Millions have. He should have gone a long time ago.
Cummings’ excuse for driving from London to Durham during the lockdown was “exceptional circumstances”. He said his wife was ill and that he feared for their child’s welfare if he became sick.
This is what the Downing Street elite at least pretend to regard as “exceptional circumstances”. But these are far less than what huge numbers of ordinary people have faced while complying with the lockdown.
Plenty of parents—sometimes lone parents—have dealt with their own coronavirus, self-isolation and sick children. They didn’t abandon the lockdown advice because they had a sense of people looking after one another.
Some people were unable to visit their dying relatives in hospital because of those requirements. Some were not allowed to visit their mortally sick parents or grandparents in a care home.
On 3 April, as Cummings and his family were enjoying his parents’ farm, the funeral of 13 year old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab took place in London. He had died after testing positive for coronavirus.
His mother and six siblings were not able to be at the funeral because they were forced to self-isolate under the lockdown regulations. A friend of the family said they were “devastated” not to attend.
But of course there were no exceptional circumstances for them.
Over 14,000 people have been fined for breaching the regulations that Cummings has flouted. He thinks he did nothing wrong.
Cummings dared to claim he made a 30 mile car trip to Barnard Castle to work out if his eyesight was good enough to drive back to London. That’s either a gross lie or a terrifying decision to test potentially inadequate vision by driving with a four year old in the car.
It is actually hard to work out which is worse.
It’s sometimes said that issues such as Cummings’ behaviour as a distraction from the real issues.
There are the tens of thousands of people who have died unnecessarily, the failure to prepare, the deadly slowness in implementing lockdown and the cuts that left the NHS vulnerable. But sometimes the particular illuminates the general with laser-like focus.
The Tories don’t give a damn about ordinary people. They think they are above us. They care only for themselves and their friends—and rules, like taxes, don’t apply to them.
The bosses’ Financial Times newspaper worries, “This is a moment of great danger for Mr Johnson’s government. Only a few months old and confronting an unprecedented peacetime crisis, it already resembles an administration losing its grip.”
We should drive through our chance. The whole rotten regime has to go.
Record deaths in Britain
Coronavirus has not been contained and threatens more lives.
On Monday Britain reached the grim milestone of the world’s highest official number of deaths per million people on a rolling seven-day average.
The R number—the average number of people that will contract coronavirus from an infected person—did not fall over the last two weeks.
A hospital in Somerset has temporarily stopped accepting new patients in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19 on site. Weston general hospital in Weston-super-Mare stopped taking admissions, including into its accident and emergency department, on Monday.
It described this as a “precautionary measure in order to maintain the safety of staff and patients”.
The south-west of England has been less badly affected by the virus than other parts of Britain. But the hospital closure shows how quickly disaster can strike.
The Tory polices are utterly reckless.