I made the mistake of waiting for Dominic Cummings to arrive in the Number 10 rose garden yesterday afternoon.
He was thirty minutes late and he gave that rapid ‘sorry I’m late’ statement people say when they’re not sorry at all.
I was glued to the screen when he read page after page of convoluted explanation and justification and was about to turn off when he revealed why he had gone out on a sixty-mile excursion with his family to a local beauty spot, Barnard Castle, (apparently on Easter Sunday and also his wife’s birthday but that’s irrelevant, according to Michael Gove) when he should have been at home, which, incidentally, is in London and not Durham but then, his pals say, that was okay because childcare was involved.
Cummings has made a reasonable case, the closed-ranks cabinet members say today, urging us to now move on, as if this row were of our making.
For a media blamed by some as being at the root of all this, the press questioning in the rose garden of the power behind the throne was pretty poor. But Twitter was on fire.
What the public latched on to, apart from the fact that it’s one rule for the elite and another rule for the plebs and oh, how the powers-that-be are laughing at us, is the astonishing admission by Cummings that he and his wife and child went to Barnard Castle to make sure he was fit to drive home to London, as his eyesight had been playing him up.
Cummings’ dodgy eyesight is up there with Prince Andrew’s inability to sweat. A likely story. You couldn’t make it up. Although, clearly, they both did.
Three images have jumped out at me since that extraordinary sideshow at the back of Number Ten:
1) The idea of Johnson serenading his Svengali with I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden and then immediately backtracking because that’s exactly what he did.
2) The Mr Magoo Driving Award should be presented to Cummings who drove to a beauty spot during lockdown to test his eyesight.
3) An astonishing story that Barnard Castle means ‘pathetic excuse’ in the local dialect. Check it out here. It sounds too good to be true.
The whole Trumpian shebang in the rose garden left me fuming more than ever. Luckily, the Dorset countryside did its best to calm and soothe me later, which will be the subject of a post for another day.
In the meantime, though, take a look at this glorious sunset from Eggardon, an ancient hill fort where the countryside lies out at its feet like Narnia. I even managed to get a Star Wars-style binary sunset.
That’s about it.
Love Maddie x