Inside No 10 …
Yes – there’s a ‘Daily Betrayal’ column on Sunday. More: this column will be divided into two parts. Cummings will dominate the coming days and the attempt by No 10 to sideline him, the attempts of the MSM to blacken his name, will turn out to become the deciding event in BJ’s political career. As was to be expected, our dear MPs and other ‘defenders’ of the Tory Party and the status quo inside Westminster are now rushing about like headless chicken or like ants whose ant heap has been rudely stirred.
It behoves us to keep a record ‘lest we forget’ because the manipulators and string-pullers especially in the MSM are going full out to ‘instruct’ us in how and what to think about this scandal. This scandal is not about who leaked what about Dyson, or who gave Carrie, via BJ, money to redecorate No 10. It is about the pernicious influence of one unelected person influencing BJ’s policies, of interfering with decisions on personnel inside No 10, and of her manipulating the Westminster MSM through lease and ‘stories’.
In Part 1 I look at the DT’s reports, while the Times’ articles will be analysed in Part 2. I’ll disregard the equally inevitable ‘explanations’ on the various Sunday TV shows because they’re only serving for peacocks to peacock about.
In precisely 31 days from today yon Béte Noir of the Westminster Village will speak at the HoC Select Committee. Labour believes this is going to be about ‘Tory Sleaze’ and how this will play straight into their hands. Sadly, the local elections will have been done and dusted by that time. They delude themselves if they think that people voting for local councils will look at No 10’s shenanigans rather than at the scandals, often suppressed, in their own constituencies. Anyone who’ve lived in Labour controlled councils will know whereof I speak.
In the Sunday DT Dan-the-Han has been rolled out to pontificate about why using cronies isn’t such a bad thing and is in fact quite normal (paywalled link). He is warning about the power of civil servants – oh the irony! – and takes a swipe at Cummings for not having produced that ‘hard rain’ of which he warned. Such petitesses as covid and the lockdowns of the whole country are apparently irrelevancies as far as Hannan is concerned.
Meanwhile, in preparation for the appearance of ABC (All But Cummings) politicians on the various Sunday ‘talking heads’ TV shows, there’s a veritable deluge of gossip from ‘insiders’ and ‘sources’. The chief editors of the various papers would do well to scrap the anonymity of all those gossipers. After all – neither their various writers nor of course we readers have any way of checking the veracity of those anonymous statements. Also after all, some politicians are clearly fine with being quoted by name, for example:
“Jeremy Hunt, the chairman of one of the committees that will question him, on Saturday night confirmed to The Telegraph that MPs would publish whatever the former Downing Street aide gave them as long as it did not put national security at risk, as long as the MPs on the committee agree. Mr Hunt said: “We will publish whatever he gives us – we would have to check if it passes any tests.” (paywalled link)
Leaving aside the ominous hint that ‘they’ would check according to rules (’tests’) we don’t know about, and that apparently MPs on that committee would have to agree, this is at least a step in the right direction. Now compare and contrast with the mutterings of ‘insiders’ and ‘sources’ reported in that same DT article:
“Downing Street insiders have no idea the extent of the material Mr Cummings claims to have and say they are “terrified” about further revelations. One Westminster insider said there is extreme nervousness about an apparent “treasure trove” of embarrassing documents that Mr Cummings – who quit 10 Downing Street last November, carrying a cupboard box – might want to get published.” (paywalled link)
Dearie me – do these ‘insiders’ believe that nobody dared to check the content of that box? Really? Aren’t there security procedures? Here’s more and it shows that the ant heap inside No 10 has truly been stirred, that these poor insiders can’t even think straight:
“The insider said: “Apparently he has got loads of stuff. No one has a real clue about what documents, emails and texts he actually has. They don’t know how much he has, nor what he has. The fear is that Boris [Johnson] had to be dragged to the second lockdown [in November] and I think they are worried it is going to make everyone who isn’t him look very good [sic!] because him and Rishi [Sunak] were the only two who did not want to do the lockdown.” (paywalled link)
Why be afraid of ‘everybody’ being made to ‘look very good’ except Cummings and Sunak? Shouldn’t they rather be scared of being made to look like lockdown fools? More gibbering idiocy is that wail about ‘nobody knows what he has’ … I’m sure they do know, after all, there surely must be minutes and notes of meetings, right? Here’s the next horror:
“A second Government source added that, in Whitehall meetings, Mr Cummings “used to scribble a lot in that book. I don’t know what he has got, what he has not got”.” (paywalled link)
No, and why should you? Is note-taking now deemed to be a bit, well, satanic? But let’s warn about Cummings ‘scribbling’ in a little book – the horror of someone taking notes in meetings!
