I’m angry. I’m so angry I’m struggling to keep still. I honestly feel like I could burst into tears at any moment.
I appreciate that because I am a Labour councillor people might read this and claim it is a politically motivated attack. Fine. I honestly dont care. I’ve done something I rarely do today, I’ve tweeted thanks to Conservative MPs who have spoken out about Dominic Cummings.
I, like most people in this country, am law abiding. I follow rules. I do my best. Most people do. I am certain of it. It seems mildly amusing now they have been off so long, but the week before the schools closed I was panicked that if I got covid 19 my children might miss 2 weeks off school and spoil their high attendance records and their education – as we had always been told time off school was very detrimental.
Like all people who try to obey rules, I occasionally suffer from the worry that those who don’t obey the rules, somehow benefit and laugh are laughing at the rest of us for being ‘mugs.’
I think it’s why people are so particularly angered by benefit cheats and people who push in queues – it feels like they are ‘mugging us off’ – benefitting from our decency while not taking part in it.
But the last 10 weeks have been different. For the last 10 weeks the strength of the common endeavour was like nothing most of us have ever seen before.
People have made immeasurable sacrifices that can never be repaid that have caused them untold pain, for the common good.
I’m talking about people being unable to be at their child’s birth, unable to meet new babies, people forced to attend funerals by Skype, watch their parents take their last breath by zoom, unable to put their arms around friends diagnosed with terminal illnesses, people spending their birthdays alone, people coming home from hospital to empty houses and people day after day stuck alone caring for children or other relatives without a second of respite – including when they have illnesses themselves.
All of us are acting by the rules, rather than our instincts. Our instincts are to rush to our families and friends in times of grief, pain and celebrations. Fighting that instinct has been incredibly hard.
So, quite frankly to be told by the Prime Minister, at this late stage, after so much suffering, that it was ok for Dominic Cumings to drive 240 miles when he had covid symptoms and had been in contact with covid positive people (including the Prime Minister and Health Secretary) to find childcare for his son as he was following ‘his instinct’ is horrific. It’s like a punch in the stomach.
Clearly the Prime Minister and Dominic Cummings consider those of us dutifully following the rules that laid out, to be mugs.
What’s more there can be no doubt that there will be people today and tomorrow who feel that they cannot fight their instincts anymore. They will go to their loved ones and the virus will spread. But who can blame them?
Dominic Cummings has caused untold harm and must be sacked.
His actions are an insult to us all.