• Dear Guest, and welcome to RailUK Forums. Our non-railway discussion forums are currently restricted until members have five or more posts, and you will not be able to make a new thread or reply to an existing one in this section until you have made five or more posts elsewhere on the forum.

Dominic Cummings gets to have his say on the Covid crisis...

birchesgreen

Established Member
Joined
16 Jun 2020
Messages
1,963
Location
Birmingham
I loved when he was door stopped yesterday and asked if he had been watching the select committee he replied he had been too busy saving lives, blimey. It's a wonder he didn't wear his underpants outside of his trousers.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

ExRes

Established Member
Joined
16 Dec 2012
Messages
3,584
Location
Back in Sussex
Where's the NHS when you need it most? I've cracked most of my ribs laughing at all the people believing everything Cummings has to say, how times change when it suits ....
 

Darandio

Established Member
Joined
24 Feb 2007
Messages
9,640
Location
Redcar
Yes, but what does being "straight with people" (as he is reported to have said) mean? He's not actually saying that he was honest with people and told the truth is he? I'm sure it's possible to be "straight with people" whilst lying to them.

Well maybe your definition of being "straight with people" differs from mine? For me it means being honest and therefore not lying. I'm sure i'm not the only one.

He's also claimed to have been "open and transparent" as well. Yeah, okay.

Where's the NHS when you need it most? I've cracked most of my ribs laughing at all the people believing everything Cummings has to say, how times change when it suits ....

I didn't believe a word he said yesterday either.
 

jfollows

Established Member
Joined
26 Feb 2011
Messages
1,402
Location
Wilmslow
Well maybe your definition of being "straight with people" differs from mine? For me it means being honest and therefore not lying. I'm sure i'm not the only one.
I believe he chose his precise words with care for exactly that reason. I don't disagree hugely with your interpretation either, by the way, but I suggest it's open to interpretation in a way that "I always told the truth to people" isn't.
 

Darandio

Established Member
Joined
24 Feb 2007
Messages
9,640
Location
Redcar
I loved when he was door stopped yesterday and asked if he had been watching the select committee he replied he had been too busy saving lives, blimey. It's a wonder he didn't wear his underpants outside of his trousers.

Indeed. I was compelled to throw something at the television when I saw that.

Apparently Jeffrey Archer was wheeled out on breakfast television this morning as well, defending them to the hilt. Quite hilarious to see a man convicted of perjury giving defence to liars.
 

nlogax

Established Member
Joined
29 May 2011
Messages
3,827
Location
London & Scotland
That was quite the mauling of Hancock in the HoC.

..if your definition of mauling is 'being licked to death by a series of friendly toothless hounds'.

Apparently Jeffrey Archer was wheeled out on breakfast television this morning as well

Good god. Is he still going?
 

duncanp

Established Member
Joined
16 Aug 2012
Messages
2,286
Location
Birmingham/Smethwick
The Telegraph is, quite rightly, laying into Dominic Cummings, who it calls and "arrogant, self delusional egocentric" and "intellectual narcissist whose menacing presence in Number 10 contributed mightily to its dysfunctional nature"

I think that the government is much better off without him.



The appearance of Dominic Cummings before MPs to give his account of the Government’s handling of the pandemic had for weeks been billed as a potentially explosive occasion and it did not disappoint.

He denounced Boris Johnson as a media-obsessed incompetent unfit for office, accused Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, of criminal failings, castigated the entire Government machine for industrial levels of ineptitude and for good measure
derided the Prime Minister’s girlfriend as crackers.

Mr Cummings implied, or even asserted, that he would have done everything so much better had he been given half the chance or been surrounded by clever people like himself.

As an exercise in arrogant, self-delusional egocentricity from an intellectual narcissist whose menacing presence in Number 10 contributed mightily to its dysfunctional nature, Westminster has never seen anything like it.

He denied he was engaged in vengeful score-settling but that is how it came across; and his analysis, such as it was, of what went wrong suffered as a consequence.

Few were spared his scorn, apart from the Chancellor Rishi Sunak who was singled out for praise along with Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientist, and Kate Bingham, the vaccine task force head. Michael Gove and Dominic Raab were also mentioned favourably.

Mr Cummings was prepared to accept his own share of criticism but only because he did not follow through on his instincts and hit the “panic button” earlier. The implication was that he was one of the few who appreciated there was something to panic about. Everyone else was just flapping in the wind.

But there is a less tendentious narrative to be gleaned from his marathon seven-hour session. It was that a public health crisis hit the country out of the blue and Whitehall’s machine was not as prepared as it should have been, to put it charitably.

The systems that were thought to be in place were non-existent or did not work. In short, it was a shambles though not one that Mr Cummings, despite his lofty position, had previously tried to address.

