Lucky you if you’ve managed to avoid the story of Dominic Cummings, advisor to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who is being pilloried by the press for daring to drive to his parents house during Britain’s antediluvian, “lockdown” measures.
In short, Cummings drove some way across the country while the public was being told to effectively shelter in place for weeks. He says he was just visiting his parents hoping to get some childcare out of them as he and his partner were both incapacitated with symptoms of the coronavirus. The media vehemently disagrees.
50 days ago I PREDICTED w/ absence of Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings, UK bureaucrats would try and delay Brexit again.
Indeed while they were away, that's what Mark Sedwill (chief bureaucrat in Britain) did.
The whole furore now is bcoz Cummings STOPPED it when he returned. pic.twitter.com/GN2CUNmPlp
— Raheem J. Kassam (@RaheemKassam) May 25, 2020
But in the grand scheme of things the story is small. So why are hordes of reporters camped outside Cummings’s house, non-socially distanced, demanding he resign?
Brexit, of course.
The Telegraph‘s Jeremy Warner gave us an insight on May 12th, well before the hysteria about a man driving a car to his parents house kicked in. I’ve added emphasis for your convenience:
Engulfed by the pandemic, there are rather bigger fish for everyone to fry than Britain’s future relationship with the EU. Under prior instructions from their political masters, negotiators on both sides of the fence exist in a bubble all of their own, seemingly oblivious to the storm raging outside – yesterday’s battles being fought against the backdrop of a world in transformation.
Past obsessions have been rendered virtually irrelevant by the Covid-19 threat, yet they persist unperturbed amid the confusion of Zoom calls; it is the curse of David Frost and Michel Barnier, the British and EU chief negotiators respectively, to carry on regardless.
A deal to extend the transition in light of the crisis had been all but agreed at official level. The EU was to have spared the UK’s blushes by proposing it, rather than the other way around. This would have allowed the UK government to present the concession as a favour to the EU, rather than a climbdown.
But then Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, returned and the plan, concocted by underlings while he and Boris Johnson were laid out on their sick beds, was scuppered.
You see, while Boris Johnson was out with the coronavirus and Dominic Cummings was quarantined with symptoms, the British Civil Service attempted a power grab over the Brexit process and more.
There was an intended delay to the whole thing, facilitated by the British establishment, which would have caused the UK no end of complications in terms of fully extricating itself from the failing Union.
And then, Cummings was back. Something had to be done. And here we are.
The media unknowingly gave us a heads up on the plan, with the Guardian live blogging about the power vacuum at 10 Downing Street early on during Boris Johnson’s hospitalization.
Profiles appeared in Buzzfeed, Business Insider, and Sedwill’s influence was noted in the New York Times.
In short, the hysteria in Britain’s press is little to do with a man driving across the country to see his parents, or soliciting childcare from them.
It is, once again, about the political establishment with the media in tow attempting to scupper the largest democratic vote in Britain’s history: the vote to leave the European Union.