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Will Cummings bring Johnson down?

Jul 15, 2006
3,844
35
Kenton, Devon
Ave_IT":3c56su8s said:
It was absolutely astonishing - unprecedented - jaw-dropping - take your pick of adjectives. He was THE MAN. The one at the very heart of government, in the room when decisions of life and death were made until just a few months ago. You cannot simply dismiss such evidence as lies from an embittered former colleague. Sure - like any decent historian reading a first hand account of momentous events we must take into account the bias and agenda of the source.

But much of what Cummings says is backed up by the facts and his account is nothing more than a window into the inner workings and pointing the finger at those responsible. Infected patients were released from hospital into care homes and it was utter b0ll0x when Hancock claimed a "protective ring" was placed around them. A LIE. Johnson was warned about the dangers of the second wave - many people (including Starmer) called for a 'fire break' lockdown in September but Bojo ploughed on insisting we could open up.....Eat-out-to-help-out, have a good Christmas etc. By then we all knew about Covid, the excuse of ignorance of the first wave doesn't hold. The chaos of test-and-trace is a matter of record so when Dom tells us Hancock was distracting everyone with simply having a stupid target of 100,000 tests a day just so he could crow about it in press conferences (even if it had bugger all effect because there was no follow up mechanism) - then his claim rings very true.

This is serious stuff. His chilling words that "thousands died needlessly" can't be ignored. If a person with a history of lying accuses others of telling lies it doesn't mean we shouldn't believe him - not if it's a first hand account that is supported by evidence. We need an enquiry.....but Bojo is trying to kick that particular can way down the road again. I wonder why?

I highlighted the "eat out to help out" part, because it was very telling that Cummings didn't attack "Dishy Rishi". In fact, the opposite: he said he thought Sunak had done well. And Raab did well (yes, Dom said this) when he stepped in as temporary leader when BoJo was in hospital. And he didn't even comment on his mate Gove. But when it came to Hancock and Boris (and Carrie), he was more than happy to put the boot in.

I reckon Cummings can see a shift in power coming at the top of the Tory party, and he's making his future allegiance clear.
 
Apr 15, 2004
2,845
86
East Devon
Quinny":r5773t96 said:
I reckon Cummings can see a shift in power coming at the top of the Tory party, and he's making his future allegiance clear.
It's so transparent as to be hilarious isn't it?

I liked the description of his performance yesterday by John Crace in the Guardian as being like something served up by Netflix mini-series:
"The one where a lone delusional narcissist drives into town to take revenge on a whole bunch of other delusional narcissists. With a bit of Independence Day and Spider-Man thrown in."
 
Nov 15, 2011
1,713
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Crace is v funny.

Just listened to Hancock trying to defend the indefensible, the worst bit being the cronies behind him completely ignoring the urgent question by congratulating him on the vaccine rollout and then attacking the opposition for hypocrisy for adopting Cummings as a hero.

Except that they didn't, they all know Cumming's history of epic lies but yesterday he presented detailed credible facts which the government could easily disprove but just waved away as nothing to see here. And they don't even get their own blatant hypocrisy at attacking the man they lauded last year as being of the utmost integrity over the Barnard Castle farce now is a liar when he presents detailed credible evidence. Hancock didn't even deny most of the allegations, he just changed the subject.
 
Jul 15, 2006
3,844
35
Kenton, Devon
I'm usualy in favour in the shift of Parliamentary process in recent years which allows more Urgent Questions from the Opposition and back benches, but sometimes you have to wonder why anyone bothers at all. UQs are supposed to be a mechanism to put an important event under closer Parliamentary scrutiny, but this morning there was very little of that at all. Hancock dodged answering any questions, left us non the wiser regarding some of the most serious allegations (for instance regarding sending covid-infected elderly back into care homes early in the pandemic after assuring the Cabinet that robust measures were in place to protect them), and the Tory MPs had clearly been whipped into pledging their undying support to Hancock and poo-poo'ing Cummings' as a character witness. It was a complete waste of everyone's time this morning - they could have at least waited until Hancock is grilled by the Science and Technology Committee on the 10th June and see what comes out from that (I'm sure they'll grill him on the allegations made by Cummings yesterday).
 

signalspast

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Aug 17, 2005
1,302
17
There are many questions to be answered and I feel sure the truth will come out in the fullment of time with some of the inquiries etc that are going to take place however at the moment the person that got injured the most yesterday was Cummings himself because he will never be trusted in employment again.
 
