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Saturday 23 May 2020

Polecat Busts Lockdown - Look Who’s Spinning

After Neil Ferguson was caught breaking the Coronavirus lockdown, the right-leaning part of the press was ecstatic. Their chief hate figure had resigned; it was, they judged, the right thing to do. Now that head Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings has been caught busting that same lockdown, and in a far more serious manner, it is instructive to see how the same people behave when the boot is very firmly on the other foot.
Cummings, his wife, and their young son travelled from London to his parents’ house more than 260 miles away. They were almost certainly infected with Covid-19; his parents are both over 70 and so are judged to be “at-risk”. Even in quiet traffic conditions, the journey would have been a five-hour one; the idea that it could have been accomplished by car without a stop is laughable. So the potential for further infection was significant.
Fuel pumps, any surfaces at filling station shops, toilets and any other areas visited at service stations, all could and probably were left with traces of Covid-19. What Cummings did was of a magnitude worse than Ferguson being visited by his mistress. So where are those who thought the latter did the right thing by resigning? Where is Matt Hancock? Where is Iain Duncan Cough? Where are all the baying right-wing pundits?
They aren’t: instead, we are being told that there is no way that Polecat Dom will resign over his cavalier interpretation of the rules, one that sticks two fingers up at all those little people, and instead favours Himself Personally Now. And here we come to the most regrettable aspect of this affair: the exhibition of shameless client journalism.
After Pippa Crerar had Tweeted out “Boris Johnson’s top aide Dominic Cummings was investigated by police after breaking the Government’s own coronavirus lockdown rules” at 2001 hours yesterday evening, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg responded with a rebuttal before 2030. Think about that: the BBC’s political editor - spinning for the Tories.
PM's chief adviser did travel from London to County Durham during lockdown when he and his wife had coronavirus to stay in a separate building at his family's farm, a source close to him confirms - source says it is not true that he was spoken to by police … Source says his trip was within guidelines as Cummings went to stay with his parents so they could help with childcare while he and his wife were ill - they insist no breach of lockdown”.
Ms Crerar was clearly taken aback. “The advice, which became law on March 26, stated: ‘You should not be visiting family members who do not live in your home. The only exception is if they need help, such as having shopping or medication dropped off.’” Not to mention the 260-plus mile drive which should not have been undertaken.
Of the latter part of Ms Kuenssberg’s claim, Steve Peers observed “Legally this claim is false - much like the claims that ‘Downing St sources’ made about the legality of the Benn Act. It's unfortunate that, as on that previous occasion, Ms Kuenssberg does not interrogate the claim”. And David Allen Green put Cummings’ situation directly.
If Ferguson and [Catherine] Calderwood had to resign, then so should Cummings. If Cummings stays, then Ferguson and Calderwood should be reinstated. It is this simple”. This was apparently lost on Ms Kuenssberg, who had previously enthused at the exposing of Neil Ferguson by responding “That’s a hell of a story”.
Dominic Cummings should not have acted as he did; his actions suggest a combination of contempt for those in less privileged positions than his, and an extraordinarily serious lack of judgment. He put many others in serious danger. And he now expects not only to get away with it, but for others in positions of media influence to back him up.
Which takes us to Ms Kuenssberg, who, just as she did with Matthew Elliott over the Vote Leave lawbreaking, has been caught taking dictation, rather than doing her job. If there were anyone within the BBC News and Current Affairs arena with the cojones to do the right thing, she would have already been sacked as a result of spinning for Cummings (her “source”). But there isn’t anyone, so she’ll probably get away with it. Again.

Behold the whole rotten edifice of political corruption and client journalism. And this will keep on happening - until someone calls time on it. I’ll just leave that one there.
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Rosie said...

Excellent. Kuennsberg is a Tory and should be fired for multiple transgressions. Cummings will not resign himself. Some journalist has to ask wat the Press Conference why should Cummings stay when Ferguson was told his position was untenable and had to resign and was vilified by right wing media? That is the point.
Herd immunity was never going to work and we now know why. The virus does not give lasting immunity beyond a few months and only then if you got it severely. Ferguson's projection of death if we did nothing resulted in the only protections to happen from 23rd Mrch, way too late to stop circulation, but at least helped suppress the curve. He saved lives. Cummings probably is responsible for spreading the virus and may have killed people. It was never within the guidelines to travel so far, or visit elderly parents when you were not delivering medicines to them.

Andy Foster said...

Congratulations on your dismantling of Kuenssberg. Spinning for the Tories again. She should go (but won't in the Tony Hall BBC). But I'm not sure Scuttler will get away free this time. It's the front page lead in the Telegraph this morning, with a particularly unflattering photograph, and ecen second lead in the Mail. Astonishing

Anonymous said...

Sadly, whoever becomes the new DG of the rotten BBC will not have the courage to cleanse the Augean Stables that is the News and Current Affairs directorate.

Jonathan said...

I expect another tsnami of complaints to the BBC, which will feriously defend Ms Kuenssberg to the bitter end.

In doing so it erodes it's crumbling reputation.
It's time someone sacked Kuenssberg, but she will get away with it as per usual.
It's joke now..

Anonymous said...

If Cummings is sacked - as he should be - so should Kuenssberg.

In normal democratic circumstances crooked-mouth tory Kuenssberg would get her arse handed to her before being hustled through the door by the scruff of her corrupt neck.

But we no longer live in a democracy.

Stephen said...

"...a source close to him confirms..." lol

Anonymous said...

Crooked gob Kuenssberg won't be sacked and neither will Cummings. They belong to a protected species called the Tory Spinners. No matter how many lies they do and spin someone always has their back. BBC the Tory Pravda.

Anonymous said...

Sshhh... Don't legitimately criticise Kuenssberg.... It's sexist to legitimately criticise her. Even those she is guilty, she's female so it's sexist!