped to fill up for petrol, how long he was outside at Barnard Castle or whether he dialled 999 or 111. The Guardian and the Sunday Mirror can go on with their forensic investigation , un-turn rocks and keep this story alive for another week, but this isn’t going to help us move out of lockdown or pay the rent.

We watched Cummings hoping for drama, we got the opposite. I was left asking why I was watching and feeling decidedly queasy. In wanting drama I realised I was complicit with the press. Their prurience was my prurience. I wanted to wash my hands.

Damaged goods?

Far from being damaged goods, Cummings is now centre-stage and a full-on anti-hero for anyone chippy enough to challenge liberal sentimentality. And having listened to the endless tales of self-sacrifice by those in lock-down I am now immune to that sentimentality.

What is becoming damaged goods is the line of press lined up to throw stones at Cummings. To them I add those who compare their tale of hardship to that of Cummings. Whatever we are going through is our cross to bear, we cannot tie Cummings to it.

It is not unusual for members of the elite to become working class icons. Churchill did it, Farage did it (a little bit) and Cummings has got all the makings of doing it himself. Nervous as he was yesterday, he managed to last 90 minutes without losing control and unimpressive as his delivery was, he came accross as considered and deeply serious.

Cummings has no Checkers or Sandringham , he did have his family home and it appears that became so attractive he recklessly drove himself and his family there, against all Government advice. Like the Newcastle University professor , I don’t find this in the slightest bit surprising, I don’t find it news. He did what he could with the hand he held and his bets paid off.

Screenshot 2020-05-26 at 06.13.21

From George Osborne’s newspaper

No apologies – no regrets

The press are angry that Cummings stays “elite”, They want him to apologise and show regret. Based on achieved outcomes Cummings has nothing to regret, he is back safe and so his family. As for apologies, he refuses to apologise for taking responsibility as he does.

Cummings 2

And for so long as the media continue to lay into Cummings, the more he will divide the nation. He clearly isn’t going to stand down and the best that we can do is climb down from our high horses. He is Johnson’s Bismarck, he makes the rules and I am glad that he stood firm yesterday. I do not want another resignation , another failed Government and yet more disruption .

It is our job to repair not damage goods. Like Michelle says.



About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
This entry was posted in coronavirus, pensions. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Michelle’s right, the last thing we need is Cummings to go…

  1. George Kirrin says:

    The media’s Cummings story no longer stands up for me, Henry.

    He didn’t go to Durham for a second time on 14 April, as reported on the front pages of both the Sunday Mirror and the Observer. He didn’t have any physical contact with Durham-based family members. The police didn’t talk to the Cummings family about the Covid lockdown guidelines but about security (presumably if/when the media posse arrived there, as they now have done). Durham police issued their own press release at 4:01pm yesterday, just when Cummings was supposed to be about to start his rose garden press conference.

    Cummings didn’t carry on doing things that nearly everyone else had stopped doing — he missed the funeral of his uncle who died from Covid-19 in London on 5 April. He didn’t leave his London home for leisure reasons — he left because he was receiving threats as a result of media demonisation. He was ill, his wife was ill, and at one point his child was taken to hospital in an ambulance in Durham.

    His family has had a really rough time and parts of the media have told lie after lie about him. The real scandal is not Cummings’s behaviour — it is the collapse of ethics and objectivity in leading parts of the British media.

    Cummings is, however, guilty of what many of us have done when overworking – driving when impaired, putting work before family and personal health, and maybe putting work colleagues at risk of catching whatever it is we’ve got or we’ve had.

    • Brian G says:

      Absolutely disagree. No need to go to Durham. He admitted on live TV that he was worried he might become ill. That means he wasn’t ill. Also, no need for him to drive. Plenty of supermarkets in Islington where neighbours or volunteers could deliver food on door. Absolute retro fitting of his answers to try and justify backtracking. Everyone else had the same issues. Just rubbish.

  2. Peter D Beattie says:

    Absolutely agree. Family first – country next – every one is responsble for their own personal survival based on judgement. Third parties are always suspect!

