On 20th of July 2021 Dominic Cummings, former aide to the PM Boris Johnson and architect of the Vote Leave Campaign, was interviewed by BBC reporter Laura Kuenssberg.
Immediately this was a touch problematic as Kuenssberg had been prior to this the only journalist that Cummings felt comfortable enough to leak stories to. As reported in the Press Gazette
"Dominic Cummings has claimed it "drove the media mad" and that he "essentially stopped talking to almost all journalists almost all the time" in 2020, while chief adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
One notable exception, he said in evidence to MPs on Wednesday, was BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, to whom he spoke "every three or four weeks on average" last year during height of the Covid-19 pandemic."
Kuenssberg has been criticised numerous times for perceived bias to the Conservative Government, including the time she repeated a lie that MP Matt Hancock had been assaulted by a Labour activist. She has also spread lies about the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and more recently wrote an incredibly biased article for the BBC where she essentially directly propagandised for the Prime Minister, claiming that (despite the plentiful evidence) Johnson is not a proven liar – but some sort of strategic genius akin to Steve Jobs. Steve Fucking Jobs – come on? The clever thing that the article did was to raise the issue of Johnson potentially lying, but then strangely failing to mention any actual examples – this is simply because the examples are too damning. Johnson is a liar – a proven liar – it's incredibly odd that a reporter would write such an article that attempted to excuse and spin his actions in such a way.
Any way she was chosen to interview Dominic Cummings. I should say right from the off that of course I don't trust Dominic Cummings – he isn't a whistleblower. You have to think of him more like a rat, an organised crime member who has flipped – think Henry Hill in Goodfella's. Dominic Cummings is as involved with the failures of the pandemic as anyone else. But he realised that, having left the employ of the Prime Minister, he would likely be set up to take the brunt of any fallout, alongside the now ousted Health Secretary Matt Hancock. So he is going to tell sort of the truth but spin it so that he is clean – or cleaner than he is in reality.
Cummings had previously suggested to the PM that Hancock be sacked for lying and generally bungling the response – including making the policy decision to send 15000 covid patients into care homes and not allow testing. The Prime Minister explained his decision not to sack Hancock as, "because he's the person you fire when the [public] inquiry comes along". – laying the blame at his door. Whilst all of this is technically true, it should never be forgotten that Cummings initial plan to deal with the Covid pandemic was to try, "herd immunity, protect the economy, and if that means some pensioners die, too bad."
Cummings also was the main reason that the first lockdown in 2020 only lasted for three weeks before people stopped taking this seriously. This was due to Cummings breaching the restrictions and driving to Durham. This became public knowledge just prior to the bank Holiday and – angry that politicians weren't sticking to the rules that they expected us to abide by – everyone went to the beach. This became known as the Cummings effect.
"Public confidence in the UK Government's ability to handle the Covid-19 pandemic dropped sharply following the news that Dominic Cummings, senior aide to the Prime Minister, had seemingly broken lockdown rules, finds new analysis by UCL researchers."
Of course the reason given by Dominic Cummings for this interview was:
"Um … the reason I'm speaking out is I want people to be thinking about these questions: How are we governed? How's power actually exercised in Number 10? What sort of things should be more transparent? How should these power structures be opened up?"
This is obviously bullshit.
So anyway the interview progressed:
LAURA KUENSSBERG: So let's come onto Covid then. What was it like in Downing Street when you started to realise how serious this could be?
DOMINIC CUMMINGS: Well it was, it was obviously extremely frightening and also pretty surreal as well because you feel like you're, it feels sort of like you're in a disaster movie, but it's not a disaster movie. It's actually real and you're looking around the room at the different people who are in key positions and thinking: "They're not the people that should be in charge of this sort of thing."
LAURA KUENSSBERG: As it's my job to talk to people on all sides of the political divide, I remember talking to you late February and you mentioned the government was starting to make serious plans. At that point it didn't seem that the prime minister was particularly involved in this.