Politicians confronted with decisions that would wreck the livelihoods of millions or lead to deaths of thousands from Covid were placed in a desperate quandary. Is their hesitation surprising? As Mr Cummings conceded, the brightest people in the world could have been dropped into Whitehall in March of 2020 and still been confronted with a nightmare scenario.

Even when the second wave hit, and then a third, the Prime Minister initially resisted new lockdowns but in the end agreed when the evidence could not be ignored. That is how democratic government should function.

Mr Johnson was right to question whether further restrictions on personal liberty of an unprecedented nature were required. Mr Cummings seems to prefer a technocratic administration led by scientists, analysts and modellers who just get on with it without recourse to irritations like parliamentary approval or public opinion. His disdain for politicians who have to be accountable to voters was apparent in his demeanour.

Mr Cummings was at his most persuasive in his account of how emergency arrangements were not up to snuff. The Cabinet Office’s Civil Contingencies Secretariat was a complete failure and the Health Department appears to be an utterly broken department. But if the intention of Mr Cummings was to expose the Prime Minister to public opprobrium for failing to act sooner he failed to make the case. By his own account, until the beginning of March, Mr Johnson’s advisers, including Mr Cummings, were not telling him to lock down.

As the former aide confirmed, a herd immunity approach was the agreed Government strategy until modelling suggested it would be disastrous. But there was also no plan for lockdown so it was hardly surprising that the Prime Minister spent a week or so questioning whether the damage it would cause to the economy might be greater than the disease itself. As Mr Cummings said that was a reasonable position to take at the time. Furlough and other protective economic arrangements had to be made up on the spot.

He was most scathing about Mr Hancock, using the protection of parliamentary privilege to make a series of extraordinary accusations. He claimed the Health Secretary lied about testing elderly people for Covid before they were moved into care homes. This, he said, was untrue and the consequences were catastrophic when the virus spread rapidly among residents killing thousands. He needs to produce the evidence for this and Mr Hancock is entitled to defend himself.

There are many lessons to be learned from the way this crisis has been handled. One of them is that someone so unsuitable for the job as Dominic Cummings should never have been allowed anywhere near the levers of power.
 

jfollows

Established Member
Joined
26 Feb 2011
Messages
1,402
Location
Wilmslow
The Telegraph is, quite rightly, laying into Dominic Cummings, who it calls and "arrogant, self delusional egocentric" and "intellectual narcissist whose menacing presence in Number 10 contributed mightily to its dysfunctional nature"
....
There are many lessons to be learned from the way this crisis has been handled. One of them is that someone so unsuitable for the job as Dominic Cummings should never have been allowed anywhere near the levers of power.

That selective quote is the one part with which I strongly agree, and demonstrates to me the inability of Boris Johnson to choose suitable people to advise him, notwithstanding his appalling choices for Cabinet posts.

What's interesting, although not surprising, is that all the media appears to loathe Dominic Cummings. Given his arrogance and his personality this isn't really surprising, he used the media as his publicity oxygen all the time but treated them all with contempt and told them (and us) that he was better than they were.

The Telegraph leaps to the defence of its hero, Boris Johnson, no surprise there.

The Guardian doesn't, not surprisingly either.
which ends with
“Tens of thousands of people died who didn’t need to die,” Mr Cummings said. Tragically, it was the truth.
On that particular point, I agree with The Guardian.
 
Last edited:

brad465

Established Member
Joined
11 Aug 2010
Messages
2,785
Location
Maidstone
That selective quote is the one part with which I strongly agree, and demonstrates to me the inability of Boris Johnson to choose suitable people to advise him, notwithstanding his appalling choices for Cabinet posts.

What's interesting, although not surprising, is that all the media appears to loathe Dominic Cummings. Given his arrogance and his personality this isn't really surprising, he used the media as his publicity oxygen all the time but treated them all with contempt and told them (and us) that he was better than they were.

The Telegraph leaps to the defence of its hero, Boris Johnson, no surprise there.

The Guardian doesn't, not surprisingly either.
which ends with

On that particular point, I agree with The Guardian.
I wouldn't say The Telegraph has always painted Johnson as a hero, they've been critical of the whole lockdown approach, and thus critical of Johnson conceding to implement them. Of course because they criticise the approach they wouldn't defend Cummings here because that would mean they'd suddenly be supporting lockdowns.
 

Farang

Member
Joined
17 May 2018
Messages
33
I agree with that, though Hancock will apparently be providing his rebuttal to Cummings' comments today. Must sting a bit to have publicly supported Cummings after his Barnard Castle misadventure only to have been thrown under the bus repeatedly over the course of yesterday's session.
As Guido Fawkes said, not only did Cummings fling Hancock under a bus, he then reversed it over him.
 

