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Editorial Monday 15 February 2021: The Cummings-Back Kid | Health Policy Insight
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Editorial Monday 15 February 2021: The Cummings-Back Kid

Publish Date/Time: 
02/15/2021 - 14:57

"Guess who's back - back again?"

You can't keep a good man down, so the saying goes.

Apparently you can't keep ex-Vote Leave supremo and then ex-chief SpAd to Boris Johnson, Barnards Castle Eye Test specialist Dominic Cummings down either.

We can now see his witness statement in the Government's defence of the judicial review of their un-tendered hiring of 'Public First', a company run by Mr Cummings' friends and which he had previously used in his successful campaigns.

Dear oh dear.

The People's Dominic wants the court to believe that "while there were very many brilliant officials who made enormous efforts throughout this crisis, Public Health England did not have the right resources in place to meet the government’s communications requirements of the emerging pandemic.

"They did not have the people or skills needed to undertake this type of public communications at speed. Neither did the DHSC [Department of Health and Social Care], the NHS or the Cabinet Office".

Trumped up
This is some Trumpian shit, right here: "I alone can fix it".

It might hold up, if the Government's Covid19 communications and general conduct (from late lockdowns to the TAT fiasco) had not been an horrific shambles.

Nobody has forgotten PM Boris Johnson boasting about shaking hands with everybody in hospital. How ever did the PM contract Covid19 within weeks? It's a mystery.

This is before we even get on the the farrago of bullshit and misdirections that was Mr Cummings' defence of his epic breaking of Government guidance over his own Covid19 infection.

Mr Cummings' lockdown-breaking conduct was endorsed by almost every senior Cabinet minister: none of whom publicly condemned his conduct at the time.

These facts kept in mind, one must have a heart of stone not to laugh at Mr Cummings' contention that he brought in his mates' firm because "some of the first drafts of mass communication material were confusing and confusion clearly could have deadly consequences".

Enough of experts?
Mr Cummings excels himself in his concluding remarks that "I was an expert, I had just assembled a team of people to work on mass communication a few weeks earlier in the election campaign, I knew what the basic pillars of organising a communication campaign are and I expected people to listen to me ... Obviously I did not request Public First be brought in because they were my friends. I would never do such a thing. The fact that I knew the key Public First people well was a bonus, not a problem, as in such a high pressure environment trust is very important, as well as technical competence.".

'Trust me: I alone (with my mates) can fix this', in other words.

That's puzzling, because The People's Dominic's former boss and chum Michael Gove told the nation that The People "have had enough of experts".

Experts: good, or bad? Whom should we believe? The People's Dominic, or The People?

This is the same People's Dominic who wrote that "political institutions tend to become dominated by narcissists ... politics therefore suffers from a surfeit of narcissists".

Ahem.

It'll be interesting to see what the court decides was the real priority here: putting the public first, or Public First.