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Saturday 25 April 2020

Dominic Cummings - Bang To Rights

The point at which you know someone has totally lost it is when they shoot the messenger. So it was when the Guardian nailed chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings: he had attended SAGE. “Cummings and a data scientist he worked with on the Vote Leave campaign for Brexit are on the secret scientific group advising the government on the coronavirus pandemic” declared the article. And there was more.
Multiple attendees of Sage told the Guardian that both Cummings and Warner had been taking part in meetings of the group as far back as February. The inclusion of Downing Street advisers on Sage will raise questions about the independence of its scientific advice. There has been growing pressure on Downing Street in recent days to disclose more details about the group”. SAGE informs the Government Covid-19 response.

And that data scientist? Ben Warner “was reportedly recruited to Downing Street last year by Cummings after running the Conservative party’s general election campaign model. He is also said to have worked closely with Cummings on the data modelling used in the Vote Leave campaign for the UK to leave the European Union”. Someone has to say it: what the merry fuck is he doing attending SAGE? He’s a sodding election strategist.
That was bad, but the Government response was worse, as the BBC has reported. “A No 10 spokesman said … ‘The scientists on Sage are among the most eminent in their fields … It is factually wrong and damaging to sensible public debate to imply their advice is affected by government advisers listening to discussions … Public confidence in the media has collapsed during this emergency partly because of ludicrous stories such as this”.

The difference between that, and Combover Crybaby Donald Trump telling the reporter from CNN “You are Fake News” is not so great. Meanwhile, former Government chief scientific advisor David King declared himself “shocked” to discover there were political advisors on SAGE. David Lidington, former de facto deputy to Theresa May, was unaware of any special advisor being involved on scientific advisory panels.
Worse, the Guardian report also tells “Downing Street declined to say how many Sage meetings Cummings and Warner attended, or whether any other political advisers took part … Sage participants told the Guardian the Downing Street advisers were not merely observing the advisory meetings, but actively participating in discussions about the formation of advice”. This contradicts the Downing Street spokesman’s claims.

In any case, there is little point Dom and his fellow polecats going after the Guardian, as the SAGE news had already been hinted at in the Sunday Times, as the Tweeter known as My Sweet Landlord pointed out: “the original Sunday Times piece disclosed that Cummings attended SAGE”. Moreover, “We also knew that the dominant voices on SAGE were mathematical modellers and behavioural scientists”. Not medical officers.
That last came from Richard Horton of The Lancet. By complete coincidence, Horton, the article in the ST, and the Guardian have become favourite targets of right-wing attack dogs. This is not an accident. It has Cummings’ paw prints all over it.

Polecat Dom has been caught with his hands in the till. But his boss is scared of him. So this whole farce will just carry on. And more unfortunate Brits will fall ill and die.
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Arnold said...

"Cummings: Protect the economy and if some pensioners die, 'too bad'"

Does that explain Bozo's early Herd Immunity strategy?

Anonymous said...

There are rare occasions when the Graun does its job.

This is one of them.

Or is it, given public distrust of all media, just part of yet another righty faction fight?

Jeff Pickthall said...

It is shameful that The Today programme today (25/4 at 2hrs 55m) reeled on his wife to present a "he's nice really" hagiography.

Anonymous said...

"Public confidence in the media has collapsed during this emergency partly because of ludicrous stories such as this”. But mainly because of their unquestioning willingness to print any such ludicrous crap we feed to them