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Will Cummings bring Johnson down?

Jul 15, 2006
3,892
57
Kenton, Devon
Busy weekend for me, so a bit late to the party on this discussion.

The interesting angle of all of this, for me, was that it was Johnson who threw the first grenade in this when he claimed that Cummings was the source of the leak regarding the Dyson story. Cummings immediately retaliated by denying the claims - but also backed it up offering up his own evidence to refute it, and challenging Boris to release the messages which were forwarded to him. That point seems to have been lost in the ensuing mess and the counter claims are now around the furnishing of the No10 flat.

Now why would Boris throw out the accusation that Cummings was behind the leak? I'm wondering if this is a typical Boris "dead cat" as he looks to divert attention away from a bigger story. Everyone knows that Cummings is pretty much disliked by Tory and non-Tory voters, and dragging him into a discussion is always going to make front-page news. And everyone knows that Cummings holds no loyalty to any political party, so it would be political suicide for Boris to drag Cummings into this if he had even the slightest suspicion that Cummings held any real evidence of criminality or wrong-doing by the Govt, because Cummings will release it at the drop of a hat.

Nah, this story will make lots of noise, but nothing will come of it. And that makes me suspicious.
 
Nov 15, 2011
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Daily Mail headline this morning "Let the bodies pile high in their thousands" Johnson quoted by multiple sources before being persuaded to lockdown. The Mail wouldn't publish this if they couldn't back it up, the damages would run into millions. Does it matter? As you say Quinny probably not, we are in Trump's world where as he said "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK?"
 
Jul 15, 2006
3,892
57
Kenton, Devon
themightykeithfear":1tu7zl69 said:
Daily Mail headline this morning "Let the bodies pile high in their thousands" Johnson quoted by multiple sources before being persuaded to lockdown. The Mail wouldn't publish this if they couldn't back it up, the damages would run into millions. Does it matter? As you say Quinny probably not, we are in Trump's world where as he said "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK?"

They can't back it up - I've heard this story this morning and (and looked at the Daily Fail article too) it's only claims made by more than one source. I seriously doubt anyone has a transcript or recording of it. And, to be honest, as distasteful as it sounds, that is a non-story. Reading what was said in the Mail, it just comes across a comment said in the heat of the moment by a frustrated Johnson in a meeting (and I could tell you some eye-brow raising comments comments I've heard from senior medical staff in meetings here at the Royal Devon and Exeter) - it's hardly an Enoch Powell "rivers of blood" speech (if Boris had said that about the bodies piling high in a public speech: that would be different).

HOWEVER, that story does suggest - if it was from more than one source - that there are a few inner circle persons who are willing to leak to the press, which is interesting in itself as it was generally assumed that Boris had packed his Cabinet with loyal lieutenants.
 
Nov 15, 2011
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I've heard that it is disgruntled civil servants leaking rather than Johnson's cabal. Cummings apparently does have recordings of stuff on his phone, though whether on this one who knows. Whatever the Mail's lawyers would have been all over it before publishing. The Sunday Times insider reckons Cummings is scared stiff about going to jail and will therefore get his side of the story out first.

My daughter saw the Mail headline on twitter this morning and was really disgusted, whether its the same for those who have drank the kool aid, we shall see.
 
Quinny":29912tuf said:
Busy weekend for me, so a bit late to the party on this discussion.

The interesting angle of all of this, for me, was that it was Johnson who threw the first grenade in this when he claimed that Cummings was the source of the leak regarding the Dyson story. Cummings immediately retaliated by denying the claims - but also backed it up offering up his own evidence to refute it, and challenging Boris to release the messages which were forwarded to him. That point seems to have been lost in the ensuing mess and the counter claims are now around the furnishing of the No10 flat.

Now why would Boris throw out the accusation that Cummings was behind the leak? I'm wondering if this is a typical Boris "dead cat" as he looks to divert attention away from a bigger story. Everyone knows that Cummings is pretty much disliked by Tory and non-Tory voters, and dragging him into a discussion is always going to make front-page news. And everyone knows that Cummings holds no loyalty to any political party, so it would be political suicide for Boris to drag Cummings into this if he had even the slightest suspicion that Cummings held any real evidence of criminality or wrong-doing by the Govt, because Cummings will release it at the drop of a hat.

Nah, this story will make lots of noise, but nothing will come of it. And that makes me suspicious.

A very interesting point there Quinny. Such is the Teflon nature of this bloke that there was a time when I seriously considered him possibly a Machiavellian evil genius, with a constant cunning plan hidden behind the facade of a buffoon, to disarm his detractors. However I’ve now swung the other way, given that he regularly proves his default position to be an instant lie, in the way we all did as children when we get caught out. I think this proves he’s incapable of thinking strategically beyond the next 24 hours, so the idea that he’s thought this through, and the whole thing is just a smokescreen to hide or overcome a bigger problem seems unlikely.
 
Jul 15, 2006
3,892
57
Kenton, Devon
Quinny":3t33398q said:
That point seems to have been lost in the ensuing mess and the counter claims are now around the furnishing of the No10 flat.

