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Wednesday 29 April 2020

SAGE - Cummings Gotchas Himself

Those of us who remember Dominic Cummings from the time he was dispensing gratuitous abuse via the infamous @toryeducation Twitter feed know all too well that the chief Downing Street polecat tends not to think further than the next bout of “winning”. He’s not quite as bad as former US President Gerald Ford, of whom Lyndon Johnson once said “He can’t fart and chew gum at the same time”, but you can see it from there.
So when a story appeared on Bloomberg telling “Boris Johnson’s most powerful political aide pressed the U.K.’s independent scientific advisers to recommend lockdown measures in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, according to people familiar with the matter”, and went on to claim “According to two people involved, Cummings played far more than a bystander’s role at a crucial SAGE meeting on March 18, as the panel discussed social distancing options to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak”, many folks’ interest was piqued.
And there was more. “Speaking on condition of anonymity because the meetings are private, the people said Cummings asked why a lockdown was not being imposed sooner, swayed the discussion toward faster action, and made clear he thought pubs and restaurants should be closed within two days. They then were”. Well, well.

Was this merely confirmation that Polecat Dom had been an active participant at SAGE, after all the denials? Or was it Cummings trying to play the heroic saviour, cutting through all the political and procedural inertia to win the day and force the lockdown?
Well, it appears it was the latter, which suggests the story was planted by someone not unadjacent to him. We can figure that one out because the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, fully invested in The Adoration Of The Boris, have been in dead giveaway territory, spinning the Bloomberg story in Dom’s favour.
Here’s the key Fawkes excuse paragraph. “The news, however, that will infuriate the conspiracy theorists who revelled in last week’s Guardian story about Cummings being ‘on’ the [SAGE] committee, is that he was the voice asking ‘why a lockdown was not being imposed sooner’ [allegedly]. This corroborates with what Number 10 insiders [like Dominic Cummings] have reported the Prime Minister’s senior adviser’s attitude to have been through most of this pandemic [no citation]”. Also, Cummings’ claims don’t add up.
As Stephen Bush of the Staggers noted, “Hang on, I don't understand the timeline here. On 18 March Cummings said to be urging Sage about why we weren't in lockdown yet. But the UK government had already announced tougher guidelines & we were waiting on stronger economic measures from HMT”. Paul Lewis of the Guardian had more.

Downing Street’s claims [Cummings] was a mere passive observer in meetings are falling apart … Right from the opening story we reported that Cummings was not simply an observer. BBC and others were quick to circulate Downing Street’s colourful denials, insisting he the PM’s chief advisor was mostly just listening in on meetings”. Quite.
Bloomberg has confirmed the Guardian and Sunday Times stories, except that the claims made for Dom’s intervention don’t add up. Cummings appears to have Gotchad himself.

He’s managed to fart and chew gum separately. And don’t mention herd immunity.
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Anonymous said...

One day - nothing surer - that weasel faced gett Cummings will receive a proper come uppance.

And we'll all laugh.

grim northerner said...

The stupid mans thinking man.