By William Hallowell | Editor
How a genius political mastermind has placed himself at the centre of British politics without the burden of accountability.
Whether or not Dominic Cummings is loved or hated, it is fair to say that he is incredibly clever. He has managed to build a backstage career in British politics by being a key engineer of the Vote Leave Brexit campaign and in Boris Johnson's Conservative Government, with virtually no accountability for his actions as he is not a politician - an elected representative of the people.
Some, predominantly among the Labour left, hold bitter resentment towards Cummings for his success in winning the 2016 referendum and for last year's scandal when he took a trip to "test his eyesight", thus breaking Covid restrictions - restrictions he is said to have had such a large part in putting together himself. But this last week has shown him to be what he truly is: a bitter snake in the grass with no loyalty, no integrity and no dignity. Cummings may have been the man to aide the rise in popularity of the Prime Minister, but without Johnson as Head of Government, there'd be no Dominic Cummings - certainly not as an advisor in Number 10, at least.
It would seem this peculiar figure has watched in awe of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the controversy they have stirred up with both the British press and the public, inciting outcry over unsubstantiated accusations of bullying, 'silence' and endemic racism within the Royal Family. Cummings has well and truly followed suit by bashing the Government, the institution he played such a significant role in, much like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in the monarchy.
Whilst giving evidence to a select committee over the Government's handling of the pandemic, the former senior advisor to Mr Johnson has made completely scandalous accusations and claims - but, because he is unelected, he will not be a victim to accountability, but rather, the party political battle between the Government and the Opposition. Though he has faced some derision and criticism - mostly from the left - he has only been held to (petty) attempts at accountability when it has suited the narrative for the Opposition.
The majority of people hadn't heard of Dominic Cummings prior to his scandal over breaking lockdown restrictions. For several weeks, he was arguably the most hated man in Britain, with his face plastered on the front pages of the national papers - even to the extent of cut-outs mocking his incredibly poor excuse for taking his family out to the countryside for a quiet day out.
Credit: The Daily Star
Following this PR disaster for the Conservative Party, the Opposition did everything in their power to hold onto the scandal in order to damage the Government, but after a few weeks of outrage most of the public moved on - except for some on the sad, obsessive left - the same 'house-bound mouth breathers' (as Malcolm Tucker might say) who still hold the current Tory Party to account for the policies of Margaret Thatcher. Cummings has been used by Labour with their favoured emotional scrutiny tactic, comparing the 1% nurses' pay rise to the thousands he stood to gain from his pay increase.
Credit: The Labour Party (uploaded on Instagram 11 March 2021)
The Opposition have treated him as the Devil-incarnate whilst serving the Conservative Party - but having left the Government and now starting to provide political attacks against Johnson's Cabinet, Labour have treated his words of criticism as completely true, having painted him as lacking integrity and honesty only 12 months ago, and have ceased to make attacks on Cummings himself because of the 'you're either with us or against us' attitude of British politics; and it's clearly safe to say he's not 'with' the Government anymore.
Regardless of what Dominic Cummings has to say, and whether it can even be taken as true, doesn't matter; he's currently enjoying his last few minutes undignified, attention-seeking Sussexes'-style controversy before he is consigned to the dustbin of history, and the rest of the country move on - apart from the hard-left, perhaps.
Feature image credit: Swansea4Europe