Saturday, 23 May 2020
Coronavirus watch: Cummings - the apology he never made
'I recognise that I made an error of judgement for which I apologise. As my wife and I were both feeling ill, we were worried about who would look after our small child. This, I am afraid, clouded my judgement, and we made the mistake of travelling to my parents' home. I realise now that this was wrong, and I would like to apologise to all the people who have been observing the lock-down, and to stress how important it is that we all continue to respect the rules drawn up to keep us all safe.'
Why didn't Dominic Cummings say something like that? OK it's not perfect, and it begs lots of questions: were you and your wife actually feeling ill? And if you were, why did you put yourselves, your child and other road users at risk by driving 260 miles? If you didn't realise what you were doing was wrong, why was so much effort put into concealing it? When did you realise? And why did you not apologise for your behaviour until it was revealed in the press? etc, etc
But IF you want to preserve public support for the lock-down, it's surely better than arrogantly and aggressively pretending you did nothing wrong? The leaflet Boris Johnson sent me was absolutely specific: if you have coronavirus symptoms, you 'must stay at home until the symptoms have ended, and in all cases for at least seven days.'
We are told, through the nods and winks that have replaced proper government announcements, that Dominic Cummings was not a fan of lock-down, preferring a policy of 'herd immunity' (though, of course, there is no evidence that being exposed to coronavirus gives you immunity), protecting the economy at all costs, and 'if some pensioners die, that's too bad'. So are Johnson and Cummings actually relaxed about the lock-down collapsing? Indeed, would they welcome it, so they can help the economy even if that means more people dying? Or is that just Cummings' view, with Johnson, for whatever reason, afraid to resist?
As usual, with this 'government' of liars, we just don't know.