Here’s the first little hand grenade expected to go off – the Cabinet Secretary and Mandarin of Mandarins, Mr Simon Case, will testify at a HoC Select Committee tomorrow:
“Sources on the committee said that Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary, will be quizzed about his recollection of a conversation with Mr Cummings in which he suggested that Henry Newman, a friend of Carrie Symonds, was the source of “chatty rat” leaks, including one about the timing of the second lockdown.” (paywalled link)
It’s time for certain people in No 10 to be afraid because Cummings did refer in his blog to Mr Case having told him that the evidence pointed to Carrie’s friend Mr Newman as being the ‘chatty rat’ and was trying to get the communications proving it. BJ then allegedly begged Cummings to stop this leak inquiry because, should Newman be found out, Carrie wouldn’t like it and he, BJ would get into difficulties … and these ‘sources’ and ‘insiders’ don’t even realise what the actual scandal is.
Meanwhile everybody in Westminster – as opposed to No 10 – is apparently ‘puzzled’ about why this was even started, with some delicious finger-pointing:
“Westminster insiders are mystified why Mr Johnson chose to pick this fight with someone who could cause him so much political damage. Some Tories believe left-leaning civil servants have been responsible for some of the leaks, particularly those linked to David Cameron and the failed finance firm Greensill.” (paywalled link)
Oh dear. Oh dearie me. Let’s not insist that our beloved MSM come forward and name that one ‘source’ who gave them this story! Other – anonymous, of course – MPs are quoted:
“One senior Conservative MP said: “It is a complete mess. I am afraid it is factionalism of the worst kind combined with the personal situation of the Prime Minister’s other half. It is really unacceptable and the only person who can sort it out is the Prime Minister. It is tawdry.” Another very senior Tory MP added: “Don’t ask me what is going on in Downing Street, because I just don’t know.” (paywalled link)
Crikey – we now even get a ranking of ‘sources’, from senior to ‘very senior’! Why can we not have their names? The inevitable pourers-of-oil to calm the waves must not be left out:
“One senior Cabinet minister added: “Everyone just needs to calm down and shut up on both sides. Some people who think attacking Dominic Cummings is supporting the Prime Minister – it isn’t. Let’s live and let live on all sides.[…] The only person who wins after this pathetic slagging match is Keir Starmer.” (paywalled link)
Oh yeah – let’s keep us peasants in the dark, let Carrie carry on because that’s the way to keep Starmer out. Really? There’s more: “Several Government sources made clear on Saturday that the so-called “chatty rat” investigation into leaks from 10 Downing Street was still ongoing.” (paywalled link). Wait a minute – hadn’t a ‘government source’ told yesterday’s MSM that Newman couldn’t have leaked because he’s still got his job? So that was another obfuscation by an anonymous source – a friend of Carrie? Here’s the Newman fire brigade rushing to his defence:
“Friends of Mr Newman mounted a rearguard effort to shore up his position after he was named as a possible source of the leak. They pointed out that he did not even attend the relevant meeting from which details were leaked because he was not working in Number 10 at the time.” (paywalled link)
Now there’s lovely! It’s of course inconceivable that her upstairs provided the relevant information to her ‘friends’ to leak. It’s also inconceivable that a certain government minister with whom Newman had worked – remember, he’s ‘a Goveite’ – would provide such titbits to be ‘leaked’ anonymously … Meanwhile,
“A senior official said: “The investigation is still live. It would be wrong to think we have landed on any one individual or, for that matter, completely exonerated anyone.” A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “We do not comment on leak investigations.”(paywalled link)
That comes under ‘bolted – stable door – horse – locked’, and it rubbishes yesterday’s statement by ‘a government spokesman’ about Newman not being the ‘chatty rat’. I agree with that ‘senior Conservative MP who declared that this whole thing is tawdry – as tawdry as BJ’s behaviour of having his mistress living with him in No 10. This is not about the morality of such an arrangement though – it’s about her interference in the policies of this government and in staff decisions. There’s now an increasing mountain of proof for this and it’ll be this, not the Dyson ‘affair’ which will break BJ’s neck.
… continued in Part 2 here where I look at how the Times is trying to ‘protect’ BJ while blacking Cummings’ name.
Photo by Editor B