DOMINIC CUMMINGS: No, at that point he still, I remember even in, you know, the first week of March he was saying, you know, "business as usual" and whatnot, he just, he didn't take it, he didn't take it seriously.
LAURA KUENSSBERG: And what was the atmosphere like then in Downing Street, he didn't take it seriously at all?
DOMINIC CUMMINGS: Um no… he didn't take it, he, he didn't take it seriously. His view was "this is just like swine flu, I've seen these kind of scares over and over again, they're always nonsense." Um and his, his priorities and his concern were elsewhere.
LAURA KUENSSBERG: But there was then a, a crystallisation when one of your team said: "Actually the numbers look much worse than we think." Basically the government's scientists' projections were wrong, what was that like?
DOMINIC CUMMINGS: A very, very smart physicist who was helping the NHS with data came to me and said: "it doesn't seem to me this plan's been thought out, like has this really been properly checked? Um this whole herd immunity plan, it's like a massive call and, er, um you know, are you okay if I go around and look for some, talk to people and, and, and, and think about this and look for plan B?'. I said: "Yeah, definitely do", um.
As the days ticked on from there it was increasingly clear that, um, that the official plan was going to be a disaster… and… it was me and a few other people, essentially it was me saying to the prime minister: "Vital elements of the system have got this totally wrong, there is some kind of terrible bureaucratic fog and confusion which means that people are not looking at the right numbers"… essentially we'd, we'd said to him: "The official plan is a disaster and we can't do it and it could kill half a million people".
The main thing to take away from this is that the UK Government, as early as February 2020, had already decided – against the advice of the Science – to go for a strategy of Herd Immunity – that is to allow people to acquire natural immunity from getting the disease. The only flaw in this is that it doesn't work – natural immunity doesn't seem a lasting thing with this disease. So whilst other Countries started to lock down, close borders and took steps to mitigate and manage the potential problem of a deadly disease – the UK Government took their strategic advice from the end of Carry on up the Khyber and decided to just pretend nothing was happening.
You see this is where the majority of the alternative media have been wrong – it wasn't about lockdowns, or destroying businesses – it was about attempting to save money for their donors and about them not giving a single fig for the common man.
See my article on Herd Immunity for the irrefutable proof that this was the UK Governments strategy all along.
Cummings then explained that he had to prevent the PM – who at the time had Covid – from seeing the Queen, convincing Johnson that the optics of causing the death of the Monarch would probably tally badly with the core attitudes of Tory voters.
DOMINIC CUMMINGS: I just said: "If you, if you give her coronavirus and she dies, what, what are you gonna – you can't do that, you can't risk that, that's completely insane." And he said, he basically just hadn't thought it through and he said: "Yeah, holy shit, I can't go."
Cummings then spent a while lying about his trip to Durham – Kuenssberg didn't press him too hard. The problem with Cummings is that he is obviously lying to save his own skin – this unfortunately makes anything he says plausibly deniable – but it does paint a picture and in some cases he has saved the receipts so to speak. For example Cummings showed messages from the PM that poured scorn on the idea of a second – circuit breaker – lockdown in September.
"I must say I have been slightly rocked by some of the data on Covid fatalities. The median age is 82 – 81 for men, 85 for women. That is above life expectancy. So get Covid and live longer. Hardly anyone under 60 goes into hospital (4%) and of those virtually all survive.
"And I no longer buy all this NHS overwhelmed stuff. Folks, I think we may need to recalibrate."
Strangely this aped the language of a paper that had been presented to the PM in September by a group of anti lockdown, pro herd immunity Scientists – all of whom have financial connections to donors for the Tory Government and all who have been promoted by the media nodes owned by the very same donors – if you think this is just a coincidence please read my article on the evidence for the herd immunity strategy. The scientists who gave a presentation to the prime minister and the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, were Prof Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, and his Oxford University colleague Prof Sunetra Gupta, as well as Anders Tegnell, Sweden's leading epidemiologist, whose country had chosen not to lock down.
