Dominic Cumming’s Evidence

DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
edited May 26 in Purgatory
Don’t know if anyone is watching live, Dominic Cummings’ evidence to the select committee.

He has just said the health Secretary lied to cabinet, parliament and the public and should have been sacked.

Current BBC summary of the livestream is this:
  • The PM's former chief adviser Dominic Cummings is facing questions about his time working in No 10
  • MPs are asking about key decisions taken to deal with the threat of Covid during his time in government
  • Mr Cummings says "senior ministers, senior officials, senior advisers like me fell disastrously short" of what the "public expects during a crisis like this"
  • He adds that the government "failed" when "the public needed us most", and apologises for his own mistakes
  • Mr Cummings tells MPs there was not “any sense of urgency" about the pandemic until the last week of February
  • He says in February 2020, the PM regarded Covid as a “scare story” and said he would get Prof Chris Whitty to inject him with it on TV
  • Mr Cummings says Health Secretary Matt Hancock was "completely wrong" in suggesting herd immunity was never part of the government's original plan
  • He says achieving herd immunity without vaccination "was regarded as an unavoidable fact" in the official planning
  • Mr Cummings is expected to give evidence for four hours to a joint hearing of the Commons Heath and Science and Technology committees

How much of a political explosion do you think this will cause ?
«13456

Comments

  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    How much of a political explosion do you think this will cause ?

    Very little, unless it's in the interests of particular people to push particular cases (getting rid of Hancock for instance).

    It is interesting that he criticises Hancock, but is praising Sunak - who had the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration in to speak to the PM.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    How much of a political explosion do you think this will cause ?
    Sadly and disgracefully, none at all. Nothing else has caused one. Why should this?

    The 5 day hearing of the judicial review of PPE contracts for the boys ended yesterday with some scandalous and deplorable revelations. It hasn't even been reported.

    The present government regards everybody who doesn't like them as just 'the usual suspects'. They've sailed brazenly over everything else and got away with it, Why should this one be any different?

  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    This feels much more specific and evidenced critique than we usually hear.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    This feels much more specific and evidenced critique than we usually hear.

    Cummings "It's completely crazy that I should have been in such a senior position. I'm not smart."

    So why did he take a job he wasn't suited for and work for someone he thought was completely unsuitable?
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    I don't think people are interested. They see the lockdown as over, holidays are coming, politics boring.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    His solution seems to be, appoint a dictator.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Ducks. Water. Backs.

    Nothing sticks with this crew.
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    It will probably increase the Tory poll lead.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited May 26
    This feels much more specific and evidenced critique than we usually hear.

    No less bitter and twisted. One should always take full responsibility for one's own behaviour, including how one recalls, i.e. 'That's not how I remember it', and never impugn anyone else's. Confess. Alone. Like the excellent Chelsea Manning. Saying it's crazy that he was there is deflection.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    How much of a political explosion do you think this will cause ?

    Very little, unless it's in the interests of particular people to push particular cases (getting rid of Hancock for instance).

    It is interesting that he criticises Hancock, but is praising Sunak - who had the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration in to speak to the PM.

    When after 4 October 2020?
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    I think Dominic Cummings' evidence would do more damage if he wasn't himself such a fundamentally untrustworthy character.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    I think Dominic Cummings' evidence would do more damage if he wasn't himself such a fundamentally untrustworthy character.

    Agreed. The fact that Cummings has fallen out so publicly with Johnson does not make him a hero.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    It seems to be Matt Hancock he is most angry with in fact.
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate
    edited May 26
    According to various articles, the reason that we have so many vaccines bought in advance is that Matt Hancock pushed that through. He'd seen Contagion, where vaccines had been important.

    If you see Cummings as still involved with Gove, and trying to clear the way for a Gove stab at the premiership, his evidence might make more sense.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Cummings "It's completely crazy that I should have been in such a senior position. I'm not smart."

    So why did he take a job he wasn't suited for and work for someone he thought was completely unsuitable?
    It hasn't deterred the Prime Minister from standing for the job. Nor has it deterred any of his Cabinet from accepting office from him when he invited them to do so.

  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    He has now stated Hancock lied to the PM, saying that they weren’t discharging untested folk into the care homes - when in fact they were.
  • According to various articles, the reason that we have so many vaccines bought in advance is that Matt Hancock pushed that through. He'd seen Contagion, where vaccines had been important.
    Hmmm, knowledge of how to respond to a pandemic gained from a fictional disease in a movie.

