Get your act together, Boris – our 50,000 dead from Covid deserve it

DOMINIC Cummings had Britain’s working class on speed dial.

Cummings was the enigmatic Yoda of Vote Leave, the man with the planet-sized brain that boiled a ­historic choice down to three little words — “Take back control”.

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He was also the architect of Boris Johnson’s 80-seat majority, the steely- eyed, chrome-domed destroyer of Labour’s grip on the working class.

On Friday the Prime Minister’s game-changing chief adviser cleared his desk at 10 Downing Street and left Boris to fend for himself.

Yet in some ways this is not even news. Cummings wrote in his blog last year that with the Brexit ­mission fulfilled, he aimed to be “largely redundant” by the end of 2020.

What makes it news is that word of Dominic’s departure comes at the end of a week of hissy fits at No10.

On the grim day that our coronavirus death toll passed the 50,000 mark, the heart of Johnson’s ­Government were, in the words of a Labour spokesman, “fighting like rats in a sack”.

The story so far. Lee Cain quit as the Government’s director of communications after moves to make him the PM’s chief of staff were ­allegedly blocked by “first lady” Carrie Symonds.

Cain — another Vote Leave stalwart — was miffed at the promotion of Allegra Stratton, who will front the PM’s daily briefings from ­January.

His departure displeased Cummings enough that he didn’t even stick around until Christmas.

And what Boris doesn’t seem to get is — nobody cares.

This is not the hour for national news to be dominated by office feuds. We are in the midst of a health pandemic.

A post-Brexit trade deal hangs in precarious balance.

Millions of hard-working Brits are bound for the dole queue in 2021.

Entire industries — airlines, hospitality, the arts — are collapsing.


 

We don’t give a flying fig if ­Allegra and Lee didn’t quite hit it off. Nobody cares about your ­supporting cast, Boris.

No matter how crucial their role in the Boris bunker, they are largely people we have never heard of doing jobs we didn’t know existed.

The personalities at the heart of government do not matter a damn to the nation.

What matters is this Government’s infinite ability to cock everything up.

Marcus Rashford’s campaign to fight child hunger is a classic ­example. The 23-year-old footballer’s fight to feed the poorest of children struck a chord with us all.

But Boris and the Spads — special advisers — in Downing Street failed to read the mood of the nation.

Two times this dignified young footballer caused the Government to do a U-turn.

BOWLS OF COLD GRUEL

In the summer Rashford’s campaign led to a change of policy allowing children to claim free meals during the holidays, and in autumn the Government finally ditched its Scrooge-like insistence that hungry children were best served by eating bowls of cold gruel in the workhouse — sorry, I mean by Universal Credits — and stumped up another £170million.

It was all totally unnecessary. Marcus Rashford should have been taking tea in Number 10 from the start, explaining what was needed to a sympathetic Prime Minister. No U-turns should have been needed.

Someone — anyone! — in Downing Street should have had the common sense to see that churlishly refusing to support Rashford was going to make the Tories look like heartless b**ds. Really — wasn’t it obvious?

Just get it sorted, Boris. Hire ­people who will run your operation with the ruthless efficiency of a Thatcher or a Blair.

We crave ­stability. Professionalism. Leadership.

And the wit to see a car crash when it is directly ahead. When the coronavirus dead ­number 50,000, the headlines should not be full of your bickering aides.

We do not want to hear about your infighting minions.

Nobody ever voted for Dominic Cummings or Carrie Symonds, let alone Lee Cain or Allegra Stratton.

YOU are the one with the massive majority, Boris. YOU are the one elected on a great wave of goodwill.

But with all this petty bitching at the heart of government, you are ping all that goodwill up against the wall of 10 Downing Street.

Dominic Cummings will no longer play Obi-Wan Kenobi to Boris’s Luke Skywalker.

Let’s pray Boris has a lightsaber of his own that actually works.

She gets Myl vote

WHEN news broke that the best-loved previous contestants were returning to I’m A Celebrity . . .  Get Me Out of Here!, I assumed that Myleene Klass was dusting down her white two-piece swimwear.