Also he was completely wrong – cases, hospitalisations and deaths rose steadily from September peaking in January.
LAURA KUENSSBERG: Let's talk now about then the, the next phase of the pandemic. So through the summer the country was very significantly opened up, cases had gone down again and then at the start of the autumn through September they started to tick up again, it appeared that the virus wasn't done with us. What was your attitude at the time to what was going on?
DOMINIC CUMMINGS: Well a fundamental problem was that in the summer, the prime minister's attitude was that er, essentially the, the first lockdown was a disaster, we should never have done it.
LAURA KUENSSBERG: He thought we should never have done the first lockdown?
DOMINIC CUMMINGS: He said we should never have done the first lockdown, he said that repeatedly in meetings in Number 10… After the, the first wave passed and after he came back to work, initially his view was essentially thank goodness we did do that, but very quickly as the Telegraph and various parts of the media and Tory Party started screaming, he then basically reverted and said: "Actually the whole thing was a disaster, we should never have done it, I was right in February, we should basically just ignore it and just let the thing wash through the country and not destroy the economy and move on.
Aside from the herd immunity angle the important take away is that Johnson reacted to the Telegraph (more on that later) – he has no long term plan – he is simply trying to appease the donors to his party. The Telegraph is not only owned by donors to the party – but is a representation of their values. And you know what they find the most value in – money.
DOMINIC CUMMINGS: When you get to the week of around about 15 to 19 September, by that point the data was clear about what was happening and Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty came to Downing Street and said: "Erm, it's clear where this is going, er, we think that you should consider hitting it hard and early." The prime minister said: "No, no, no, no, no, I'm not doing it."
LAURA KUENSSBERG: But to be completely clear about what you're saying: that by the middle of September, you, Chris Whitty, Patrick Vallance, other people in the government are trying to push Boris Johnson to bring back restrictions and you're saying he was refusing?
DOMINIC CUMMINGS: Essentially yes it was, but it was because, a combination of er, Starmer had said it should happen and therefore the prime minister felt it would be politically disastrous just for him to suddenly admit that Starmer had been right. Secondly he had a bunch of Tory MPs screaming at him, remember some of those Tory MPs similar to the ones on Brexit had lost their minds and were saying all kinds of complete fake news about Covid. And third he had the Telegraph who he always referred to as his quote my real boss unquote. So he had those three things all saying, pushing him not to act.
LAURA KUENSSBERG: Sorry, the prime minister calls The Telegraph his real boss, you've just said? What evidence do you have for this?
DOMINIC CUMMINGS: Yes… And the Telegraph was, of course, was extremely hostile to, to doing anything.
LAURA KUENSSBERG: So are you suggesting that the prime minister of this country calls the Telegraph newspaper, that he used to be a columnist for, he calls them his real boss?
This again is the clearest indication of the reality of the situation – it wasn't about lockdowns, or some grandiose plan to put micro chips in people, it wasn't about faking a virus – it was about money. Johnson is right to call the Telegraph his real boss. It is on two levels – as I said before it is owned by Tory donors but more importantly reflects the attitudes of Tory donors and the architects of the party. He had no plan, there is no grand plot – there is just a corrupt government who didn't want to upset their donors and didn't care what happened to the rest of us. Simple.
When forced into a four week lockdown in November – which was then diluted by zones, before being eventually lifted and then hastily re enforced over Christmas – Johnson swore that this would be the last time that he declared such actions. Was this because he was concerned with the effects of the lockdown on the population? No, not even close. it was all about appeasing his donors. Johnson was reported to have said, "no more fucking lockdowns – let the bodies pile high in their thousands"
LAURA KUENSSBERG: Do you think Boris Johnson was therefore putting politics ahead of people's lives?
DOMINIC CUMMINGS: Certainly he did. He put his own political interests ahead of people's lives for sure.
There was more said that pertains to Brexit and my blog on the subject – but that will be in a different article.
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