Will this famous door be painted green under the new ‘Carrie Regime’?
The unappetising soap opera in No 10 is over, for the time being. “He” is gone, he’s been kicked out, he’s not going to contaminate the pristine office of BJ by his sulphurous presence. It’s back to ‘normal’ – the ‘New Normal’ where unelected females pull the strings. Let’s however not mention the ‘Law of Unintended Consequences’ …
The photo of Cummings leaving No 10 carrying a cardboard box – ‘proof’ that someone had been sacked with immediate effect – is all over this morning’s front pages. The reason for Cummings’ immediate sacking? “He briefed against the PM”, we’re told – and that is of course totally unacceptable. RemainCentral, which has given room for no less than three opinion pieces just on Cummings, placed a sly kick into their generally measured report:
“Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain […] were told by the prime minister to quit amid fears that they would “poison the well” if they were allowed to remain in post until the end of the year, as planned. Their departures represent the conclusion of a vicious power struggle at the heart of government in which the two trusted aides were pitted against the prime minister’s fiancée, Carrie Symonds, who led moves to oust them.” (link, paywalled)
‘They’d ‘poison the well? Oh dear! The namesake president of the USA many decades ago had an advice the Carrie Crew ought to have heeded, namely that it’s better if someone were to urinate from inside the tent out than the other way round.
The Times gives us more details, showing that political decisions even inside No 10 are apparently based on smartphone messagings:
“It was reported later that Mr Johnson had accused Mr Cummings and Mr Cain of briefing against him. It was claimed that he had shown them text messages forwarded to Ms Symonds to show they had also briefed against her. The claim was strongly denied by allies of the pair,” (link, paywalled)
The DT – do they also have the anti-Cummings denizens of No 10 on speed dial? – writes gleefully:
“Both men [Cummings and Cain] had intended to stay in Number 10 until the end of the year to see out the Brexit project that had brought them and Mr Johnson together, but the last straw reportedly came after Mr Johnson heard claims that the faction headed by Mr Cummings and Mr Cain was briefing against him and his fiancee, Carrie Symonds. […] Sources said Mr Johnson was particularly riled by newspaper reports of Ms Symonds being referred to by nicknames including “Princess nut nuts” by Cummings loyalists.” (link, paywalled)
Never mind that the label ‘Princess Nut Nuts’ was reported by the DT in their anti-Cummings warfare. Be happy that BJ would rather protect his irate mistress than see through the one thing which got him (and her) into No 10, Brexit. Losing Brexit – does that come under ‘unintended consequences or is it intended? See this:
“Among those who are expected to leave is Oliver Lewis, Lord Frost’s de-facto deputy as chief Brexit negotiator and a key ally of Mr Cummings. His position was described as untenable. Lord Frost himself is understood to have sought reassurances from the prime minister that he still backed his strategy before deciding to stay on.” (link, paywalled)
By keeping Frosty going, it seem that BJ at least has grasped the fact that for him, it’s ‘get Brexit done’ or indeed die in that ditch we heard of so much a year ago.
And so to Brussels, briefly. After the latest round of ‘unofficial talks’ ended yesterday, with that EU ‘deadline of 16th November being missed, the Brussels Remain correspondent of the DT reports that the French EU minister M Beaune ‘heaped pressure’ on cher Michel:
“[…] to get the deal done before December 10. “If it happens after the end of November, we will be in trouble,” he said. The two sides remain divided over fishing, the level playing field guarantees and the deal’s enforcement. The EU and UK have shared new proposals on fishing rights but Downing Street said there were still significant differences over the three major obstacles to a deal. Informal talks could continue through the weekend but formal negotiations will resume in Brussels on Monday.” (paywalled link)
More talks then, but ‘voices’ from Brussels show that perhaps Carrie isn’t quite aware of the importance of Brexit for the political survival of her paramour:
“Mr Lamberts, who is leader of the European greens, said that the departure of Dominic Cummings was “probably the sign that Johnson has begun his U-turn and will in the end accept EU conditions”. (paywalled link)
Note that this is a Greenie – just like Carrie. Will she whisper to BJ that being truly green trumps Brexit? M Lambert is not alone:
“Manfred Weber, […] the political ally of Angela Merkel, told the BBC, “[…] We can also see this as a quite chaotic situation where we don’t have an idea what is really the line in Great Britain. So don’t tell us we should be ready for compromise. We need a clear idea from Boris Johnson now.” (paywalled link)
Yes, the EU apparently thinks that without Cummings “we” will now accept a lovely BRINO. I wonder, I really do, if Carrie believes that alleviating her hurty feelz by sacking Cummings is a price well worth paying even if it might destroy the one plank of BJ’s political success, getting Brexit done.
