At first, today’s effort gives the impression of being a routine hatchet-job-by-numbers effort - sneering at Prince Harry for, er, being gainfully employed, for instance - but the more you read, the more it becomes clear that the Sarah Vine who backed Gove against alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, after Young Dave lost the EU referendum and took his leadership bat home, is now history.
What she would no doubt like Mail readers to see is her critique of former chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings, who has granted a broadcast interview to BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg (as opposed to all those interviews that weren’t broadcast). But that isn’t where Ms Vine is really at. She is letting you know she’s changing horses.
First, we get the “My old pal Dom” angle: “I have known Dom on and off for many years, almost two decades, in fact. He is a man of great political passion and possesses a brilliant mind. Too brilliant, sometimes”. Then the casting of Polecat Dom in a suitably negative light: “Dom of old would never have dreamt of doing a sit-down interview with the BBC … He would have considered it an act of spectacular idiocy”. Really? Do go on.
As if you need to ask her. "But then power, or closeness to power (or even worse, loss of it), does funny things to people’s heads, and this Dom is a very different man from the one I knew … He claims he is not motivated by a desire for revenge; but there’s no denying he seems hellbent on bringing down his former boss - whatever the cost”. Er, former boss?
Which one would that be, given Cummings was at the DfE with “Oiky” for some years? “Perhaps … he never really considered Johnson his boss in the first place, merely his chosen vessel in the pursuit of power”. Go on. “Dom has always had an anarchic edge to his character … [but now] He is not only trashing his former boss, he is also undermining the very institution of government”. And so we arrive to Ms Vine joining Team Bozo.
“The reality, of course, is … unlike Dom, who as an adviser enjoyed all the trappings of power without any of the responsibility, the buck stops with Johnson. It is not only his job, but also his duty, to weigh up the pros and cons of his actions … Far from being in denial about the situation, as Cummings implies, it seems to me the Prime Minister was facing down the realities of Covid, asking the cold, hard questions that needed asking”.
The PM responds to Ms Vine's pledge of loyalty
“I doubt whether anyone else would have done much better. Certainly not Theresa May, queen of indecision; and definitely not Jeremy Corbyn”. Boo Jezza! Churchill reference, maybe? You bet. “The closest analogy to this pandemic is World War II … The Prime Minister at the time, Winston Churchill, faced similar impossible choices”.
“We will waffle on the beaches, we will bullshit on the landing grounds”, eh? Bozo is duly excused and immortalised by Ms Vine as she finally tells her audience that Gove is history to her, and she is now a Bozo groupie. After all, she’s got a lifestyle to maintain, y’know.
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