So, yesterday we had a pantomime and a farce in Whitehall, tous à la fois, as it were.

Having kept journalists waiting for half an hour like a haughty French empress: “Qu’ils attendent à mon plaisir” instead of “…qu’ils mangent de la brioche“, His Supreme Importantness, Dominic of Durham, eventually honoured the English Press (I’m told Scottish newspapers were not invited) with his presence… and waffled and spun.

Dominic Cummings defends 260 mile trip at press conference ...

I’m not sure anything is any clearer than it was before, as an advisor to the prime minister of the UK took to the rostrum to explain why he left London and drove 200+ miles to Northern England with his sick wife and their 4-year-old child, against the express orders of the government that he more or less runs.

Mr Cummings lives in a world of his own. He had an answer for everything. Just, by and large, not a very good one.

For example, when asked why he had taken a day trip out on his wife’s birthday to visit a local beauty spot, he said he was testing his driving skills after being ill. Apparently, he was worried about his eyes. So worried was he that he packed his wife and his son (about whom this whole episode was supposed to be) into a car and drove 30 miles and then back, just to make sure he was safe to drive for the journey south.

Dominic Cummings reported to police by retired teacher 'who saw ...

I’m sure there are many people who have defied the various governments in the UK (and around the world) and made journeys that they REALLY didn’t have to, or failed to socially isolate as well as they might have. Some have got away with it. Some, including senior medical advisors to the Scottish and English governments who variously entertained their girlfriend, or visited their holiday home, have had to go.

Prince Charles and Camilla lead VE Day 75th anniversary tributes ...

Famously, Prince Charles, suffering symptoms of the virus, and Mrs Parker Bowles, left London (before the lockdown actually happened but when the dangers were known about and when his mother’s government had said that people shouldn’t travel unnecessarily and certainly not when ill) and brought an entourage of servants and security people to a small Scottish village.

His mother, the queen, went from Buckingham Palace to Windsor… a second home of hers, well both are ours really, but who is counting?

Inside the Queen's sitting room at Windsor Castle with corgi ...

The prime minister, having suffered from the virus, went from the London hospital where he was treated, to his country estate at Chequers, a second home (again ours), when he could have simply returned to his London flat in Downing Street (yep, ours).

There have been others who have visited their parents under the guise of taking shopping, birthday presents, etc… Ruth Davidson and Stephen Kinnock spring immediately to mind.

But tens of thousands of other people, ordinary people, have taken the hit of having to let their parents be alone and ill, and in some cases die, without being able to be there to comfort them.

This is surely what makes the selfish behaviour of people like Dominic Cummings so very unacceptable to the rest of us who do not have his connections to those and such as those.



For those with a tendency for masochistic behaviours, here is Cummings’ press conference.

I know we are living in strange times, but SPADs giving Press Conferences…? Why don’t we just crown him king and be done?

Oh, and even now, Johnson appears to be incapable of telling the truth. Bill Cruickshank on Twitter says: I heard Johnson say that the virus has affected his eyesight (backing up Cumming’s story) & that he now had to wear glasses after many years without them.

But, he was “blind as a bat” 5 years ago…



Today’s cheer up pics are related to this…

2. The good old BBC. Fair as ever.
4. What does that remind you of?
dave joke



86 thoughts on “WHAT CAN YOU SAY?”

  1. Reading this and a song sprung to mind…the Quartermasters Store:

    My eyes are dim
    I cannot see
    I have not got
    my SPAD with me
    I… have..not…got…my…SPAD…with…me

    There were coughs, coughs
    infecting plebs an’ toffs
    in the store, in the store

    There were coughs, coughs
    infecting plebs an’ toffs
    in the quartermaster’s store

    There were tastes and a smell
    Although we couldn’t tell
    In the store, in the store

    There were tastes and a smell
    Although we couldn’t tell
    In the quartermaster’s store

    There was P-PE
    But none that we could see
    In the store, in the store

    There was P-PE
    But none that we could see
    In the quartermaster’s store

    We had numbers and graphs
    While ministers made their gaffs
    In the store, in the store

    We had numbers and graphs
    While ministers made their gaffs
    In the quartermaster’s store

    They had Cobra, they had Sage
    We saw death in older age
    That’s what’s in store
    That’s what’s in store

    They had Cobra, they had Sage
    We saw death in older age
    That’s why we stayed indoors.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. And I know where we’d find those “Rats! Rats! Big as blooming cats!” I’m sure we could all name a good few of them …

      Liked by 5 people

  2. Cummings has to have something more on Johnson. Something bad enough to utterly destroy him. He’d drop the bad press like one of his kids if he didn’t.