No – it is Charlie Brooks, Vicky Pattison and Joey Essex who are destined for the Welsh rainforest.

But nobody has ever come close to the impact that Myleene had when she stepped under the waterfall in her white bikini in 2006.

Katie Price (2004) busting out all over in her frilly red bikini. Nick Knowles (2018) with his bulging budgie smugglers. David Haye (2012) wearing nothing but an elaborate haircut. Many visited the waterfall.

They all stand in Myleene’s soaking-wet shadow.




Cruelty to kids

THIS summer some students were told they had failed an exam that they were not even allowed to sit.

The cruel farce of estimated grades should never happen again. But in Wales, the panicky Labour government has already cancelled next year’s GCSEs and A-levels.

That is not responsible Government.

It is cruelty to children.

Met lacks man power

THIRTY police officers raided the Zone Gym in Wood Green, North London, thwarting owner Andreas Michli’s attempt to reopen.

Thirty coppers to shut down one gym.

What a crying shame the Met could not muster even a couple to stop Extinction Rebellion desecrating the Cenotaph.

Di's double

SERIES four of The Crown debuts on Netflix tonight and I found myself staring at Emma Corrin as Princess Diana splashing about in the ­sunshine for several seconds ­believing I was looking at the real thing.

Truly remarkable – Emma does not simply look like Diana as a young mother, she has captured her joyous spirit.


It's BBC's last cha chance

THE Strictly curse takes a cruel turn with Katya Jones testing positive for Covid-19, resulting in the early departure of her and Nicola Adams.

Now judge Motsi Mabuse is self-isolating after jumping on a flight to Germany.

People are having their cancer ops cancelled but Motsi flies to Germany?

The BBC really need to improve their bubble system.

If they abort this series of Strictly, the licence fee is history.

The real priority

TOP of the Government list of vaccine priority groups are older adults resident in a care home.

This is bitterly ironic as so many of our elderly are having a wretched, miserable time because of coronavirus restrictions.

Our oldest citizens, some of them struggling with dementia, cannot understand why they are reduced to waving to beloved sons, daughters and grandchildren through plastic screens.

What the elderly in our care homes really need is not a Covid-19 vaccine. It is a cuddle.

One-way ticket

HEALTH Secretary Matt Hancock gets accused of being a pious, finger-wagging killjoy with a face like a slapped bottom.

Fair comment, really.

But in a lighter moment, Hancock confirms he has no objection to anyone who wants to travel abroad, as long as it is for assisted dying. Do they have a banana boat and an all-you-can-eat buffet at Dignitas?

Hancock doesn’t mind you travelling abroad.

As long as it’s a one-way ticket.

Not a good idea

CROSSBENCH peer Lord Kilclooney, 82, was accused of racism after calling US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris “the Indian”.

“What happens if Biden moves on and the Indian becomes president?” posted the fuming peer.

Letting an 82-year-old peer have his own Twitter account is like giving a loaded shotgun to a drunken monkey. Nothing good can possibly come of it.

Joe a Brit deluded

HENRY Kissinger said, “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.”

And it is not true.

The US and the UK are joined by our shared culture, by the wars for freedom we have fought together and – not least – by our common language.

All this is not wiped away by some passing politician.

We all know that Joe Biden is no fan of Brexit.

Old Joe often looks suspiciously like one of those stupid Americans who confused the IRA with heroic freedom fighters rather than the murderers of innocent civilians.

Nanny state

OFFICIALS calculate that punitive taxes on sweet snacks will reduce every child’s daily calorie intake by just 3.64 – approximately one crumb on a stale gingernut.

A total waste of time then.

Let our kids kick a ball about. Encourage more projects like the Daily Mile, an initiative that saw children jog for 15 minutes a day at their primary and nursery school.

Educate them about nutrition and exercise in a way that their parents were not educated.

It’s not a few sugary treats that need banning.

It’s the niggling, bossy nanny state.

The photo of Biden cuddling Gerry Adams was a dead giveaway.

But the special relationship between the US and the UK is bigger than individuals.

President Biden will discover that there is infinitely more that unites the British and the Americans than divides us.

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