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The pandemic

Voters don’t care about Cummings’s vendetta

Hollie Adams/Bloomberg/Getty Images

“Like an ageing star deigning to do one last show”, Dominic Cummings is appearing in front of a parliamentary committee tomorrow, says Freddie Sayers in UnHerd. But the “nakedly vindictive” argument he’s been previewing on Twitter – that Boris Johnson secretly pursued a “heartless” herd immunity strategy in March 2020, leading to a lockdown delay and thousands of avoidable deaths – is “divorced from reality”. Ordinary voters want to know when lockdown will end, not “rake over” 10 days from last year. It’s long been known that the government initially considered herd immunity, “then deviated from it rapidly” when its huge downside became clear.

I’m a Cummings admirer, but “this last round of the Dom show has been sad to watch”. The “wallpapergate” allegation on his blog didn’t stop Johnson doing well in recent elections – and all without Cummings’s help. His “jihad” against the government reveals the “crucial shortcoming” in his political philosophy. Diagnosing a “sclerotic civil service and inefficient political class” is all very well, but his alternative – centralising power, bullying the bureaucracy and “trying to run the country like a science project” – is no better. There’s a “missing note of humanity” in his vision of a “draconian” East Asian-style government. The irony is, this “high priest of lockdowns” couldn’t manage to obey the rules himself. 

Read the full article here.