    Either that or they’re a couple, and all Johnson’s kids are the beard?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The issue is not whether Mr Cummings has ‘something on Johnson’, because Mr Johnson has had so many publicly reported examples of lying and appalling behaviour, that adding something else would seem to have little effect.

      The issue is that Mr Cummings is more important to the clique of financiers who have captured Westminster and sections of Whitehall. He is able to plan the strategies that swing sufficient voters towards their aims or to deter people from voting for alternatives, particularly Labour, because, sadly, given the size of England’s population compared to the other three countries, Labour is the only realistic opposition to the Tories. If Labour had Messrs Blair and Bodger Broon in charge, then the power brokers could bear it, because they do what they are required to do. It is possible that a Starmer Government might not present the kind of threat to them that a Corbyn/McDonnell one would have done.

      However, we in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, have alternatives. I suspect Northern Ireland is, in the minds of increasing numbers of the population, part of a ‘nation once again’. Here in Scotland, we are teetering. Wales has a large English population, who see themselves as English, but its Labour Party appears to be tending towards its Welshness.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I think that this is a game changer.

        Starmer tears Johnson up at PMQs as, to be fair, you would expect a very experienced QC to do to a gibbering idiot like Johnson.

        But despite everything, possibly because of the “get Brexit done” crew in England, they still appear to have support.

        I’ve seen a lot of Welsh support for the border patrols to keep day tripping visitors out. I think that the Irish have handled the situation better. It probably helps that Leo is actually a medical man. It would be surprising if the NI waveres didn’t move in the direction of unification.

        I’ve seen a few people on Twitter say that they had decided to come down on the side of independence.

        It would be good to see a poll.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. It is only anecdotal, but I have some friends from the north of Ireland from unionist backgrounds – there are very many from the north in the west of Scotland, from both ‘traditions’ and have been for centuries – and, it is clear that since Brexit and the shafting of the DUP by the Tories, that they are re-examoning their “Irishness”, as opposed to their “Britishness “.

          Liked by 3 people

            1. In the north of Ireland, there is a far greater and more widespread understanding of the history of and reasons for the Union, than there is in England and, probably, Wales and parts of Scotland, too. So, for sincere and humans people from that background to be acknowledging an “Irishness” is a significant change of mindset. They are visiting the Republic and they see a place, which is no longer ‘priest-ridden’, which allows abortions, which is tolerant of LGBTI+ rights, which permits partnerships and marriages between people of the same gender, which has a gender recognition act, which has had a profitable relationship with the EU and is comfortable as an EU member, and, which as a result of the Good Friday Agreement permits northern unionists to remain EU citizens, which is what a majority in the north voted for.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. As the religion stuff gets less and less important, I guess that people will start looking at their ways of life.

                Im told that once upon a time the North was the rich part of the island, now it is the poor part.

                Hopefully change will come.

                Liked by 1 person

  3. Breakfast telly. They just wheeled out the Govester, looking somewhat uncomfortable at times, to explain to us all that everything is fine and Cummings is a fine upright fellow.
    Now we know they’re shitting themselves. The Govester…. the last resort for lies and spin.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have to say though. I normally enjoy news programs, but was so disgusted last night I ended up on Channel 5 watching a program about scenic railways. I now have a new ‘bucket list’ item. El Chepo railway in Mexico, Copper Canyon. Check it out, absolutely stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love these railway journeys. I got a few dvds and I used to love the Swiss Railways programmes on some cable channel we used to have.


      1. There’s tons of stuff on youtube, I particularly like the “Fuhrerstandmitfahrt” videos – the term merely means the journey viewed from the driver’s cab. Just put the term into youtube and you’ll get hundreds of videos of all the scenic railways of Germany, Austria and Switzerland – you can spend hours and even days spellbound as the stunning scenery rolls by!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t know why Neil Ferguson had to resign. He should have just said his lover had to come over as he wasn’t sure his penis was still working and he needed to test it…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. They, the tories, are trying to blow more smoke up a certain part of our collective anatomies with their latest attempt at brainwashing. The excuses don’t count, he broke the rules. Anything else used to be known as a plea in mitigation at the end of the trial, after the accused had been found guilty. My anger at this arrogant, seemingly entitled, bunch of nobodies knows no bounds. Animal Farm couldn’t be more appropriate in the circumstances.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Neatly put.