Apr 15, 2004
2,845
86
East Devon
signalspast":x3up965j said:
There are many questions to be answered and I feel sure the truth will come out in the fullment of time with some of the inquiries etc that are going to take place however at the moment the person that got injured the most yesterday was Cummings himself because he will never be trusted in employment again.
I'd love to think that were true sp. But until the whole squalid system of lobbying and access to power has a complete overhaul I wager there will be people falling over themselves to pay DC eye-watering 'consultancy fees' for his access and insider knowledge about which palms to grease.
 
Nov 15, 2011
1,713
133
signalspast":276b7p8r said:
There are many questions to be answered and I feel sure the truth will come out in the fullment of time with some of the inquiries etc that are going to take place however at the moment the person that got injured the most yesterday was Cummings himself because he will never be trusted in employment again.

You are joking, its the most blatant job interview I've ever seen by excusing rishi and gove (his mate) from blame he's shaping his way back into no 10. The people he may have injured yesterday are irrelevant to his path back into power.

And to say yesterday was the moment when he lost trust rather than Barnard Castle is just bizarre.
 
Oct 9, 2003
3,543
25
Aberdeen
There is no doubt in my mind that Johnson is unfit for office - an opinion principally based on his actual abilities rather than the peripheral nonsense that he self-perpetuates. I don't think he's stupid - he clearly isn't - my biggest concern is his tendency to rush to judgement or comment when a Prime Minister, any Minister should do much the opposite except in extreme circumstances. I don't think these were extreme in that sense, unprecedented (how I've come to hate that word) yes, but given time to pause for thought.

But setting that aside, there is a need for balance here. Here we have a scorned senior advisor who is clearly out to take revenge. Much of what he said will have its foundations in truth, but much of it over-egged as well.

What I find particularly frustrating is the current wave of denials around herd immunity as a policy. There are very clear indicators that this was in fact the case - dare I need to repeat yet again that if you search on Vallance and herd immunity you will find Sir Patrick talking it up well into March 2020. So why not just say that - based on the best scientific advice that was our policy. It supports the insistence that they had followed scientific advice all the way through, the public will accept that, and what's more it's true. Denials are simply implausible, disingenuous and downright stupid.

As for Johnson himself, I find it strange that people will on the one hand discount him as a blithering and blathering buffoon in public, yet somehow think he's transformed into the reincarnation of a Thatcher style autocrat when in the Cabinet Room. There were many people making decisions - not just Ministers, but advisors from the scientific and medical communities and also the political sphere. Cummings (implausibly the sudden darling of the Left which is funny) was right at the head of affairs. At the time people thought he was effectively running government, even accusing him of stopping lockdowns at one stage. Now all of a sudden he wasn't really that person at all. The acceptance of 'truth' because someone says something is so, is really quite bewildering to me.

Mistakes were made, some understandable in such a situation, some very serious indeed such as discharges into Care Homes (pro rata reportedly worse in Scotland at the time by the way, though not as well scrutinised). But there will be mitigating factors for much of it - from SAGE effectively giving the green light for Cheltenham and Liverpool, to herd immunity support from the scientific community, to the devasting economic impacts that just had to be balanced for fear of worse collateral effects (some of which have happened and will happen, unfortunately some scars we are still to come to bear).

These insights will be revealed across every major economy. We are not alone in making mistakes - it's the mistakes which are due to incompetence or ego which should be focussed upon.
 
Nov 15, 2011
1,713
133
A few points here Frank.

I don't know where you get the impression Johnson rushes to judgment, both Cummings and many others have accused him of the opposite. They say he likes to leave decisions until the last possible moment so there is chaos and he can ride to the rescue. Others talk of him thinking 10 different things in the same day and telling people he agrees with them whilst telling others the opposite. (The sort of thing he did with wives girlfriends and mistresses.) Raphael Baer writes excellently on this particular side of Johnson's character.

You say Cummings is now the "darling of the left", which is the opposite of the truth. I haven't heard anyone on the left regard Cummings with anything other than contempt. He is a calculated scheming liar who put Johnson where he is on the back of Brexit, the biggest lie of the lot. However that doesn't mean that some or all of what he said yesterday was untrue, unlike Barnard Castle it did appear credible and we shall see if the Government can disprove it. Today so far all we have is obfuscation and changing the subject.

As I said the real hypocrisy here is tories who held Cummings as a man of integrity over the Barnard Castle lies now calling him a traitorous liar over stuff even you admit has some credibility to it.

Regarding the shifting of blame to others, Cummings said that no other Cabinet members were consulted on key decisions and Johnson wouldn't listen to him or the Cabinet Secretary or anyone else on lockdowns because he wanted to be the mayor in Jaws, again I'm sure Johnson will reveal if this was not the case.

Finally , looking at other countries, the UK, an island, still has the highest deaths in Europe despite the vaccine and now as cases rise again France & Germany have just said UK citizens going there will have to quarantine because Johnsons needlessly waved the deadly Indian variant into the UK.
 
