Sir, – I am dismayed by the behaviour of Dominic Cummings.
The lockdown guidance, which Matt Hancock emphasised were instructions, are clear. If a person has coronavirus symptoms they must self isolate .
They must stay at home and reduce the risk of infecting other people and save the NHS.
For Mr Cummings to imply he acted within the spirit of the guidelines is a cop out.
This means that people can interpret them to their own advantage.
To leave London at the height of the epidemic and travel to Durham, which at that time had few cases, was an irresponsible act.
We do all want to do what is best for our children.
The people who could not visit their loved ones as they lay dying also wanted to do what was best for their family.
However people were altruistic and obeyed the rules to avoid spreading the infection.
I feel insulted as do many others. The UK Government is treating us as fools as they show there is one law for the elite and one for us.
4 Old Brechin Road,
Time to re-read our Orwell
Sir, – Boris Johnson has expressed regret over the fact that the people are “confused”.
Perhaps they are confused about Mr Dominic Cummings’ interpretation of his own government’s rules.
Perhaps, like the animals in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, they are confused because what they had been told was “an unalterable law”, by which they must all live, was in fact open to interpretation all along.
They had thought the instruction was clear: Stay Home, Protect the NHS.
In Orwell’s novel, after the animals take over the farm, seven commandments are painted on the wall of the barn, the most important of which is the seventh: All animals are equal.
By the end of the novel, after the pigs have assumed total control, eliminating all opposition and twisting the truth, the few animals left from the time of the revolution stare in puzzlement at the wall of the barn.
There is only one commandment left: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
This, they are assured by the pigs, who are now walking on two legs and wearing clothes, was in fact always the case.
Perhaps it is time we re-read our Orwell.
58 East Forth Street,
Rules must apply to all
Sir, – When a government official breaks the rules of lockdown the public and politicians are usually quick to condemn the offender, and when Dr Catherine Calderwood visited her second home Jackson Carlaw and other elected Tory politicians were quick to call for her resignation. She acted wrongly, apologised and resigned.
Now it has come to light that Dominic Cummings has not only flouted lockdown rules, in several ways, refused to resign or even apologise, such is his arrogance, I expect Jackson Carlaw and his colleagues will be anxious to demand his resignation too.
After all, as Mr Carlaw says, rules must apply to everyone.
PM’s credibility has totally gone
Sir, – One of the results of the Dominic Cummings controversy is that the prime minister’s adviser has lost whatever authority he had, an authority he should never have had in the first place since he was unelected.
Perhaps, in future, governments will rely on the experienced civil service for advice and implementation instead of imported wild cards.
What is more serious is the prime minister’s loss of authority and credibility in defending one of the architects of lockdown for breaking, if not the rules, the spirit of those rules.
We used to tolerate Boris Johnson’s buffoonishness because we thought that under the deliberately bumbling facade lay a sharp intellect.
Taking into account his government’s shambolic handling of the coronavirus crisis and now his defence of the apparently indefensible, his judgment and leadership of the country must now seriously be called into question.
51 Airlie Street,
Did he break the regulations?
Sir, – After reading reams of pages and listening to hours of comment and debate, I am no nearer knowing whether Dominic Cummings broke the lockdown rules or not.
So far all I am hearing and reading is political puff, full of point-scoring, gossip, grievance and more than a touch of old-score settling.
We even have reports of someone seeing a person who looks like him being given credibility.
I await with anticipation further reports of someone who looks like him being spotted in the company of Elvis in a flying saucer.
Either he broke the rules or not. It is a simple question.
If he did then he should go but if he didn’t let’s put away the torches and pitchforks and move on.
There are more pressing issues than this.
Will fines now be reimbursed?
Sir, – I assume that all the people in the UK who have been issued with fines for breaking the lockdown rules will now be reimbursed.
Bearing in mind that Boris Johnson has pointed out that the rules were not law, just guidance, then the police had no right in handing out the fines.
Perhaps the police have left themselves open to allegations of police harassment as they were acting outwith the law.
20 Mid Street,
Scottish Tories’ wall of silence
Sir, – The Scottish Tories screamed: resign; atrocious; public rage; one rule for bosses and must go when a healthy Dr Catherine Calderwood drove 40 miles.
But there is not a peep when an unhealthy with bad eyesight Dominic Cummings drove 260 miles.
The rules were simple. If showing symptoms self-isolate, and Boris Johnson said back in March children should not be left with older relatives as they are the most vulnerable.
Yet this 260-mile trip has been described by Mr Johnson as responsible, legal and with integrity.
It must feel like a kick in the teeth to all those men who missed their babies being born, all those elderly mums and dads dying alone while their kids cry at home, all those unattended funerals.
All on the instruction of a government now defending a mate who chose to take his suspected Covid on a road trip.
The only grace is the Scottish Tories’ twitter feed has been silenced for the last few days.
45 Silver Birch Drive,
Boris must keep Cummings
Sir, – A more transparent and cynical attempt to remove a key impediment to the delay of Brexit than the attack on Dominic Cummings by hypocritical journalists, who appear not to have heard of social distancing, is hard to imagine.
Boris must keep Cummings.