    Reassuring to know that government ministers are so well informed.
  • SandemaniacSandemaniac Shipmate
    Reassuring to know that government ministers are so well informed.

    Isn't it just? As it happens, having several vaccines is probably the right thing, but I'm sure the moviegoers amongst us can think of some films that might have given him the wrong idea entirely. How many lives could the wrong movie have cost?

  • HelenEvaHelenEva Shipmate
    His solution seems to be, appoint a dictator.

    This is the key point for me - Dominic Cummings seems genuinely frustrated by the fact that government can't just do what it thinks best - it has to answer to the public. And in terms of fixing an immediate problem that may be deeply frustrating and result in a non-optimal solution. After all, the Ancient Romans gave up any form of democracy in moments of crisis to appoint the original "dictators" to get stuff done. But in a parliamentary democracy there has to be compromise and expecting the public to trust you because you're right (in your own mind at least) isn't going to cut it. And that means you have to compromise and adapt yourself to what the public will accept even if you think that's illogical.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    I think there is a point about clear lines of responsibility for key areas of planning etc. But the dictator idea is terrible.
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    I enjoyed the line that Boris changed his mind with each fresh Telegraph editorial, that has the ring of truth. God, he's still talking.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Does saying he was wrong with the rest give him credibility? Maybe. He has info he can back up. Just because he is awful doesn’t mean he is right. The PM, MPs and Cummings have made a bed and now are not happy to lay in it.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Yeaaah. I've deployed let your yes be yes and your no be no to great effect, believe it or not. Even most recently with the police.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    HelenEva wrote: »
    His solution seems to be, appoint a dictator.
    This is the key point for me - Dominic Cummings seems genuinely frustrated by the fact that government can't just do what it thinks best - it has to answer to the public. And in terms of fixing an immediate problem that may be deeply frustrating and result in a non-optimal solution. After all, the Ancient Romans gave up any form of democracy in moments of crisis to appoint the original "dictators" to get stuff done. But in a parliamentary democracy there has to be compromise and expecting the public to trust you because you're right (in your own mind at least) isn't going to cut it. And that means you have to compromise and adapt yourself to what the public will accept even if you think that's illogical.
    I suspect that Cummings picked up a lot of his ideas on statecraft and political philosophy from his years in modern Russia.

    If I'm right on that though, it's surprising and inconsistent that he should have any objection to politicians lying.

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    HelenEva wrote: »
    His solution seems to be, appoint a dictator.
    This is the key point for me - Dominic Cummings seems genuinely frustrated by the fact that government can't just do what it thinks best - it has to answer to the public. And in terms of fixing an immediate problem that may be deeply frustrating and result in a non-optimal solution. After all, the Ancient Romans gave up any form of democracy in moments of crisis to appoint the original "dictators" to get stuff done. But in a parliamentary democracy there has to be compromise and expecting the public to trust you because you're right (in your own mind at least) isn't going to cut it. And that means you have to compromise and adapt yourself to what the public will accept even if you think that's illogical.
    I suspect that Cummings picked up a lot of his ideas on statecraft and political philosophy from his years in modern Russia.

    If I'm right on that though, it's surprising and inconsistent that he should have any objection to politicians lying.

    I doubt he does as it appears he's something of an accomplished liar himself. But any weapon to use against those he sees as having wronged him. This is the man who was the power behind the throne who was ousted.

    Also bear in mind that a politician's definition of "truth" means "anything that can't be proven to be false"
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    Normally, you would think all this shit would lead to resignations, but we live in spooky times. Cummings says Boris likes chaos, as it makes him popular. Gulp.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    edited May 26
    Enoch wrote: »
    HelenEva wrote: »
    His solution seems to be, appoint a dictator.
    This is the key point for me - Dominic Cummings seems genuinely frustrated by the fact that government can't just do what it thinks best - it has to answer to the public. And in terms of fixing an immediate problem that may be deeply frustrating and result in a non-optimal solution. After all, the Ancient Romans gave up any form of democracy in moments of crisis to appoint the original "dictators" to get stuff done. But in a parliamentary democracy there has to be compromise and expecting the public to trust you because you're right (in your own mind at least) isn't going to cut it. And that means you have to compromise and adapt yourself to what the public will accept even if you think that's illogical.
    I suspect that Cummings picked up a lot of his ideas on statecraft and political philosophy from his years in modern Russia.

