I HAVE just watched the Prime Minister struggling to answer questions on his defence of his political adviser before a Parliamentary Select Committee.

Unsurprisingly, he wants us to move on; our MP want us to "put it behind us".

Rebecca Pow, as a junior minister, can only criticise the PM if she resigns her position, so she has followed her script.

Let's get a few things clear.

No-one would know anything whatsoever about Cumming's behaviour, if the press had not forced it into the open.

Once he couldn't avoid disclosure the PM decided, completely without precedent, to give permission for a political adviser to give a personal press conference from No 10's back garden.

Cummings arrived, half an hour late, to plead for our sympathy; no apology, no logical defence.

His behaviour has given police throughout the country the now-impossible task of enforcing government policy; anyone they stop can now plead the "Cummings defence".

Those of us who have conscientiously observed the guidelines, often at great personal cost, are outraged by the PM's defence of the indefensible.

Will he and his government resign when we are swamped by the "second wave" ?



I AM grateful that, a week after the story broke, our MP has finally taken the time to tell us her opinion on Dominic Cummings breaking the lockdown rules.

Rebecca Pow tells us she thinks that it's time to 'move on' (a phrase mysteriously repeated by almost every Conservative MP simultaneously after Monday's press conference).

On re-reading the article though, I realised she at least couldn't quite bring herself to say that she believed Dominic Cummings hasn't broken the rules, as he claims.

It is clear he did break the rules.

Even by his own account he went back to work after going home to his wife when she was showing coronavirus symptoms, he drove to Durham in case he needed help with childcare (not because he actually had exceptional circumstances, just in case he might) and he took over an hours rounds trip to a local beauty spot to check that he could drive.

That is at least three times he broke the rules and polls show that the vast majority of the country recognise this and think he needs to resign as a result.

But still he and our Prime Minister stick their fingers in their ears and pretend he didn't.

So, the question for Rebecca Pow now is simple.

Does she think we should move on because she accepts Dominic Cummings didn't break the rules, or because she thinks we should accept that he's above them?



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REMEMBER all those courageous bishops of the Church of England who went even further than HM Government required, and compulsorily closed all the churches in their jurisdiction?

Well, those same courageous men and women are now attacking Boris Johnson for his support of Dominic Cummings. Their own understanding of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, however, seems somewhat awry.

David Walker, the Bishop of Manchester said: “Unless very soon we see clear repentance, including the sacking of Cummings, I no longer know how we can trust what ministers say.”

For my part, I am suspicious of bishops who seem unaware that repentance is a matter between God and the believer; let alone those who demand revenge in the form of a sacking. Very Christ-like!

Paul Bayes, the Bishop of Liverpool, claimed: “Vulnerable people are alive today because of the self-discipline of so many."

Really? How does the bishop know that? Does he have access to ‘the’ science, in the form of statistics which are not yet available?

Philip Mounstephen, the Bishop of Truro, declaimed: “In this country, government and the rule of law depend largely and rightly on the principle of consent. But that depends in turn on the consistency, integrity and impartiality of government and the application of the law.”

John Inge, Bishop of Worcester told us that “the PM’s risible defence of Cummings is an insult to all those who have made such sacrifices to ensure the safety of others”.

Excuse my asking; but were they not “protecting the NHS” from people?

Let’s not leave out the women.

Christine Hardman, Bishop of Newcastle told us, “We can forgive mistakes and poor judgment and can understand and admire loyalty; but forgiveness and understanding need openness, and we did not see this tonight.”

I wonder whether her fellow-Christians will be as forgiving and understanding of the actions of church ‘leaders’ such as herself, who tyrannically demanded churches be closed, depriving real believers of the chance to share bread and wine, in memory of the saving action of their Lord?

Olivia Graham, Bishop of Reading, told us that the PM’s response “lacked integrity and respect”.

Where was the integrity and respect shown toward lay Christians by such ‘leaders’?

My own view is that the entire Covid-19 fiasco has been just that: a premature series of dreadful decisions, taken by a Prime Minister who was desperate to ensure his party is seen as the ‘Party-of-the-NHS’ (sorry, ‘our’ NHS).

Right from the outset there was something not quite right about what was being demanded of a free citizenry in a free country.

Even now, I feel we are all being obliged to continue play-acting along with the PM to save his political reputation.

But the bishops of the Church of England had no such qualms.

Instead of showing true courage where, and when, it was required, they shirked their responsibilities in favour of towing the party line.

I suppose such is to be expected of a State Church: and especially one in which the ‘career clerics’ who manage its affairs always have one eye on the chance of preferment.

In my opinion, the Church of England will have been severely damaged through the actions of its ‘professionals’ during these past weeks.

However, the Church is not merely its ‘professional clerics’: it is, above all, composed of those whom the Apostle Paul referred to as “the saints”: ordinary Christians who loved their Lord, first and foremost: even above ‘health-and-safety’.