Dominic Cummings — less political genius, more poundshop Machiavelli at the heart of a government of wolves
It was Edward R Murrow who usefully pointed out that ‘A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves’. Today, in Britain, after being systematically ‘sheepified’ by a media of shuffling scuffling courtiers riding shotgun for a corrupt political establishment, we have ourselves precisely that — a government of wolves.
The dire consequence is that the worst possible crisis to arrive in our midst, in the shape of a deadly virus which at time of writing has accounted for over 60,000 souls and counting across the UK, has in the worst possible government the best friend it could possibly have.
The controversy surrounding Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, is more than over the way he, if reports are to be believed, violated the very lockdown rules he himself had a role in setting. No, it’s the arrogance and contempt which he and the entire Cabinet have demonstrated in the days since the story broke, dissembling and deflecting as if their lives have depended on it.
Boris Johnson’s decision to defend his senior adviser rather than sack him will live on in infamy. It also marks his political demise. The practiced bonhomie and contrived buffoonery has now given way to the deeply malevolent and lying charlatan who resides beneath, to a man dripping in self-entitlement and absorption.
The rage this controversy has incurred is of a piece with the grievous suffering and sacrifice that many of us have experienced during this lockdown. People unable to attend the funerals of dead loved ones, unable to visit loved ones in hospital, and here’s a guy driving 250 miles from London to Durham to be with his parents. It connotes pristine disregard for social duty and responsibility on the part of a senior government official.
When those in power consider themselves to be beyond and above accountability, democracy is asphyxiated. When we have libertarian cranks deciding government policy — policy which in the case of coronavirus has resulted in thousands of dead people due to the criminal negligence that has underpinned it — our political culture is rotten to the core.
Dominic Cummings is not actually the problem, he is merely a perverse symptom of it. The problem lies in the false consciousness — sown by a media which with few exceptions is way beyond redemption — responsible for people voting for the kind of execrable prime minister who would appoint and defend such an execrable chief adviser. At the same time, the bludgeoning of Jeremy Corbyn by the same media whose most prominent members attend these ridiculous daily briefings to engage in what is a theatre of the absurd revealed just how mendacious this British Establishment is when seriously threatened by the transformational change our austerity ravaged husk of a late stage capitalist society so desperately needs.
The result has been this mad professor, in the shape of Mr Cummings, conducting experiments in his laboratory of the damned, refulgent in his contempt for public health and the plight of the vulnerable and elderly with his herd immunity insanity. This to the point where he and the government have blood on their hands.
We don’t know the nature of the hold that Cummings has over Boris Johnson and his cabinet. But a hold over both he clearly has — such that we are bound to ask if the former has his hand up the back of the latter, directing them like a puppet master in some grotesque Punch and Judy show.
‘One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived’ that sage of the power hungry mind, Machiavelli, argued.
One only wonders if this notorious Italian had a hand in Boris Johnson’s election campaign.
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