      I think most of us would be quite sympathetic to a dad’s plight. We might disagree with what he did and particularly because in his case the options were immense.

      It’s the series of lies and the differences in the stories between him and her. Not to mention the arrogant press conference and him being half an hour late.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If he was after understanding, sympathy even, then he should have admitted that he was under emotional stress and made a genuine but understandable error of judgement and given a sincere apology … but then that would have meant admitting that he was human like the rest of us …

        Liked by 3 people

  7. It was still a car crash interview/pr exercise.
    Rule One, we make the rules.
    If this had been in the local sheriff court the plea would have been consigned to the bin of fairy stories.
    What I see is if this is the genius behind doris he’s playing with a marked deck.
    Rule TWO
    Refer to rule one, remake the rules.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep. Basically, he is the prime minister… and given that the UK has the worst figures in Europe for Covid and we are heading for the worst recession ever, on top of which we are still going for a no-deal Brexit in 7 months, he’s not a very good one.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I can read to the second bottom line!! I have had two cataract operations and do not have a driving licence, but I ride a bike.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Eleven years ago, immediately after I had retired, I went on a long bike tour in Yorkshire, Durham, Northumbria and Cumbria and actually passed Barnard Castle.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. As reported in the metro.
    Mr Toss has resigned as under secretary of state for Scotland due to cumming explanation.

    Well named the metro.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha. Some kudos to Douglas Ross though, for being the only Scottish Tory to speak out against the him and to follow that with action.

      I wonder if there will be more now.


  9. Tris
    I did watch his gathering yesterday and have blogged about it today a little https://grumpyscottishman.wordpress.com/ but I don’t think that is even the biggest story. The UK is now the worst hit country by coronavirus per million in the whole world. The top five all being countries that supported herd immunity at the start and led by idiots. I also think the care home issues are also more important, that is something that needs a serious debate. Cummings is just another in a long list of entitled people at the top of our government, they have always been there and they always will be until we grow a big enough pair to get out. Will he go, I doubt it and don’t really care, the longer he stays the better as it should send a very clear message to Scots exactly where they stand in the bigger picture, that being under the sole of entitled jackboots.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well said ,
      That’s the big story, englandland have won the world cup on the lonely death syndrome.
      The care homes run for profit by underpaying the staff.
      When Scotland is being run for it’s population we will be much more caring, we must be.
      Saw adverts yesterday for the RAF fund,Erskine Hospital, asking for charity donations,WHAT, they were in military service and need charity.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Maybe, just maybe, when this is over, care homes will be taken back into public ownership.

        We already had to bail them out when they mismanaged their property portfolios and now, profit before service (at least in some).

        In fairness, the home my mum was in was very well run.


    2. I kinda agree. The longer that the allow super privileged people to flaunt rules… even laws, the more discredited they will become.

      Even most of their adoring press have turned against them on this. The Mail and the Telegraph.

      Not the Express though.
      Anyone know what the S*n is saying?

      But yes, as you say, the worst in the world are USA, Brazil, Russia and UK.

      All led by donkeys.

      It would be easy to blame the Scottish government equally for the mess here, but we have to remember that we don;t have the power to authorise massive bailouts… furlough payments and social security.

      The English government have made it clear that if we don’t follow them in back to work they will stop the furlough scheme. With no power to borrow, we won’t be able to pay it.

      We will have to follow the Rees Mogg school of pandemics. Salvos aptissimum. Survival of the fittest.


      1. Or Sturgeon could declare a national emergency and just seize control to stop people dying.

        Honestly, they couldn’t have engineered a better reason for UDI if they’d tried.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I think the main impact will be in England in the nearish future,especially if lockdown has to be reversed.
    Most Scots are fully aware of the nature of the Tories and in particular this Johnson administration so,no surprises.
    As for the resignation of Ross,I suspect that is more to do with his voting against his constituents interests in maintaining food standards than anything to do with Cummings.
    Very convenient.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, well, I hadn’t thought of that. Maybe he is trying to buy back some votes.

      But he’ll have lost £20,000 a year and I don’t know if this will cut it with his farming vote.