    I think this sort of thinking -- that any ill influence on the body politic must come from elsewhere -- avoids serious examination of the flaws in the political culture of this country (and is also a form of orientalism to boot).

    The current media and political class are convinced of their own brilliance, which makes them vulnerable to grifters and scammers and Cumming's conduct is very much in that vein.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    It is notable in his evidence that everyone is brilliant or terrible, and everything is either an overwhelming success or abject failure. It is a very binary way of looking at the world - I suspect he tends to look for black and white solutions too.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    It is notable in his evidence that everyone is brilliant or terrible, and everything is either an overwhelming success or abject failure. It is a very binary way of looking at the world - I suspect he tends to look for black and white solutions too.


    See Brexit 🙄
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    The prime minister has said he has full confidence in Matt Hancock, that usually means a minister is toast inside a week.
  • GarasuGarasu Shipmate
    Isn't it generally estimated that the incidence of psychopathy amongst managers is about twice what it is in the general population?

    I'm guessing we can increase that proportion when we're talking politicians and their advisors...
  • I don't know, Johnson keeps telling us that he has full confidence in Pritti Patel, and we still have her in charge at the Home Office.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    True :(
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    How much of a political explosion do you think this will cause ?

    Very little, unless it's in the interests of particular people to push particular cases (getting rid of Hancock for instance).

    It is interesting that he criticises Hancock, but is praising Sunak - who had the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration in to speak to the PM.

    When after 4 October 2020?

    Prior to the circulation of the declaration -- at a time when they were known to be lockdown sceptics and when the UK was facing another lockdown: https://bylinetimes.com/2021/02/11/records-confirm-turning-point-boris-johnson-meeting-with-lockdown-sceptics/
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    I regard the evidencxe of Cummings as a mixture of truth, lies and exaggeration. I don't know which is which.
  • Telford wrote: »
    I regard the evidencxe of Cummings as a mixture of truth, lies and exaggeration. I don't know which is which.

    Anything that makes him look bad is probably at least partially true. Anything that makes him look good is almost certainly exaggerated if not outright lies.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    The question is what of what he has said can be corroborated. Mark Sedwill, for example, should know if he told the PM Hancock couldn’t be trusted.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Telford wrote: »
    I regard the evidencxe of Cummings as a mixture of truth, lies and exaggeration. I don't know which is which.

    Anything that makes him look bad is probably at least partially true. Anything that makes him look good is almost certainly exaggerated if not outright lies.

    I suspect that the un-truths are in his omissions rather than anything he said - anything else would have been hard to sustain over 7 hours.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    I think there is a point about clear lines of responsibility for key areas of planning etc. But the dictator idea is terrible.

    Did he actually advocate a dictator (on the Roman model)? I've only been following the BBC live-text.

    As I understand him, he thinks the government and civil service are led by managerial types with no specific skills and no in-depth knowledge, and people within the system who do have skills or technical knowledge are blocked by process from getting their expertise into a decision.
  • Ricardus wrote: »
    I think there is a point about clear lines of responsibility for key areas of planning etc. But the dictator idea is terrible.

    Did he actually advocate a dictator (on the Roman model)? I've only been following the BBC live-text.

    As I understand him, he thinks the government and civil service are led by managerial types with no specific skills and no in-depth knowledge, and people within the system who do have skills or technical knowledge are blocked by process from getting their expertise into a decision.

    An allegation that goes back a good 40 years at least; certainly it made it into "Yes Minister", where the civil service were at great pains to avoid Hacker talking to experts on anything for fear he might have ideas and/or ignore the advice of the civil service. Whether it's true or not is another matter.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    He said he wanted one person in charge who could hire and fire without reference to anyone else. Point being minister can’t fire civil servants directly.

    (The reason for this is of course to allow continuity and, in theory at least, to allow them to speak truth to power without fearing they’ll be professionally ruined if they do so. Dominic acknowledged it was in fact Helen Macnamara - the deputy cabinet secretary - who drove the change of policy in March when he was afraid to do so. )
  • GarasuGarasu Shipmate
    Ricardus wrote: »

    As I understand him, he thinks the government and civil service are led by managerial types with no specific skills and no in-depth knowledge, and people within the system who do have skills or technical knowledge are blocked by process from getting their expertise into a decision.

