People do keep pointing out the rank hypocrisy of it all. One such person was told, “Do I look like I care what the media think?” How to answer that one. There are no obvious physical traits that reveal what a person who cares what the media think might look like. But if you were to draw one, I don’t know, maybe you’d go with a man, sitting at his laptop, trawling through old tweets and articles by people in the media they don’t like, screenshotting them, and then making little collages of them to post on social media to tell the media how stupid they are.
That’s exactly what someone who cares what the media thinks looks like, and if you want to find someone who looks like that then, well, his name’s Dominic Cummings, and there’s a picture of him on his Substack, which is yours to enjoy for just £10 a month.
If you don’t know, Substack is a website where you pay people to read their blogs, which is a bit like a newspaper, or a news website, except that when they do it, they’re “the media”, and according to Dominic Cummings this afternoon and indeed for the last 20 years, the media are wrong about everything, don’t know anything and are generally responsible for all of the gravest ills in politics and society.
When Dominic Cummings does it, of course, it’s different. Mainly for reasons only he can understand, but that doesn’t mean they’re not real. For most of Monday, the former most powerful man in Downing Street answered questions from random people on the internet, held together only by a willingness to pay £10 per month for the privilege. Well, they weren’t all that random. Quite a lot of them were, you know, the media. The reporter from The Guardian was there, who’s still after an answer as to how it possibly came to be that four separate people have told him they saw him in Houghall Woods near Durham, long after the day on which he went there to test his eyesight. He continues to deny it but the facts don’t stack up.
What would we learn? “The Tory Party is hideous, obviously.” I mean, we already knew that, but we haven’t all made it our life’s work to make it the most hideous it’s ever been, and contrived to grant it a vast parliamentary majority through the power of phoney promises that we know will all have to be lied away for another day.
But who cares about all that? Not when there’s real gold to pan for. Like the following: “I’ve studied a lot of wars and disasters since a kid. I have had a strong sense since a teen of how fragile civilisation is.”
Is it churlish to point out that, you know, it’s a hell of a lot more fragile than it’s been for a while? Dreaming up some white hot lies about the EU then using Facebook to ram them down the throats of everyone some shady analytics company has told you will be most susceptible to them will do that. But never mind, what’s done is done.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock last week rejected criticism of his handling of the Covid pandemic after private WhatsApp exchanges emerged in which he appeared to be described as “hopeless” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The PM’s controversial former chief aide Dominic Cummings — who stepped down from the role in December — posted exchanges with him on social media. Cummings, who has spent recent months savaging both his former boss and Hancock, tweeted screenshots of the exchanges apparently between him and Johnson in March and April last year as Britain battled the first wave of the pandemic.
Dominic Cummings uses a lot of colourful words about the prime minister: “unethical” (twice), “foolish”, “possibly illegal”, “almost certainly broke the rules”, and “below the standards of competence and integrity the country deserves”. But what, exactly, does he say
“Do as I say not as I do” is an infuriating attitude at the best of times. Now, when there is such emoting about sacrifices, obeying instructions to save lives and praise of unprecedented heroism spouting from our leaders, it’s doubly insulting to see them act so irresponsibly.
The prime minister will have been proud to see his chief advisor Dominic Cummings adhering wholeheartedly to the advice of his hero, Sir Winston Churchill, to never surrender.
The Tokyo Olympics which should have been held last year but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic have got off to a magnificent but subdued start in the National Stadium, which was mostly empty but for a thousand and more spectators,
4As the coronavirus pandemic squeezed Colombia, the Romero family was in need of money to pay the mortgage. Mauricio Romero Medina’s $790 a month pension as a retired soldier wasn’t going far. Then came a call offering a solution.
With just months to go before her 16-year leadership of Germany ends, Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday defended her efforts to promote gender equality and curb climate change but expressed regret that some decisions, in hindsight, were made