Shouldn't Have Gone to Barnard Castle
December 17, 2020 11:55 AM   Subscribe

I’ve never had a story like this, not even close. I’ve had about one or two front pages, and they were minor August jobs. This was the biggest story by a country mile I’d ever done. I knew it was going to be big, but I was also really nervous about how it would go down. An Oral History of Dominic Cummings’s Barnard Castle Scandal [Vice] posted by chavenet (6 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Don't forget that Cummings was the driving force behind the orchestration of our own stupid coup - Brexit.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 12:13 PM on December 17, 2020 [5 favorites]

Also, Cummings wasn't a politician. He was an 'adviser' - think Steve Bannon; unelected, unaccountable, out of control.

And, for the most part, unidentifiable; preferring to do his dirty work in the shadows, letting others take the publicity and the blame. The Barnard Castle scandal pulled him out from under his rock; the next six months were spent ensuring that he could not crawl back underneath it. The fact that he was eventually fired for something as shallow as texting juvenile insults about Johnson's girlfriend is stupid, but beside the point; the important thing was that he remained in the public consciousness, that his position should remain untenable until that point was reached.

Cummings was the catalyst for tens of thousands of completely avoidable deaths. I can't put it any better than Prof. Reicher: The data shows very clearly that people stopped following the lockdown rules after Barnard Castle. Cummings trashed everything that had made the pandemic response effective.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 12:32 PM on December 17, 2020 [18 favorites]

He's really the gift that kept on giving for Boris this year wasn't he? I saw the news come out recently that he got an approx. £40k / 40% pay increase this year, in the face of pay freezes for the Civil Service, during a year he catastrophically fucked up the government messaging on the importance of the lockdown rules. I am a fan of the description the Remainics/Oh God, What Now? podcast crew gave him as being an Angry Gonad.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 1:40 PM on December 17, 2020 [10 favorites]

Janey Godley: Cummings.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:57 PM on December 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Unless he bounces back fast Roko's Basilisk is going put him on the naughty list.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 4:38 PM on December 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

I work in health communications, and people just routinely use "Barnard Castle" as shorthand for the point where the British public stopped following guidance or rules on Covid prevention. Everything we've done since has been into that headwind.
posted by YoungStencil at 7:48 AM on December 18, 2020 [8 favorites]

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