Enforcement of the new rules on social distancing, unnecessary journeys etc.

BJames

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I dislike Cummings, but I can understand why he went to Durham in the circumstances and most of the anti-Cummings stuff is just emotional. People feel sure he could have found someone else to look after his child without actually knowing a thing about the situation. People go on about how he would have been unfit to drive when actually many people with the symptoms will be perfectly fit to do that. There's masses of exaggeration starting with the neighbour who's reported to have "got the shock of his life" when he saw Cummings in the next garden - he must have had a remarkably tranquil life up to that point. And it all happened nearly two months ago. It has very little bearing on whether the present restrictions are appropriate or should be relaxed or when. The main point is that as a prominent public figure and very close adviser to the government - though not on medical issues - he had an extra responsibility to follow the rules, and unfortunately he didn't. If he was spoken to by the police then he was treated in much the same way as many others who breached the rules. Of course other politicians and anyone else with an axe to grind will try to squeeze as much out of all this as they possibly can, but it will probably be just another storm in a teacup.
But this is why I can't understand why he went to Durham in the circumstances. The issue is that the rules that he was supposed to be following are ones that he has a direct responsibility for. And the general mood of the public does not swing in a direction which is understanding of Cummings' actions. In order to uphold the credibility of the government he needs to step aside. Lots of people are being selfless during this time and he would be expected to do the same. People have withheld themselves from travelling elsewhere for more support as they've thought it was against the rules, so it can't be allowed for the government just to brush over this.
 
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BJames

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I read that not only did he spend time going around Durham but also drove to Barnard Castle and had a look round there too. It's disgusting.

I'm about as opposed to the lockdown as anybody, and my politics tend to lean Conservative, so there's absolutely no partisan bias here. I think his behaviour was dire and he needs to face consequences - as part of the team around the government, he has a responsibility to set an example to the nation. The ministers who are lining up to defend him aren't much better.
I'm disappointed to see as well from (I think - I'll try and find it) an article in the Guardian that these ministers defending him in public are not feeling quite the same way in private, and are just tweeting support in the way they've been told to by the government. Even worse that Johnson sent out Shapps today, it should have been himself or at least Raab or Hancock, the top of the government needed questioning.

Edit: https://www.theguardian.com/politic...-public-they-rallied-to-save-dominic-cummings

But privately many Tory MPs and ministers were dismayed. The police, while cautious in public, were in private clearly furious. Scientists were incredulous and civil servants confided fears that Cummings was completely out of control. One senior mandarin said the cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill should investigate whether Cummings had breached the civil service code by so clearly going against the spirit of government policy, at a time of and on a matter of, national emergency. “Someone should be asking if Cummings’s behaviour was consistent with the civil service code, and if not what are they going to do about it?” said the civil servant.
 
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Huntergreed

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Even worse that Johnson sent out Shapps today, it should have been himself or at least Raab or Hancock, the top of the government needed questioning.
The fact Johnson hasn't come out for nearly 2 weeks now is making people starting to question his credibility. If he was truly confident about the approach we're taking, he should be leading front and centre and getting this country confident that we're taking the right approach. I fear that the top ministers know the damage this is doing to the economy, but are afraid of what will happen if they upset the 'pro-lockdown' army so they're hiding away and letting things unfold for the meantime.

Although I can't say I find Sturgeon's approach reassuring in many ways, her leadership and clarity I can't fault.
 

Bletchleyite

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I dislike Cummings, but I can understand why he went to Durham in the circumstances and most of the anti-Cummings stuff is just emotional. People feel sure he could have found someone else to look after his child without actually knowing a thing about the situation.
That's not how it works.

If someone in your household has COVID you self isolate including the kids. Otherwise they are as likely to be spreading it.

I don't know what you're meant to do if neither parent is fit to look after them, but that usually won't happen due to the virus (if mild) typically lasting 7 days which is also the incubation period.
 

Bletchleyite

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I'm disappointed to see as well from (I think - I'll try and find it) an article in the Guardian that these ministers defending him in public are not feeling quite the same way in private, and are just tweeting support in the way they've been told to by the government. Even worse that Johnson sent out Shapps today, it should have been himself or at least Raab or Hancock, the top of the government needed questioning.
Where is Bojo? I wouldn't expect him to do it every day, each minister has given their own interesting insights, but he should do it at least once a week.
 

