Phone a Friend

Another day, another distraction.

This time, the Prime Minister’s principal adviser, Dominic Cummings, has been outed for allegedly breaching lockdown rules 10 weeks ago. He denies that, and no action had been taken at the time.

Meanwhile, the eloquence of lawyers who had been falling over themselves on social media to create ‘reasonable excuses’ for crafty, driving dog-walkers have been uncharacteristically reticent on the prospect of a reasonable excuse for Mr Cummings (or Mr Goings, as we should now call him). Their pro bono tweets extend only to those whose plights are fodder for their Leftwaffe bombing sorties.

If all this gets too embarrassing, DC might get recalled to Moscow.

Only kidding. It’s more likely to be St Petersburg.

This revelatory tissue is of course a Brexit revenge caper, not a Coronavirus policy examination. Modern UK politics is immeasurably more than ever about getting people on whatever you can make stick. Winning the fact-based arguments is a poor relation.

Why isn’t the mandatory surge to national auto-asphyxiation being challenged? We’ve all been gimped out and have been subjected to an incessant and merciless thrashing that’s not going to cease any time soon.

Instead, they’re flogging the dead horse of Brexit by pursuing one of its key architects. It’s happened. The new national obsession isn’t prosperity, it’s survival.

Well, it should be. Actually, it’s still Brexit.

Now though is not the time for opportunists but for opportunity. Not to re-float old agendas but to forge new ones. The world has changed, and we need to focus on digging ourselves out of the mire.

Boris – a biographer of Churchill – might well have recalled Winston’s accession to the big chair. He was brought in primarily as a wartime PM to lead a war cabinet.

That’s a problem for our PM because he packed out the Cabinet room with flakes, an IKEA cabinet of sycophants. There aren’t any big-hitters in there at all, so Corbynly hopeless in a war setting. And mesmerically inept at the BAU stuff as well. For a few pointers on how far we’ve fallen, tune into the daily briefings.

Boris arguably should have stripped them all out once this went pear-shaped, but the only Tories worth their salt wouldn’t touch a job under Boris with a naturalised Pole, let alone one of the barge persuasion. So, what other options might there be?

Forget a government of national unity. The Labour front bench is spectacularly piss-poor and its backbench a loose confederation of disaffected Sharons. Less than 6 months ago, Jess Phillips’ tattooed foot was still in the race to lead Her Majesty’s Opposition.

To boot (and it’s always an attractive prospect), the Liberal Democrats are unfailingly limp and of course following the exertions of their Ramadan fasting, their current primary objective is to keep awake during Verhofstadt’s daily Zoom leadership briefing.

You get the picture.

It might really hurt, but Boris really does need to phone a friend. Or at least any of the competent people in the UK who have dealt with major problems in the past: Blair, Brown, and Major all spring to mind.

Does that sound unlikely? Well, could any of us have conceived today’s circumstances three months ago, on 23rd February?

Or one week later, on 30th February – that forever memorable date noted by Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer.

Right now, the requirement for an expertly managed plan has never mattered more and saving face have never mattered less.

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