    • Brian G says:

      If he wants to put family first ahead of the rest of the country’s safety and be judged that is fine. The solution is to design from his post so that he has that freedom. Absolutely odd to believe that a decent parent would make the decision he took given the resources and choices available to him. I guess if you want your child to grow up as an arrogant self entitled elitist that’s the way to be a role model.

      • Peter D Beattie says:

        Its got nothing to do with ‘eliteism’. You are the only one complaining – grow up and modify your language. Also you are not his ’employer’ who if not satisfied would know what to do.

  3. Brian G says:

    Funnily enough I am not in a minority of one Peter “charactor” Beattie. Adults do disagree with each other. Morons tend to tell people to grow up when they feel it’s beneath them to respond with counterarguments.

  4. Brian G says:

    https://metro.co.uk/ so Peter “eliteism is spelt with two e’s Beattie”, I am one of at least 7 people who have the same opinion. You are entitled to disagree, but please do not tell me to grow up otherwise I might accidentally take offence and respond with more evidence to support my side of the argument rather than call you a child.

  5. Peter D Beattie says:

    Why don’t you just admit it – you hate Cummins – it’s personal to you and has nothing to do with us. Be truthfull and admit you also hate our government?

    • Brian G says:

      I do not hate either or them Peter. I believe in the rule of law and also in our leaders and those employed by our leaders following the rules they have set for everyone else. I do indeed hate being told to grow up because I happen to totally disagree with what you are saying.

  6. Peter D Beattie says:

    OK I to also believe in the ‘rule of law’ but there are always ‘exceptions’ and in this case it is that every parent has a requirement to defend ‘wife and child’ or any one considered ‘vulnerable’. We have both had our say in this matter so lets leave it there – and move on.

  7. George Kirrin says:

    Jenny Harries and her “exceptional circumstances” on 24 March, and it’s here:


    The question (about a hypothetical 2-y-o child is asked at 62 minutes in) and her exact quote is at 65 minutes, part of an answer that begins at 64’50” ….

  8. Brian G says:

    Thanks George. As Jenny clearly says “clearly if someone has a 2 year old child who the 2 adults are not able to look after this is an exceptional circumstance and the parent is able to drive 260 miles to Durham to self isolate on their parents farm in a concrete block built cottage” oh no sorry George wait a minute sorry. Oh no she didn’t say that she acrually said they are able to work through their Local Authority hub. Now correct me here George but wouldn’t his Local Authority hub be the London Borough of Islington rather than County Durham? Or did I miss something?

    • Peter D Beattie says:

      George. There is a problem with ‘local authority hubs’ due to the time they take in ‘addressing a problem or application’. My wife has a friend whose relative died whilst her ‘local authority’ sorted out what they call ‘a care package’. So in an emergency what does one do?

  9. Pingback: The still small voice of calm | AgeWage: Making your money work as hard as you do

  10. henry tapper says:

    Brian , I don’t think you listened carefully enough to the answer . Jenny Harries explains that the child becomes vulnerable when neither parent can care. She talks of the household as a “family unit” – (rather than a location) and suggests that they only need use the Local Authority Hub if they don’t have access to “formal care support OR family”.

    In this case Cummings had access to family – albeit at a physical distance. He did not have to trouble the Islington Hub because family had offered to take care.

    The judgement call was over the distance and George has made the point that he may have allowed himself to drive while impaired and/or other misjudgements. Cummings has not accepted he made the wrong judgement call.

    • henry tapper says:

      I worry about job security for SPADS

      • Peter D Beattie says:

        Hi Henry. I also worry about ‘job security’ as you may see from my previous, but being retired not an urgent problem for me. However, being of ‘the last centuary’ I am a bit slow on this recent ‘new speak’. So what is a ‘SPAD’?

    • Brian G says:

      Hi Henry. I have listened. Jenny and you too said the words if NEITHER Parent can care for their child. And I then stated that Cummings at that stage COULD care for his son and so this comment by Jenny does not apply to a situation where one parent is capable. He clearly was capable of driving 260 miles. Whilst I do not wish to offend you, and I know you are thinking I am being intransigent, Cummings was not ill in the way that he would meet her description. He cannot meet the definition of incapability when he could run back to work and then drive 250 miles.

Leave a Reply