BJames

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The fact Johnson hasn't come out for nearly 2 weeks now is making people starting to question his credibility. If he was truly confident about the approach we're taking, he should be leading front and centre and getting this country confident that we're taking the right approach. I fear that the top ministers know the damage this is doing to the economy, but are afraid of what will happen if they upset the 'pro-lockdown' army so they're hiding away and letting things unfold for the meantime.

Although I can't say I find Sturgeon's approach reassuring in many ways, her leadership and clarity I can't fault.
Where is Bojo? I wouldn't expect him to do it every day, each minister has given their own interesting insights, but he should do it at least once a week.
In agreement completely. We haven't heard from him since the speech to the nation, excluding PMQs but they're not really addressed to us in the same way. He needs to appear at the briefing at least occasionally, and while I don't mind the other ministers appearing too and I don't expect Boris to be there every day, he can't just hide away. As I saw mentioned on Twitter, it's not exactly like Boris can't get to the briefings, they're held in his house!

Sturgeon's never been my favourite but appearances wise she gets top marks. Not getting much support from No.10 though and maybe her approach would be a little more consistent with England's if Downing Street started communicating properly (which I assume is quite clearly not happening from the comments of the various First Ministers).
 

sheff1

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In order to uphold the credibility of the government he needs to step aside.
Ministers rushing to defend an unelected adviser, coupled with the disappearance of the Prime Minister at a time of supposed national emergency makes me wonder what credibility there is left to uphold.
 

Ianno87

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Ministers rushing to defend an unelected adviser, coupled with the disappearance of the Prime Minister at a time of supposed national emergency makes me wonder what credibility there is left to uphold.
Just one unelected adviser. So either:

-They literally won't know what they'd do without him, or
-He knows stuff they don't want the public to know

Not a good state of affairs.
 

Mogster

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I dislike Cummings, but I can understand why he went to Durham in the circumstances and most of the anti-Cummings stuff is just emotional. People feel sure he could have found someone else to look after his child without actually knowing a thing about the situation. People go on about how he would have been unfit to drive when actually many people with the symptoms will be perfectly fit to do that. There's masses of exaggeration starting with the neighbour who's reported to have "got the shock of his life" when he saw Cummings in the next garden - he must have had a remarkably tranquil life up to that point. And it all happened nearly two months ago. It has very little bearing on whether the present restrictions are appropriate or should be relaxed or when. The main point is that as a prominent public figure and very close adviser to the government - though not on medical issues - he had an extra responsibility to follow the rules, and unfortunately he didn't. If he was spoken to by the police then he was treated in much the same way as many others who breached the rules. Of course other politicians and anyone else with an axe to grind will try to squeeze as much out of all this as they possibly can, but it will probably be just another storm in a teacup.
Yes exactly. The BBC has an article up now saying pretty much the same.

I’m disappointed this is now dominating the media, and looks likely to continue doing so, when there’s far more important things going on. The left are obsessed with Cummins, is the number of times he went shopping six weeks ago really going to dominate PMQs this week...
 

Enthusiast

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My somewhat tenuous theory is that the government knows the lockdown's worked too well and now many people are scared to go out. So, now it's known that at least one member of the government is blatantly ignoring the rules lots more people might think "bugger it, I'm going to ignore the lockdown and visit my family too". Once they get out there they'll realise that the post-virus world isn't as scary a place as the media would have you believe so will feel less apprehensive about coming out of lockdown and returning to normal life.
I know a number of people who are entirely in that frame of mind. The government's strategy has achieved that by scaring the population witless when in fact (a) the chances of infection are quite low and (b) if you are of working age and healthy the chances of suffering more than mild symptoms are incredibly low.

Mr Cummings joins the latest in the line of prominent people who have broken the law but seek to mitigate their wrongdoing. Just considering his original journey to Durham, at least one of them was apparently exhibiting CV symptoms. None of them should have left the house for any reason. But more than that, his reason for leaving, regardless of the fact that one of them was possibly infected, could not be considered "reasonable". I could not imagine any court being persuaded that it was reasonable to travel 250 miles simply to secure childcare. It beggars belief that Mr Cummins expects the "ordinary people" to accept that he should be able to travel half the length of the land to stay close to his parents.
 

Djgr

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Yes exactly. The BBC has an article up now saying pretty much the same.