      I reckon they will pretty much all be screwed if they let this and the fishing rights go. The thing is that with fishing, if they don’t allow the EU boats in, who is going to buy all this fish they will be able to catch?

      And what about the Europeans who legally bought the boats and quotas of British fishermen?


  11. Stories elsewhere,
    Virus test are not showing high levels of confidence in results.
    A&E hospital closed due to increase in cases.
    Cumbria a major hotspot for cases
    US-UK trade deal includes NHS.
    Food standards are to be reduced,cummings looking after his son there then.
    This is a squirrel programme, hid the fact that the UK is at the top of the list per population for deaths
    It will be over by the weekend,lost in chip wrappings

    Liked by 2 people

  12. We reading all the news and comments, the advice giving out and the advice that has been followed with covid and have come to the conclusion that something is really really amiss.
    As early as 2016 the governments were talking about pandemics.
    When the pandemic a few years later hits the populations around the world, we find no government has prepared for a pandemic.
    All governments start building emergency hospitals across the world.
    Which sat pretty empty for most of the time during the pandemic.
    And people’s across the world were placed in lockdown,(a term used by wardens in prisons).
    The aged, had to stay where they were, in isolation, and not allowed out or allowed visitors in.
    The EU meanwhile have been working on a vaccine passport since 2018.
    Bill Gates and Boris Johnson have just exchanged billions of money for funding to one of the richest men on the planet to find a vaccine to give to all the people across the world.
    This man is being charged with crimes against humanity for his vaccines, Nigeria is only one of those countries suing him.
    Across the world and oceans we find that many governments have placed covid patients in amongst the aged, vunerable and infirm who are not allowed to move from where they are.
    We find there are massive shortages of masks, gowns and gloves and sanitizer soap across the planet, (and in such a modern world, where we visit other planets and use satellites, mobile phones, etc)
    Parks, beaches, countryside, towns and businesses are closed
    People are made and created to be shunned by mass media, and drones and policed with fines if anyone does not follow the [advisory] rules, even if they are in a isolated situation, (in Britain we are policed and governed by consent of the people).
    The conclusion of all this information is as follows.
    The governments across the world did not shut down airports, holidays, etc until it was to late to stop the spread of the virus.
    The governments across the world did not test or quarantine people who travelled back and to, until it was to late to stop the spread of the virus,
    The governments across the world did not close borders until to late to stop the spread of the virus.
    The governments across the world gave contradictory advice to their public.
    The leaders of those governments did not follow the advice they themselves had given the public.
    Some of our leaders across the world say they have had covid virus.
    How do we know that that is true,
    How do we know that they actually did have covid and not some other illness.
    Prince Charles looked well enough to me in his interview, Dominic looks, well how he always looks, except they dressed him up a bit, and visually tried making him look more psychologically in white shirt, (very angelic)
    And Boris got the team in hospital to sign a secretive paper, not to talk, perhaps he was due an operation anyway, and took the covid opportunity as cover,
    I personally looked as rough as Boris before my operation in December, and took about the same amount of time to recover.
    Why can and do the elite leaders, get tested and hospital treatment so easily, when nurses, doctors and people on the front line cannot.
    And why did governments not distinguish between deaths of flu this year and deaths of covid,
    Why are some doctors reporting that they have had to say a patient has died of covid, when their patients were seriously ill with other life threatening illnesses.
    My motto is to question more and learn more.
    Sorry for long post, I have been saving all these thoughts up, until it just boiled over like a unwatched pan on a stove.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good post, James.

      I wish I had answers to the questions.

      Clearly though, some countries were better prepared. New Zealand, South Korea, for example,

      Some took steps far earlier, closed borders, including internal borders. But your question remains. Why, if we were aware of this possibility 4 years ago, was nothing prepared?

      I understand that in the UK, Brexit took priority (and still does).

      From what I heard, in the US, Obama had started work, but Trump shut it down…

      But what about well-run countries like Germany, Scandinavia… and what happened in Sweden?

      I wonder, once it is over, if we will learn anything from it.


  13. So we are now at 60,000 people have died during this pandemic over and above the normal rate.
    When told about Mr Toss resigning there will be truth in the doris response “Who’s He”.
    Two jobs says it’s a disaster to lose Mr Toss, 60,000 people I suppose were just to be accepted.
    Where is carlos, has he said anything about cummings?,other than let’s move on..
    The doris is opening up englandland when Cumbria is still trying to control a big outbreak. Ah,london’s okay.