    An allegation that goes back a good 40 years at least; certainly it made it into "Yes Minister", where the civil service were at great pains to avoid Hacker talking to experts on anything for fear he might have ideas and/or ignore the advice of the civil service. Whether it's true or not is another matter.

    It's certainly true in local government...

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    How much of a political explosion do you think this will cause ?

    Very little, unless it's in the interests of particular people to push particular cases (getting rid of Hancock for instance).

    It is interesting that he criticises Hancock, but is praising Sunak - who had the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration in to speak to the PM.

    When after 4 October 2020?

    Prior to the circulation of the declaration -- at a time when they were known to be lockdown sceptics and when the UK was facing another lockdown: https://bylinetimes.com/2021/02/11/records-confirm-turning-point-boris-johnson-meeting-with-lockdown-sceptics/

    Ah, thanks. What a bunch of tossers.
  • I don't trust Cummings as far as I can cum. But he has provided some evidence and documentary proof of things that have been said elsewhere - repeatedly. The Project Fear commentators have been proven correct.

    But is he telling the whole truth? Of course not. He is keeping some of his powder dry. As others have said, he is directing both barrels in certain directions, and none in others.

    He offers evidence - from the inside - that the entire heart of our Excecutive is corrupt and incompetent. That they are fundamentally unfit for office and incapable of leadership or running a hot dog stall, never mind a country.

    And they will shrug it off, as always, becasue they are fundamentally corrupt and their relationship with the truth is like Johnsons with his children - desertion and forgetfullness, and paying money to shut it up.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Anyone else feel that assessing Cummings' words is a bit like reading Screwtape - "readers are reminded that the Devil is a liar, and not everything he says is true, even from his own perspective"
  • HelenEvaHelenEva Shipmate
    It is notable in his evidence that everyone is brilliant or terrible, and everything is either an overwhelming success or abject failure. It is a very binary way of looking at the world - I suspect he tends to look for black and white solutions too.

    Binary thinking - and impatience with shades of grey and compromise - does seem to run through a lot of the things said. The world is seldom so clearly delineated and DC doesn't seem happy negotiating the grey areas.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    I don't trust Cummings as far as I can cum. But he has provided some evidence and documentary proof of things that have been said elsewhere - repeatedly. The Project Fear commentators have been proven correct.

    But is he telling the whole truth? Of course not. He is keeping some of his powder dry. As others have said, he is directing both barrels in certain directions, and none in others.

    He offers evidence - from the inside - that the entire heart of our Excecutive is corrupt and incompetent. That they are fundamentally unfit for office and incapable of leadership or running a hot dog stall, never mind a country.
    Yebbut. We already knew that. Whichever bits of what Cummings said were, as @Telford put it "a mixture of truth, lies and exaggeration" the overall impression confirms a festering subculture which was much as most intelligent people had already imagined it.


    And they will shrug it off, as always, becasue they are fundamentally corrupt and their relationship with the truth is like Johnsons with his children - desertion and forgetfullness, and paying money to shut it up.
    Alas so. As I said yesterday,
    The 5 day hearing of the judicial review of PPE contracts for the boys ended yesterday with some scandalous and deplorable revelations. It hasn't even been reported.

    The present government regards everybody who doesn't like them as just 'the usual suspects'. They've sailed brazenly over everything else and got away with it, Why should this one be any different?

  • That Great Barrington meeting was in the news at the time. Knowing that I tend to read the Guardian most days, at least the daily briefing, and listen to Radio 4 news, it could have been from either source, but the discussions around it were all over the Guardian of 6 October 2020, calling for "herd immunity for young" (link) and here on 9 October 2020, looking at the signatories (link) . The BBC coverage from 7 October (link) was described as woeful in a Guardian opinion piece dated 11 October 2020 (link).

    Talking of the Guardian, they have been fact checking Dominic Cummings' statement (link) and finding the results true, partially true, unproven, fishy and not holding water, depending on the assertion.
  • goperryrevsgoperryrevs Shipmate
    HelenEva wrote: »
    It is notable in his evidence that everyone is brilliant or terrible, and everything is either an overwhelming success or abject failure. It is a very binary way of looking at the world - I suspect he tends to look for black and white solutions too.

    Binary thinking - and impatience with shades of grey and compromise - does seem to run through a lot of the things said. The world is seldom so clearly delineated and DC doesn't seem happy negotiating the grey areas.

    Also, traits of a narcissist - other people are either devils or angels, and can quickly flip from one to another.
Sign In or Register to comment.