Dominic "Rasputin" Cummings?

Hyperbole? Maybe. Better than hypocrisy. Dominic Cummings, the power behind Boris Johnson's throne, is in trouble. He's in a lot of trouble. He's after going for a drive and in doing so, a little bit of endangering the lives of his family and others has become the least of his problems...

So Dominic Cummings, special advisor to the Prime Minister, broke his own lockdown rules. He traversed the country, heading to the ancestral pile to winter out the ravages of Covid-19. The only thing is, while he was doing that he was telling people over and over to stay put, in their own home, and not travel anywhere. He went to work when he should have stayed home. He went to see a castle when he should have stayed at home. He went to a hospital when he should have stayed at home. He left the people of Britain to endure the depredations of lockdown while he did as he pleased. Not a good look for a senior Prime Ministerial aide.

But, Rasputin? Really? Well, he's bound himself to the levels of power so tightly that those wielding them can't imagine life without him, and believe, firmly, what might become a self-fulfilling prophecy: That they couldn't endure long without him. The removal of Rasputin was a horrific affair, but the lesson isn't about violence or revenge. It's about there being no mechanism of oversight powerful enough to prise the spad-barnacle off the brain of the PM. Not the UK's confidence based oversight by colleagues, and not Tsarist Russia's autocratic oligarchy. When the hooks of the advisor are buried in the mind of the ruler, the ruler can't lead where the advisor is concerned. Boris firmly believes that Dom is absolutely necessary to his existence as PM. What happens if he's right?

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Ev Buckley