Dominic Cummings: mastermind or fool?

Cummings at yesterday’s event in Downing Street

The only way to make sense of yesterday’s press conference by Dominic Cummings in the Downing Street rose garden is to assume it was a tissue of lies from start to finish. To do otherwise, you would have to think the arrogant ‘mastermind’ Cummings is nothing more than an irrational idiot.

The self-proclaimed intellectual giant, the man thought of as the real prime minister, almost indispensable to Boris Johnson, apparently thinks the best way to test your eyesight is by driving 60 miles in a car with your wife and child beside you. Many people would probably think it better to have such a man sectioned for public safety, but Johnson appointed him as his senior adviser.

That the prime minister of the United Kingdom found Cummings’ story convincing should worry everybody. He is either extremely naive or complicit – most likely both.

Cummings admits to making mistakes in the handling of the pandemic crisis. This is not surprising. By his own admission, when faced with simple decisions in his own private life, he invariably makes the wrong ones.

To show this let us have a look at couple of the things he claimed happened between 27 March and 19 April.

ONE.  He left Downing Street on 27 March to go home because his wife was ill but NOT with coronavirus symptoms. He didn’t have coronavirus symptoms himself. They were both worried they might get the virus and they might become so ill they might be hospitalised at some future date. This might then leave their child without care. On this incredible basis they decided on a late night 270-mile dash to his family home so that his 17-year old niece could look after their son if necessary.

Who would do that at any time let alone during a national lockdown when everyone has been instructed to stay at home? Why not just call the NHS on 111?

What rational person comes home in the afternoon to find their wife being sick and by midnight is 270 miles away at their parent’s estate? Unbelievable, eh?

Questions:

1. How many times in the past has your wife been ill and you then became worried you might both become so incapacitated and hospitalised you wouldn’t be able to care for your child? You sound like paranoid hypochondriacs.

2. You said your wife was worried she was going to black-out. How many times in the past has your wife blacked out when feeling sick?

3. You claim you feared for your family’s safety at your London home because of threats made against you. But London was locked down with everyone urged to remain at home. When an MP made a similar plea during the Brexit debate you showed no sympathy at all.

4. Your wife has family in London. Why couldn’t they look after your child in the (unlikely) event you DID become incapacitated? Did you ask? Did you ask anyone in London?  Apparently not.

5. Your wife was ill, vomiting and worried about passing out, why risk driving 270 miles non-stop?

6. Did you tell the prime minister or give instructions to anyone in your office to tell the prime minister, that you were travelling to Durham? If not, why not?  Did you not think it was important to let your boss know you might not be back for weeks – indeed if ever?

TWO. On April 12, his wife’s birthday, Cummings decided to return to London but was worried about his eyesight and fitness to drive. He decided to have a test drive. Who does that? Why not just look out of the window into the distance and ask yourself how you’re feeling?

Questions:

1. Why couldn’t your wife drive to London?

2. Why take your wife and child on the test drive?

3. Was it really necessary to drive 60 miles anyway, on narrow and winding country roads?

4. You say you felt sick but why sit on a river-bank? Why not remain in the car?

Several lawyer types on Twitter have commented that Cummings’ account has the hallmarks of a legal statement with all the small details finessed to fit the known facts.  Examples: why even think about future childcare if your wife is simply vomiting?  Answer: She was worried she might black-out! You were seen in Barnard Castle for on your wife’s birthday. How to explain that? A test drive! Why stop on a river-bank where you were seen? I felt sick! 

See how it works?  All very convenient; small but important details designed to block further enquiry.

David Allan Green, writer and commentator on legal matters, tweeted:

Lewis Goodall at BBC Newsnight tweeted:

After hours, even days of going over every detail presumably with lawyers to draft the statement and coach his replies, he is only 85 per cent sure he stopped for fuel on the way back but absolutely certain he did not stop on the fivehour journey up to Durham.

I think his vehicle is a Land Rover Evoque and the best average for the 2.0 litre diesel engine is 45 according to the Honest John website. The fuel tank is 54–67 litres but nobody goes down to completely empty do they? Let’s be generous and say he uses 60 litres or 13 gallons at 45 mpg = 585 miles if his car was brimful on March 27.

The round trip is 540 miles and the visits to the hospital and Barnard Castle would add another 70 miles perhaps and you can see he MUST have filled up on the way back – unless of course, he filled up on the way there (or while in Durham)! Which would be hard to explain wouldn’t it? I assume he didn’t pay cash so it would be easily verified on his credit card statement, but he didn’t bother to check – or did he? And did it show he filled the tank on the way up?

No, the whole story is flimsy, unconvincing nonsense which only makes sense if you assume it’s a fiction made to explain away the uncomfortable and dangerous facts.

This story has a long way to go yet.

See the whole interview on Youtube HERE