I’m disappointed this is now dominating the media, and looks likely to continue doing so, when there’s far more important things going on. The left are obsessed with Cummins, is the number of times he went shopping six weeks ago really going to dominate PMQs this week...
It is nothing to do with how many times he went shopping. Do you REALLY not get it?
 

Bletchleyite

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It is nothing to do with how many times he went shopping. Do you REALLY not get it?
Precisely.

The simple fact is that he left his household while it was supposed to be self-isolating due to an infection. Not only did he do that, he drove over 200 miles and potentially spread it into another household.

Wilfully and grossly negligent doesn't even start to describe it. He may actually have caused people to die.

It would be very good to see him prosecuted "pour encourager les autres", but sacked in disgrace would be a good start.
 

3141

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I don't think so. Cumming's actions amount to a serious and prominent undermining of the 'Stay at Home' / 'Stay alert' message.

People are going to start to break lockdown over this.

People are going to die because of this when they needn't have done.

The Government, in it's almost deafening process of defending him today (they doth protest too much, in my view) has tarnished the little credibility it still has.
We don't know yet whether the second set of allegations are true. The reason for sticking to the rules is to reduce the spread of the virus, obviously, and a person who can't see that and breaks the rules today because Cummings broke them two months ago would be an idiot. If you think people are going to die because of this when they needn't have done, blame the Daily Mirror and the Guardian for publishing the story, and giving idiots looking for an excuse to break the rules an opportunity to do so.
 

Djgr

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We don't know yet whether the second set of allegations are true. The reason for sticking to the rules is to reduce the spread of the virus, obviously, and a person who can't see that and breaks the rules today because Cummings broke them two months ago would be an idiot. If you think people are going to die because of this when they needn't have done, blame the Daily Mirror and the Guardian for publishing the story, and giving idiots looking for an excuse to break the rules an opportunity to do so.
And if the second set of allegations are true?
 

BJames

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We don't know yet whether the second set of allegations are true. The reason for sticking to the rules is to reduce the spread of the virus, obviously, and a person who can't see that and breaks the rules today because Cummings broke them two months ago would be an idiot. If you think people are going to die because of this when they needn't have done, blame the Daily Mirror and the Guardian for publishing the story, and giving idiots looking for an excuse to break the rules an opportunity to do so.
You mean for publishing a factual piece of information that the government decided not to share about an unelected advisor in our democratic society?

And about breaking the rules - it's not as simple as you're saying. People are questioning (and rightly so) why they can't do what he did - obviously there's the usual lot saying "let's just open the pubs shall we" but the main point is for people that have avoided doing exactly what Cummings did, thinking it's against the rules, but that the government's now saying that it's fine (and only because he's been caught out).
 

Ianno87

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We don't know yet whether the second set of allegations are true. The reason for sticking to the rules is to reduce the spread of the virus, obviously, and a person who can't see that and breaks the rules today because Cummings broke them two months ago would be an idiot. If you think people are going to die because of this when they needn't have done, blame the Daily Mirror and the Guardian for publishing the story, and giving idiots looking for an excuse to break the rules an opportunity to do so.
Not idiots if they follow the statements made today by the government in response to Cumming's actions. Basically "in spite of what we said previously, it's actually OK to dump kids on grandparents if you're ill". That's carte blanche in writing to get much more relaxed about things. It's not "an excuse". It was stated by our own government, today, to defend a single individual's job. Madness.


Furthermore, it adds yet more confusion to an already confused government message.
 

infobleep

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The guidance given by Boris in March was specifically that children should not be left with elderly grandparents who are in the vulnerable category even without having symptoms. The stated exception was children moving between separated parents.


Cummings has symptoms, and took a huge risk in that his kids are likely to have spread his symptoms on by then.

If Cummings was well enough to (presumably) drive from London to Durham and back, he was well enough to look after his kids. Lots of people have no choice but to look after their kids when ill.
According to Dupty CMO, Jenny Harris, at the Daily Briefing yesterday, going to other family is OK if their is a safe guarding issue for a child. That is a justifiable reason to travel.

This then makes me wonder if Mr Cummings felt he was unable to look after his child safely. Given it is stated Mr Cummings acted within the rules then perhaps not. Parenting isn't for everyone.
 

Djgr

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According to Dupty CMO, Jenny Harris, at the Daily Briefing yesterday, going to other family is OK if their is a safe guarding issue for a child. That is a justifiable reason to travel.