And anyone wanting answers as to how the refurnishing of the flat was paid for (or rather, who gave Boris the money if this is the case) will have to wait: I've just remembered there are unanswered questions about who paid for Boris's Caribbean holiday from 2019.
 
Nov 15, 2011
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So you’re saying that Cummings revelations in the right wing Daily Mail were timed to give Labour a boost in local elections rather than because Johnson phoned around the editors of his client newspapers accusing Cummings of leaking against him.

It’s a view!
 

MickyD

Pasoti Donor
Dec 30, 2004
3,256
44
Brighton
themightykeithfear":2o5peuez said:
So you’re saying that Cummings revelations in the right wing Daily Mail were timed to give Labour a boost in local elections rather than because Johnson phoned around the editors of his client newspapers accusing Cummings of leaking against him.

It’s a view!
As so often these days, we must take account of conspiracy "theorists" (and I use the word generously, because it implies a thought process) who prefer not to think anything through lest the outcome clash with their prejudices.

An Opinium poll yesterday found that only ("only" as far as I'm concerned, anyway) 37% of those polled thought of Johnson as corrupt, while 16% thought Starmer corrupt! On what possible evidence did those 16% base their opinion? That reliable and carefully considered old standby "They're all as bad as each other"?
 
Nov 15, 2011
1,895
299
Come on mickey the papers revealed that a few years ago Starmer did buy a small plot of land so his dying disabled mother in law could see the donkey he got from a sanctuary . That’s pretty strong stuff.
 

MickyD

Pasoti Donor
Dec 30, 2004
3,256
44
Brighton
themightykeithfear":28n087ll said:
Come on mickey the papers revealed that a few years ago Starmer did buy a small plot of land so his dying disabled mother in law could see the donkey he got from a sanctuary . That’s pretty strong stuff.
Ah. My bad.

iu
 

Pogleswoody

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Jul 3, 2006
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I heard that he used to sell the sexual favours of circus performers to those who like lurid makeup and big feet.
He was Head of the Clown Prostitution Service.
Is that true? :shock:
:coat:
 

MickyD

Pasoti Donor
Dec 30, 2004
3,256
44
Brighton
Pogleswoody":25sxiww0 said:
I heard that he used to sell the sexual favours of circus performers to those who like lurid makeup and big feet.
He was Head of the Clown Prostitution Service.
Is that true? :shock:
:coat:
Straight into the Pogles Top Ten! :lol:
 

Frank Butcher

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Oct 9, 2003
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I don't think the refurbishment costs issue will affect Johnson - I just don't think the majority of people care enough about that sort of stuff. I do though think his reported comments about 'bodies piled high' will resonate more. Though not proven of course, it is just the kind of buffoonish throwaway comment you can imagine coming from him in an unguarded moment (of which most seem to be). Now IF proven, I have no doubt that nothing was meant, I'm sure he would have been using it as a shocking reference to show how much he was gainst a 3rd lockdown - but at best it would be absolutely careless and insensitive. The kind of thing that would damage a PM.

BUT, there is no evidence as yet. I do wonder though if there was a virtual element to the meeting. I know Webex has a recording function, I assume Teams and Zoom does too ... I know they used to use the latter, not sure what they use now though.
 
Jul 15, 2006
3,892
57
Kenton, Devon
Frank_Butcher":1nfvc27u said:
I don't think the refurbishment costs issue will affect Johnson - I just don't think the majority of people care enough about that sort of stuff. I do though think his reported comments about 'bodies piled high' will resonate more. Though not proven of course, it is just the kind of buffoonish throwaway comment you can imagine coming from him in an unguarded moment (of which most seem to be). Now IF proven, I have no doubt that nothing was meant, I'm sure he would have been using it as a shocking reference to show how much he was gainst a 3rd lockdown - but at best it would be absolutely careless and insensitive. The kind of thing that would damage a PM.

BUT, there is no evidence as yet. I do wonder though if there was a virtual element to the meeting. I know Webex has a recording function, I assume Teams and Zoom does too ... I know they used to use the latter, not sure what they use now though.

I don't think there is any recordings of what was said. Robert Peston said yesterday that he had been told by more than one source that Boris did say what he did ... but he was ranting in his office just off the Cabinet room and not in an actual meeting. The door was open and so pretty much everyone in proximity to his office heard him. So when the likes of Gove say that he was in a meeting with BoJo and never heard this being mentioned ... he's absolutely correct. And the Govt will stick to this story in lieu of any recordings - because they know there won't be any. But when the Daily Mail, Guardian, BBC and ITV all have sources confirming this series of events then the likelihood is that he did say it.

As an aside, Peston also said that he is confident that Cummings wasn't the source of the leak into the second lockdown last year - Peston was told about it on the evening Boris met Hancock and Gove to hammer out the details. Peston, out of respect for his source, sat on this news until it was officially released 24 hours later. Peston said he would not have sat on the story for 24 hours if Cummings leaked it, as Cummings is not part of the Government. Which still has me scratching my head about why Boris would implicate Dom in this.