Oct 9, 2003
3,543
25
Aberdeen
So in para one you say he doesn’t rush to judgement and in para 4 you say no-one else was consulted. And in your final para you still cite absolute numbers yet again which, statistically speaking, are pretty meaningless. I’ve tried ad nauseum to explain this to you. I know you do understand really though, and continue to do it because it’s the only statistic that suits your narrative.
 
Nov 15, 2011
1,713
133
No one else was consulted according to Cummings and not denied, and Johnson didn't rush to judgment but let the chaos gather before making his decision, I have no idea the point you are trying to make Frank.

The UK has the highest deaths in Europe despite Germany having a much bigger population and eg France having a similar one. In deaths per million of similar sized countries only Italy has a higher rate. And we are an island, and we have had the successful vaccine rollout ahead of other European countries. Tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths. That's not blinkered that's just counting.
 
Sep 2, 2008
1,792
22
themightykeithfear":3t9h2t91 said:
signalspast":3t9h2t91 said:
There are many questions to be answered and I feel sure the truth will come out in the fullment of time with some of the inquiries etc that are going to take place however at the moment the person that got injured the most yesterday was Cummings himself because he will never be trusted in employment again.

You are joking, its the most blatant job interview I've ever seen by excusing rishi and gove (his mate) from blame he's shaping his way back into no 10. The people he may have injured yesterday are irrelevant to his path back into power.

And to say yesterday was the moment when he lost trust rather than Barnard Castle is just bizarre.

'Earth calling TMKF!' Jeez, what planet are you on? If by some weird chain of events Gove does get into No.10 do you really believe he would invite a snake like Cummings in after witnessing what the slimy git has just done? Gove may also be a slimeball but he isn't stupid. Mate or no mate, he would drop Cummings like a red hot potato :facepalm:
 
Nov 15, 2011
1,713
133
From Tuesday's Mail :

"Tory MPs believe Mr Cummings and the Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove could be plotting to oust PM".

Gove and Cummings have been close friends for 15 years, Cummings leaks stuff to the Mail via Gove's wife Sarah Vine, they regard themselves as the dream ticket which is why Cummings was careful to exclude Gove from any criticism.

Now of course Gove may stab Cummings in the back like he did Johnson, we shall see.
 
The saddest thing for me in this saga is that in the short term little will change. Johnson’s huge populist support, just like Trump’s, appears to comprise voters who have no interest in the policies and behaviour of their leader, no interest in the lies and obfuscation, and only see someone who speaks of easy outcomes, and is a bit of a character. They don’t care that he is surrounded by sycophants, willing to turn a blind eye to all his failings because he’s a vote winner, and don’t care that most of his lightweight cabinet wouldn’t be in a job had a more capable and experienced politician like Jeremy Hunt won their leadership election.

So, Teflon Johnson will roll on undeterred, and in fairness to my many Tory friends, they too are embarrassed by the shambles around him, and sensibly make no attempt to justify his actions.

The other saving grace for Johnson and Hancock is that Cummings is heartily
disliked on all sides, and most will see his actions as spiteful, and very partial, given that he spoke glowingly about everybody else.
 
Jul 15, 2006
3,844
35
Kenton, Devon
Pottypilgrim":l35nqdeu said:
'Earth calling TMKF!' Jeez, what planet are you on? If by some weird chain of events Gove does get into No.10 do you really believe he would invite a snake like Cummings in after witnessing what the slimy git has just done? Gove may also be a slimeball but he isn't stupid. Mate or no mate, he would drop Cummings like a red hot potato :facepalm:

Modern politics is a fickle, forgetful thing - you only have to look in recent years back to when Priti Patel was booted out after her non-sanctioned meetings with the Israeli Government: in any other era of British history that would have been her political career over ... and here we are, with her being Home Secretary, so to see Cummings being involved again as a political advisor should there be a shift in power at No10 is not beyond the realms of possibility. After all, those Tory MPs calling out Cummings this week were the same ones who were defending and supporting him after the Rose Garden interview: they will support whatever is blowing in the political wind ... and whatever they're whipped into saying.

I agree with you that Gove isn't stupid - he's undoubtedly the most Machiavellian character in the Cabinet, and I don't believe for one second that he's not playing the long game with the intent of becoming Premier one day. But I don't think he'll surround himself with sycophants like Boris does, and I don't think he'll be bothered if he has to fire someone he doesn't trust. So if he does make it into No10 and calls on his old friend Dom to help, he'll keep Cummings on a much shorter leash than Boris ever did. But then I think there'll be more potential for fireworks between Cummings and Sarah Vine than there ever was between Cummings and Carrie, which would be great for us to watch!