This then makes me wonder if Mr Cummings felt he was unable to look after his child safely. Given it is stated Mr Cummings acted within the rules then perhaps not. Parenting isn't for everyone.
And what about Cummings other outing to Barnard Castle? How do you justify that?
 

Ianno87

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According to Dupty CMO, Jenny Harris, at the Daily Briefing yesterday, going to other family is OK if their is a safe guarding issue for a child. That is a justifiable reason to travel.

This then makes me wonder if Mr Cummings felt he was unable to look after his child safely. Given it is stated Mr Cummings acted within the rules then perhaps not. Parenting isn't for everyone.
Why are they only telling us this "rule" now, then? First anybody has heard of it (I agree it is a sensible rule if a child is reasonably likely to come to harm).

But could Mr Cummings *really* not cope with a mere 7 days or so of solo parenting while his wife was ill without risking harm to his own child? Why hasn't the family referred themselves to social services before now if that were the case? Or if it's a juggling work/childcare thing why is that different to anybody else who is having to do exactly the same thing for weeks on end at present?
 

Andy Pacer

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The whereabouts of Boris thing has occured to me too. I recall being away the week before lockdown (on an ALR actually - very quiet) and that was the first sign of the now regular 5pm ish televised briefings, and I remember seeing a bit of them as i invariably checked into my hotel etc, and he fronted each and every one (and "in my opinion" what he said was quite useful!)
 

infobleep

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And what about Cummings other outing to Barnard Castle? How do you justify that?
Well indeed. That allegation only surfaced after I thought of the above reasoning, although it was before I posted on here. However I decided to post anyway.

When someone claims to have done nothing wrong and then someone else says the reasons why you can do something, I like to join them together and run with them to what I think is the logical conciliation. Sometimes the conclusions looks ridiculous of course.

I've never had children so I don't know how bad things need to be for it to become a safety issue for one's child. Perhaps Mr Cummings needs to go on a parenting course to help him improve his child rearing skills. There's no shame in getting help.

Of course this all assumes he was travelling for a valid reason.
 

Mojo

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And what about Cummings other outing to Barnard Castle? How do you justify that?
It is worth stating that BBC news this morning reports a complete denial over the fact there was a second visit.
 

infobleep

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Why are they only telling us this "rule" now, then? First anybody has heard of it (I agree it is a sensible rule if a child is reasonably likely to come to harm).

But could Mr Cummings *really* not cope with a mere 7 days or so of solo parenting while his wife was ill without risking harm to his own child? Why hasn't the family referred themselves to social services before now if that were the case? Or if it's a juggling work/childcare thing why is that different to anybody else who is having to do exactly the same thing for weeks on end at present?
I agree with the social services help. I don't know if it's needed in all safe guarding issues but you'd have thought so.

If only a journalist has thought to ask the general question, if there is a safe guarding issue do you think someone should refer themselves to social services? I didn't think to ask the question so wouldn't have done either if I was in their shoes.

If one continues on the tact of a safety issue for a child to its logical conclusion, then the argument for Mr Cummings might unravel. That's before you even get onto the second journey or is it several journeys. This bit is confusing as the BBC headline says second journey but they refer to several journeys in their report.

Doss this mean only a second journey out of several journeys might not be reasomable? I don't know if the other journeyz were reasonable for someone who is living up north, if you ignore the fact they got up there.

Also why did the police speak to his father but not Mr Cummings or his wife? They offered security advice, after deeming no further action was required. I wonder what led them to believe no further action was required and would other forces have acted the same? Different forces have different rates of fining.

If Mr Cummings did indeed travelled back down south, why? Surely it wasn't for meetings as he can use video conferencing.
 

Djgr

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It is worth stating that BBC news this morning reports a complete denial over the fact there was a second visit.
Hmm. That's put my mind at rest!!!

I see Tory MPs have started to call for him to be sacked.
 

NorthOxonian

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Hmm. That's put my mind at rest!!!

I see Tory MPs have started to call for him to be sacked.
I mean, Steve Baker isn't exactly representative of Tory MPs - he's always willing to be a bit contrary. I agree with him on this (and he was also willing to put his head above the parapet to criticise lockdown), but I'd not expect anything to change unless a senior minister or other major figure called for his head.
 

Ianno87

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I agree with the social services help. I don't know if it's needed in all safe guarding issues but you'd have thought so.
Doesn't necessarily mean a formal social services intervention. They can offer services like parenting tuition for specific things, like (for example) managing siblng rivalry.
 

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