Ianno87

Veteran Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
14,118
As Guido Fawkes said, not only did Cummings fling Hancock under a bus, he then reversed it over him.

But at the same time not one word about Sunak or Gove, Boris's "obvious" successors. Funny that.
 

SteveM70

Established Member
Joined
11 Jul 2018
Messages
1,706
On Cummings
- I suspect a lot of what he said yesterday where he quoted specific dates will be true, or very close to the truth.
- I suspect he exercised a lot of selective memory in response to other questions along the lines of “I don’t remember exactly” because the truth didn’t suit his agenda
- putting the two together, we’ve got a better view of what was really happening but not a clear view
- if he isn’t autistic (is he? It may have been known for ages?) I’m a dutchman

On Hancock
- I agree with Cummings that he’s out of his depth, but I believe 99.9999% of people would be in that role
- his performance this morning was nauseating, casting himself as “too busy saving lives to watch the telly” etc etc. And the loyal tories who queued up to ask him soft soap “questions” should be ashamed

On Johnson:
- have we learned anything? We already knew he was a feckless chancer with no attention to detail, financial troubles and a lunatic girlfriend

So whilst it was absolutely gripping telly, and for once working from home was a benefit as it meant I could have it on in the background, we’re not really any further forward than we were 36 hours ago.
 

duncanp

Established Member
Joined
16 Aug 2012
Messages
2,286
Location
Birmingham/Smethwick
On that particular point, I agree with The Guardian.

So The Guardian is critical of Boris Johnson.

That is hardly surprising.

I don't think it can be conclusively proved one way or the other whether "..tens of thousands of people died who didn't need to die.."

At the moment this is just a statement of opinion, and this is what a properly constituted public enquiry to needs to look into.

Personally I think that COVID-19 was already circulating within the UK in late 2019, before anyone had even heard of it.
 

A Challenge

Established Member
Joined
24 Sep 2016
Messages
2,591
Well I just remember that Dominic Cummings, as well as the Barnard Castle trip, seemed like he had rather a large hold on what was happening last year, yet he got kicked out so now he's trying to attack the government for what he got them to do.
 

Mcr Warrior

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2009
Messages
4,105
As am opening publicity stunt for his inevitable book on the matter, Cummings did really well, he's got the scummy media salivating over it.
Any indication when this might be published? I look forward to sourcing a copy from my local remainder book shop assuming the price is right! (Will 50p be too much? :rolleyes:)
 

Yew

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2011
Messages
5,393
Location
Nottingham
Any indication when this might be published? I look forward to sourcing a copy from my local remainder book shop assuming the price is right! (Will 50p be too much? :rolleyes:)
I'm glad to see he's doing his bit to make sure we never have another toilet paper shortage.
 

Busaholic

Established Member
Joined
7 Jun 2014
Messages
10,386
Unsure in which thread to place it, but this seems as good as any. A friend of my wife recently suffered a mini-stroke and was later asked a series of questions in hospital to assess whether her mental capacity had suffered. In response to the question ''who is the Prime Minister?'' she blurted out ''that w*nker'' which brought an instantaneous ''right answer'' from the doctor to the amusement of all the other health professionals present. :)
 

Gloster

Established Member
Joined
4 Sep 2020
Messages
2,195
Location
Up the creek
Unsure in which thread to place it, but this seems as good as any. A friend of my wife recently suffered a mini-stroke and was later asked a series of questions in hospital to assess whether her mental capacity had suffered. In response to the question ''who is the Prime Minister?'' she blurted out ''that w*nker'' which brought an instantaneous ''right answer'' from the doctor to the amusement of all the other health professionals present. :)
I was asked a similar question when in hospital nearly two years ago. My answer was, “Theresa May, unless Boris has shoved the knife in yet.” (I answered all their questions correctly except for, “What day is it?”.)
 

Loppylugs

Member
Joined
26 Jul 2020
Messages
144
Location
Swindon
As am opening publicity stunt for his inevitable book on the matter, Cummings did really well, The West End production will start in 2023, book in advance to avoid disappointment....
Sorry, 2023 is not possible. It will take a long long time to write as he has eyesight problems. Has a job to focus on a castle !
 

43096

On Moderation
Joined
23 Nov 2015
Messages
10,459
I'm not a fan of Dom Cummings but I did listen to what he had to say yesterday and it was interesting to hear about the government 'bust ups' going on behind the scenes.

Given a public enquiry will get underway next year, I have a feeling what Cummings has said is perhaps only the tip of the iceberg to what we will hear in the next year or too.

The fallout from this could go either way. As I said months ago - I can't see Matt Hancock remaining as Health Secretary too long. Although he has done a pretty thankless job over the last 15 months I have a feeling for his own health and wellbeing he will probably stand down once there is some National stability with the virus.

