Follow your instincts

Irreverent jottings from Staff Officer Stitchley.

Jun 4, 2020
By Staff Officer Stitchley

The nation, including its bishops, has been dismayed but not surprised to hear that Dominic Cummings and his wife have travelled from London to Durham so that his aged parents could look after their child while he and his wife had the coronavirus. Or to make sure that they all caught it at once. We don’t yet know where else they went, although ANPR may yet make that clear.

Dominic has not been knocking about with Conservatives for long, but surely someone will have explained that he should deploy a nanny, a butler and some maids to take care of this type of challenge. The Prime Minister has leaped to his adviser’s defence, but as we go to press we are still waiting to find out whether or not Dominic has agreed that Boris can stay in office. Watch this space.

These revelations come after epidemiologist Professor Neil Ferguson, a leading adviser on distancing measures, the man who invented 2m, resigned from the Government’s Sage Committee after meeting up with his married lover.

An epidemiologist studies or is an expert in the incidence, distribution, and possible control of disease. Perhaps his lover did not feel well? He would surely have known. My own married lover (aka my wife) was sat next to me on the couch when this came on the TV news. She pulled a face and said “sex”.

I mistakenly took as a suggestion rather than an observation, only to find that in our house social distancing remains a priority. Professor Neil has since announced “I deeply regret any undermining of the clear messages around the continued need for social distancing to control this devastating epidemic”.

Elaborate apologies do not work these days; they have been replaced by outraged denial. Neil has also pointed out that “the Government guidance is unequivocal, and is there to protect all of us”.

Well, except him and Dominic. Oh, and except Labour MP Stephen son of Neil Kinnock, who has posted a photo of himself practicing social distancing with his parents outside their South Wales home. The local police have announced that celebrating the event was “a lovely thing to do” but they have also pointed out that going there from London was not essential travel. That will teach them.

Nigel Farage, seldom a man to be outdone, has objected to two police officers knocking on his door to advise him on what is and what isn’t essential travel after he visited Dover to examine ‘illegal migration.’ Nigel has described the officers’ visit as “lockdown lunacy,” explaining that he had been carrying out ‘broadcasting duties’ as a ‘key worker’.

His broadcasting consists of hosting a ‘phone in’, which sounds more like a hobby than a duty. He says the visit of the two officers was a “total waste of time and money”. It would have been more effective and efficient for one officer to attend his home and issue him with a fixed penalty ticket.

Many of us have got very little to do at the moment. We are all tempted in some degree to step outdoors, and drive to Durham, or to stay indoors, and organise orgies, but we risk being leaped upon and convicted by teams of police officers hiding behind hedges. And couches. It is one rule for the rich.

Oh, to be an adviser, or a politician, or a doctor, or a disc jockey. Or perhaps a professional footballer? This observing distance thing just does not seem to have caught on with them at all… Stay calm!




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