Back to another aspect of this ‘sacking of Leavers’. I’ll note in passing that this remark shows the mental attitude of ‘Carrie’s allies’: “Another [Symonds ally] said that they were “squatters” who had to go.” (link, paywalled) Remainers are obviously not ‘squatters’. Neither is the unmarried mistress of BJ a ’squatter’ in No 10.
Amongst the glee-feast of all those unnamed sources reported in the MSM there are some hinting at other string-pullers en coulisse. See this:
“The source predicted that the changes would result in a less controlling Downing Street operation, with ministers reasserting their authority. […] One figure said that Mr Cummings’s departure would lead in the short term to Mr Johnson relying more heavily on civil servants, whom his chief adviser had at times tried to isolate.” (link, paywalled)
Yes, we’ll go back to ‘government by mandarins’ because the performances of BJ’s ministers during this year are not precisely filling me with confidence that the political and legal decisions we’ll be presented with are going to be made by the representatives we’ve elected 11 months ago.
When I next read that ‘insiders’ are now declaring Sajid Javid would be the perfect chief of staff for Johnson I do wonder if all political nous has left No 10 with Cummings. ‘Sources’ suggest that Javid himself thought that he’d be perfect for that role:
“Mr Javid […] is understood to have raised the idea of being appointed chief of staff with the Prime Minister in the summer. […] He is also close to Carrie Symonds, Mr Johnson’s fiancee, who worked for him for several months as a special adviser when he was Housing Secretary from 2016 to 2018.’ (link, paywalled)
Being ‘close to Carrie’ is of course hugely important! The Times has more, although their ‘source’ contradicts what the DT’s reporter ‘understood’:
“Sajid thinks getting an experienced chief of staff is a good idea, but it’s not a role he has ever been offered or considered himself,” a source said. While other former cabinet ministers, such as Jeremy Hunt, have been critics of the government during the pandemic, Mr Javid has stayed on side.” (link, paywalled)
It is unclear to me why Javid thinks he should get some sort of reward, unless he believes being ‘a friend of Carrie’ and not having criticised BJ means he should be given one of the great offices of state, rather than becoming ‘chief of staff’.
While the denizens in No 10 and in the Westminster Village are now haggling about who should go where in a cabinet reshuffle – Gove back to education seems one option – the ‘Cummings made me do it’ blame game has already started. Everything is now his fault. For example, ‘he did Lockdown’ – SAGE, the Ferguson scare graphs and the fear & hysteria campaign in the MSM had nothing to do with this!
The latest SAGE warning of ‘more spikes’ after Lockdown eases and we return to the ‘tier system’ (paywalled link) has vanished from the front pages, I’m just waiting for Messrs V & W to tell the nation as well that ‘Cummings made them do it’.
Meanwhile Mr Parris seems to think that a Carrie-led BJ should grasp the ‘green opportunity’, hoping that all will be well if “the PM plots a new course focusing on the green revolution and jobs for the young” (link, paywalled). I wonder if Mr Parris realises that this ‘green revolution’, the ‘jobs for the young’, can only take place if we’re out of the EU.
And finally, here are some more scary thoughts, described innocently inThe Times editorial this morning. Apparently, it’s time to accept the new ‘Carrie Regime’:
“As long as Ms Symonds is in Downing Street, she will have Mr Johnson’s ear. The departure of Messrs Cain and Cummings offers what has so far been a chaotic premiership the chance to reset and impose order. But whoever replaces them would be wise not to make an enemy of Ms Symonds.” (link, paywalled)
They apparently believe that, thanks to Carrie, BJs’ government will be ‘less chaotic’. Oddly enough, all those cabinet reshuffle plotters, the ‘senior sources’ and ‘figures’ haven’t spotted the one giant fly in their post-Cummings ointment. I’ll do it for them, shall I?
It’s this: if, thanks to Carrie, the Cummings-less BJ will now show ‘Carrie-Spine’ by following the advice of ‘friends of Carrie’ amongst his senior MPs and senior mandarins – why would he resign? Moreover, why would Ms Symonds give up the keys to No 10, having finally got them in her clutches? Why would she permit BJ to leave and thus deprive herself of her power base, just when she’s got him where she wants him? If so, they better think again.
Ah – what outlook for our future: a new, green, ‘petticoat regime’ that cannot be criticised because ‘sexist!, supported by all the female writers in the MSM. All I’ll say to them: you wanted it – you got it – now live with the consequences, especially the unintended ones.