We may not have heard much in the past few days from Dominic Cummings, the screamingly batshit former chief polecat to Michael “Oiky” Gove, after he sensibly chose to lay low after defying the DCMS committee and refusing to appear before it. But The Great Man’s fan club is still active, in the persons of the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who have been bigging him up today.
After Theresa May pitched her claim that she would be spending another £20 billion on the NHS in England over the next few years - perhaps - many on the right were keen to claim that this meant the Tories had somehow outflanked Labour to the left. The thought that The Blue Team had also floated the idea of a “Brexit dividend” that they knew did not exist, and which therefore undermined their credibility, was not allowed to enter.
But The Great Guido had a completely new take on the pledge: this, he proclaimed, was a sign that Cummings had come to save the Tories and the NHS at a stroke. You think I jest? Under the heading “How Dominic Cummings Cost Taxpayers £20 billion” - at least there was no pretending that the Brexit dividend unicorn was a real thing - readers are told how Dom fixed it for the Tories to win the next General Election.
“Months ago Dominic Cummings was shopping around polling that he had done showing that the Tories could win the next election almost only by conceding the NHS argument and splurging more money on it. Remember Boris going public on the need to spend more money on the NHS at the beginning of the year? He had seen the polling and been won over by the argument”. And there was more.
“Which of course also conveniently solved that exhortion-on-the-side-of-a-bus problem for Boris which obstructed, like a stalled bus, the path to him becoming PM. Theresa May today calling the £20 billion NHS spending hike ‘a Brexit dividend’ paves the way for Boris to argue at either a leadership hustings or a general election that the government has delivered on the exhortion he made. That’s why he’s happy”. Yeah, right. But do go on.
“Whatever your view of the likely magnitude of the Brexit dividend it is clear that it will not be reaped for a good few years yet. This NHS splurge is about politics and will be funded by increased borrowing and delaying the balancing of the budget for a generation … The Conservative Party in parliament and in the country will swallow it because they would privatise their grandmothers to stop Corbyn and McDonnell getting into Downing Street”.
And then they lose it completely. “Cummings is now one step closer to being chief-of-staff to Prime Minister Boris … or Gove”. With that statement, the position of the Fawkes blog as supplicant cheerleaders for the screamingly batshit Cummings was confirmed.
The “Brexit dividend” claim was bad enough, given it was shot down almost before the May interview on The Andy Marr Show™ had chance to air. The idea that Dominic Cummings has ridden to the Tories’ rescue, to facilitate the entry into 10 Downing Street of comedy politician Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, or indeed “Oiky” Gove, is risible.
Bozza and Gove are kept out of Downing Street because they’re sodding useless. Cummings is not fit to be chief of staff to the proverbial whelk stall. And The Great Guido needs to take a long lie down in a darkened room. Another fine mess, once again.