You couldn’t write this stuff, could you?
This is a guy who had to come out wi a tail between his legs about flaunting covid rules just over a year ago. Swear PM Boris Johnson called him an “admirable father” for doing so. There was all this patter about Cummings being essential to the government, at least that’s how many analysed it when the PM backed him after what seemed like a sackable offence at the time. Albeit in less urgent circumstances, we’ll all remember the Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood who was forced to resign after boosting to her second home in Fife during lockdown.
After Boris kept a haud of him, Cummings has grabbed him right back and tried to chuck him under the bus he once found himsel under. He’s come out with the huge allegation that the avoidable mistakes of the UK government could’ve saved the lives of so many people.
Quite a raj allegation to make. That’s not a kick in the backside off accusing his old pal of manslaughter by the thousands.
The weirdest bit about it is… absolutely hee-haw about it has happened. Many surveys came out and said Boris’ approval ratings had gone up since the allegations. Script wi that?
Maybe folk think Cummings’ credibility has already been tarnished. Maybe people think och gee Boris a yard, he’s gone through an absolute shift in this pandemic and the government were bound to make some sort of mistakes. Maybe people are so disillusioned with what they see on social media (the main source of news nowadays), not knowing what to believe, politicians can get away wi any skulduggery they like. What are my thoughts? I think people in Britain just dinnae want the hassle. People in Britain have their families to worry about. People in Britain have their jobs to think through. People in Britain are planning for their weekend. People in Britain want their jab so they can get back to their usual routine. Give the people in Britain hassle-free normality and you’ll do well as a government… and I’m gonna tell you why.
Cast yourself back to the summer of 2014. Alex Salmond had gathered momentum for the movement for Scottish independence that was unheard of in modern-day politics. About 10 years earlier you were looking at, there or thereabouts, 1 in 3 Scots voting Yes in a referendum… but the hype, the energy, the positivity, the hope, the spirit of this campaign had the Yes movement polling at a majority at the very brink of the referendum itself. It wasn’t anything in the realm of Sturgeon’s sustained period of majority Yes polling earlier on in this year, but Salmond created something we hadn’t seen in Scotland before. For the first time in long while, it really felt like it may happen.
And yet it was the silent voter that wiped the floor with this movement. Scotland, in clear cut numbers, came out and said nah we’re actually alright.
Cast yourself back a little further. British politics changed forever when Tony Blair came through the door and won Labour their largest landslide victory in its history. It was their first term in power since James Callaghan’s in 1979. An era for the Labour party branded as ‘New Labour’ that ended in 2010.
Within this era, the government endured pretty catastrophic events both abroad and at home. No many will need reminding of the morbid consequences of going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan in terms of human bloodshed. No many will need reminding of the economic collapse in 2008 either. Since then, aside from the young team that loved ‘Jezza Corbyn’ as they called him (maybe no up in Scotland mind), they’ve not had a whiff of power since all that carry on.
To be honest, you don’t even have to look that far back. Nicola Sturgeon recently came out of one of the biggest scandals in Scottish politics unscathed. The flawed enquiry made by the Scottish Government under her tenure cost the public 500 grand in legal fees to Alex Salmond. Many, including the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment complaints, thought that she misled Parliament on this handling as well. Low and behold, her “Strong Leadership” campaign just weeks later won the SNP 64 seats in the highest ever turnout in a Scottish election.
My point is it’s a cultural thing in Britain. It’s the same reason we all say “aye perfect mate cheers” when the barber shows us the mirror after a trim regardless of how it has been done. It’s the same reason folk don’t complain when they get dealt a snide portion of chips at Nando’s. Those same folk probably, with a smile on their face, say “thank you so much” when they’re leaving. This is all despite being quietly seething at that extra wee bit of room in their belly after spending 15 sheets. It’s the same reason that when yer in a family member’s gaff and you’re handed a shan cup of tea, without any sugar despite asking specifically for “coo and two,” you take a sip and say “aye that’s magic thank you.” Under no circumstances do you say “to be honest, it’s pretty rotten but I’ll drink it anyway.” People canny be bothered with the hassle.
We must keep a close eye on what the government are doing, it’s part of a healthy democracy. There needs to be a watchdog element to our society or we’re as well not even bothering turning up to our local polling sections. But regardless, Cummings’ allegations did not have a significant impact on Boris for the same reason your barber will still get paid if yer looking like a member of Jedward going into the weekend. People in this country, by and large, want a hassle-free life.