The Dominic Cummings scandal is different from most political scandals

Most political scandals pass by without making that much of an impression on the public.

That’s because most of the time, the public doesn’t pay that much attention to politics. Even when they do, scandals often remind the public how different the political class appears to be from their own lives.

(That’s a difference that is often, and malignly, exaggerated. But it’s certainly true that, for example, even the lowliest of special advisors is on a salary many people can only dream of reaching way off in the future. Even the bottom end of the lowest pay band for special advisors is around one and a half times average earnings for someone in full-time work.)

What’s different about the Dominic Cumming scandal is that it’s about something that applies to us all.

It’s not about something that other people off elsewhere living different lives are up to. It’s about something that is directly affecting our lives every day.

We’re all meant to have upended our lives to save lives. We’re all meant to have changed our behaviour to care for the wellbeing of others. We’re all meant to have made sacrifices, even when we think that we personally would probably be safe anyway.

In fact, the research shows that it’s not fear for our own health that is motivating people in general. Rather it’s a sense of a greater good that we should all contribute to.

That’s what makes this scandal different.

It’s about people facing the same rules, the same advice and the same choices as us all. And deciding that it’s ok for them to skip the sacrifices the rest of us are making.

That’s a far more potent scandal. That’s most likely are a far longer lasting scandal. It’s a scandal that is truly worthy of that word.


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8 responses to “The Dominic Cummings scandal is different from most political scandals”

    • Sadly, the HoC is on recess until the 2nd June, so he get a bit longer. But PMQ is a waste of time anyway – he sidesteps every question and there seems to be no real way to hold him to account in the HoC.

  1. Clearly Cummings has ignored the lockdown. They keep saying his wife was showing symptoms, but some reports say he showed symptoms first and so was certainly showing them when he drove 260 miles. Did he stop to fill up with petrol ? Toilet breaks? If the whole family was really seen in Barnard Castle he could have infected many people. Clearly he has done much worse things than the two high profile people who have resigned neither of whom even had the virus. His cavalier attitude is shown by him saying “who cares?” when first doorstepped by journalists. He is not a fit person to be effectively running the country, Johnson clearly thinks he can’t do without him and is making paper thin excuses for him.

  2. Is it so difficult for Dominic Cummings to look after his own child?
    Most men can and do. What is difficult about opening a packet of fish fingers and a can of baked beans? Or bath time and a story?
    Why drive to Durham to get grandparents to do it?
    Can only be because he doesn’t understand basic family life.

  3. and on this mornings news he addresses the media at his gate like a lord speaking to serfs with ‘get out of the way’, rather than excuse me please.. ‘Manners maketh the man’, he clearly missed that lesson.
    His utter contempt for everything that Downing St and the post of Prime Minister of the country stand for, is displayed each day when he turns up looking like he is going to the gym.

  4. There is of course a simple explanation why Boris will never sack his adviser. To do so would be political suicide. His adviser would be off the leash to spill all the beans about the Tory party. And of course the Tory MPs who rushed to his defence did so in sheer terror at what skeletons fall out of the cupboard: presumably theirs?

  5. Our present Prime Minster is meant to be a classicist, so he will no doubt know that the meaning of the Latin ‘scandalum’ is a stumbling block. I hope a large number of people will find the world of Boris Johnson so alien to them that this scandal becomes an obstacle to them ever voting Conservative in any future election.

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