Dom Cummings scaving comments indicate Hancock could be the biggest cabinet casualty and if he doesn't go he could very well be pushed aside if BoJo decides on a reshuffle.

CJ
The thing with Cummings evidence is that some of it is believable. Can I believe that Trump was wanting to bomb Iran and Carrie was going crackers about press stories about Dilyn the dog - yes, that's actually very believable.

Should Hancock have been sacked for being an incompetent liar? Yes, he should.

The problem with it all is that it has come from Cummings. To be fair he did at least have the good grace (or sense) to apologise for his part in it all - I douybt we'll get that at the public inquiry from anyone else.
 

Spamcan81

Member
Joined
12 Sep 2011
Messages
842
Location
Bedfordshire
Why does the phrase "Hancock's Half Hour" suddenly spring to mind... :lol:

I find it so amusing when a BBC interviewer speaks to an invited Minister of a certain Government department, not on matters that concern his/her department, but on matters appertaining to a totally different department of Government. If they wish to pursue that policy, they should invite the correct Minister involved. But what can you expect these days from the BBC.

Not necessarily a matter of whom the BBC invite but of whom the Government decide to send in response to that invite.
 

brad465

Established Member
Joined
11 Aug 2010
Messages
2,785
Location
Maidstone
He's been having his say again, this time in an interview conducted by his "best friend":


Boris Johnson was reluctant to tighten Covid restrictions as cases rose last autumn because he thought people dying from it were "essentially all over 80", Dominic Cummings has claimed.
He also said the prime minister had messaged him to say: "I no longer buy all this NHS overwhelmed stuff."
Mr Johnson had wanted to let Covid "wash through the country" rather than destroy the economy, Mr Cummings said.
The claims came in an interview with BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg.
It is the first time Mr Cummings - Mr Johnson's former chief adviser - has spoken to the media in this way during his career in politics.
In response, Downing Street said the prime minister had taken the "necessary action to protect lives and livelihoods, guided by the best scientific advice" throughout the pandemic.
And the government had prevented the NHS "from being overwhelmed through three national lockdowns", a spokesperson added.

In a wide-ranging interview, Mr Cummings also said that, near the start of the pandemic last year, Mr Johnson had wanted to keep his weekly face-to-face meetings with the Queen going - but he had to warn his boss that she might die if she caught coronavirus.
And he defended his controversial decision to drive to his parents' farm in County Durham after the first lockdown started, but admitted he had not "come clean" about all the reasons behind it, including "security concerns" around his family home in London.
This is the first major interview Mr Cummings has given, but he has answered MPs' questions on the government's response to Covid.
The claims made at that session were explosive, but he's since been criticised for failing to provide the evidence to back up some of those assertions.
 

Nicholas Lewis

Established Member
Joined
9 Aug 2019
Messages
1,773
Location
Surrey
He's been having his say again, this time in an interview conducted by his "best friend":

My instinct tells me this is accurate but unfortunately he is a busted flush and nobody's going to listen now let alone do anything about although i suspect the erstwhile leader of the opposition will waste time trying to exploit it at PMQs tomorrow.
 

Gloster

Established Member
Joined
4 Sep 2020
Messages
2,195
Location
Up the creek
Much as I don’t trust Boris Johnson and think that his various attitudes (inability to think things through, belief that he can away with anything, unpredictability as to whether he will carry through some wild comment or do a complete turnaround, etc.) mean that he is quite capable of anything, I am sceptical of Cummings’ claims. Most of them ring true, but I think that he is astute enough to avoid making claims that are too outlandish, however much his bitterness might make him want to go for a real killer (that might fail and raise doubts about everything else).
 

bspahh

Member
Joined
5 Jan 2017
Messages
850
If Cummings is lying here, then Johnson could deny it and sue for libel. However, in the article https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-57854811 this is the only denial of a fact:

Mr Cummings claimed that, on 18 March last year, the PM had said: "I'm going to see the Queen... That's what I do every Wednesday. Sod this. I'm going to go and see her."He added that he had told Mr Johnson: "There's people in this office who are isolating. You might have coronavirus. I might have coronavirus.
"You can't go and see the Queen. What if you go and see her and give the Queen coronavirus? You obviously can't go."
He continued: "I just said, 'If you give her coronavirus and she dies, what are you going to [do]? You can't do that. You can't risk that. That's completely insane.'
"And [the PM] said - he basically just hadn't thought it through - 'Yeah...I can't go'."
Downing Street denied that this incident took place and Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

That is a very specific denial of a single incident. If most things in this section were true but there was something which was not, then the denial would be true. Perhaps a very similar incident did take place.

I don't trust either of them, but for the statements in this article, I believe Cummings.
 

Top