    1. Mr Carlaw tweeted:

      “Great loss to the Scotland Office and UK Government, sorry to see him go but entirely respect and understand his decision. I know he will continue to be an excellent MP for Moray as we all seek to tackle this health crisis”

      He seems to have carefully neglected to make any comment about his own feelings.

      Presumably because he might feel Cammings’ foot in his backside if he dared to criticise him.

      Leaders are supposed to lead. And in fairness we’ve seen more leadership from Ross today than Carlaw or the Viceroy, who has said nothing.


  14. Alan Ferrier on Twitter just posted:

    Douglas Ross, who this morning resigned from his position as Under Secretary of State for Scotland over the Cummings scandal, has just been described by a No.10 Downing Street source as “a Mr Nobody”.
    It’ll be interesting to see how, and if, other Scottish Tories react to that.


  15. Great opening there for Mr Muddle,he’ll toe the line,no bother.
    Read the carlos quote,as yousay he said nothing about his point of view,anyway we know it,submarine,just like untruthful,keep the head down and say neutral quotes.
    Strange that he wasn’t available for a quote on cummings ,butt events dear boy.
    Isn’t there a problem with pigeons,Ah yes, a Pakistan Trained Spy Pigeon has been captured in India.
    Was on it’s way to Glasgow to infect the lizzie the last hospital.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, there seems to be doubt that any Scottish Tory (only 5 left, or 4 if you exclude Muddle, and seriously, imagine working for the bloke who took your job!!!)

      So they may have to give it to an English Tory, or maybe they could give it to the one and only Scottish Labour man, who really isn’t a Labour man at all.

      Alternatively, they could appoint Ruthie a lord and give it to her.


  16. Message for Mr Toss.
    Why dont you feel the love of your party in london and do the right thing,come over to the good side the SNP,I’m sure we can forgive your past.
    At least you might just become a Mr Somebody in the country you say you live in.
    I suppose the london mob see you as a nothing minister as you got the job in Scotland along with the other jack nobody.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see that the chavs have decided that if Dom can go walkabout to see if his eyes are working, then they can try out to see it their noses still bleed.


  17. Question: Where does the Pink Panther come from?
    Answer: Durham, Durham . . . Durham, Durham, Durham

    But seriously, who was playing the flute on that Roger Whittaker track? Jethro Tull?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True. Apparently he started whistling in Scotland when his show wasn’t doing too well. I think he whistled “Over the Sea to Skye” and it brought the place down.


      1. But he did have enough of a presence to bequeath a nickname to (Brian) “Roger” Whittaker of Partick and Hearts. Inherited nicknames are an interesting study in fame as a determinant of longevity. I doubt if football will see another “Roger” even if there’s another Whittaker but there may well be another Dixie (after either of the Deans of the past rather than the dancer Ingram) or another Yogi, who, as you may recall, was smarter than the average Ranger. And Cowboy has attached itself to a couple of footballing McCormacks who didn’t seem to me to have the boxer’s notoriously bandy legs.

        Liked by 1 person

    May 25
    Just did @radionz – first remarks from NZ interviewer ‘we are watching what is happening in your country with total incredulity….’ Do not underestimate how much damage @BorisJohnson is doing to U.K. standing in the world.


  19. erm, tris . . . you do know that “siffler” has more than one meaning, don’t you?
    The old double entendre, and all that?


  20. tris, I probably learned more French than was good for me.
    I’m off to listen to “Durham Town” again.
    An innocent pleasure.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Talking-up Scotland

NOT conflating the aberrant with the norm like BBC

The Dunglishman

The bilingual blog about all things British


Love, theatre and ideas


British Wildlife & Photography


Why Scotland should be an independent country


Thoughts about Scotland & the world, from a new Scot

Divided We Fall

Bipartisan dialogue for the politically engaged

Insightful Geopolitics

Impartial Informative Always

Black Isle Media

We Provide The Facts, You Make The Decisions

The Broad Spectrum Life

Exploring Rhymes, Reasons, and Nuances of Our World

Musical Matters...

Mark Doran's Music Blog

Best in Australia

This site supports Scottish Independence


A comic about history and stuff by FT

My Life as Graham

The embittered mumblings of a serial malcontent.

Pride's Purge

an irreverent look at UK politics


Your Source For The Coolest Science Stories


The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

Mark Explores

Nature + Health



%d bloggers like this: