If you live in the UK, then maybe this weekend has stirred some strong emotions in you. The discovery that our Prime Minister’s Chief Aide has appeared not to have followed the rules he helped write has created some very strong emotion. The sharpening of pitchforks on social media last night was very evident. I could feel anger and rage building last night and this morning I have been trying to understand the feelings I had and continue to have towards this issue. What I witnessed on social media and felt myself worried me. Who or what am I directed my rage at, what has got us all so angry?
So this is why I am writing this, to calm myself down and work out what for me is driving this emotion. Becoming hysterical will be far from helpful.
Now Dominic Cummings is a divisive, difficult character, he appears to be very intelligent and unconventional. He does not appear to behave in a way we expect from people in his position. Therefore many of us will dislike and mistrust him on this basis. If we then add that he was instrumental in the leave campaign and getting Boris Johnson elected and all the controversy that caused and the way he is portrayed in the media. Can you see where I am going with this? Most of us have already decided what kind of person he is. We have finished his story for him. He then has not reacted the way we expected a government aide to react. In the face of a scandal that they are the story most would resign and apologise. But Dominic has not, and in fact has insisted that he has done nothing wrong.
Fair enough I thought, our Government will see sense, and tell him to go, to protect the integrity of the Government, to maintain the public health message and to stop this being a distraction. But that did not happen. In fact they backed him! This was when my red mist descended and I was looking for a pitchfork in the garage, ready to march on London. The reaction of the Government did not match with my understanding of how things are done. It flew in the face of the value that society and the welfare of that society was more important than one individual. I was and still am struggling to accept that our leaders appear to be putting the interest of themselves above the people they lead.
After thinking about the events of the weekend I am less angry with Dominic. I think he was scared and made bad decisions. His personality does not allow him to show remorse outwardly, and perhaps as Malcolm Gladwell puts it, his behaviour is mismatched and does not reflect what he feels. What I am though is angry at our Government for not showing accountability and integrity and taking control of this situation for the good of the nation. This could have been closed down on Saturday morning, with a swift resignation a public acknowledgement that Dominic was advised and supported adequately by his colleagues, therefore he made bad choices which he is very sorry for. But they chose self interest instead and twist the guidelines to suit the narrative. I want to believe that they are honorable, I want to believe that are telling the truth, but every public announcement erodes that trust even more.
So when we cannot trust our leaders what can we do? We can trust each other, we can support and care for each other. We can guide each other to make the right choices and keep each other safe. I no longer trust what is said at the daily briefings. I do however trust that there are plenty of wise leaders around the government that will continue to provide advice and guidance that will keep us safe. I trust my local leaders to do the right thing who will put pressure on our government to make the right choice and rebuild that trust that has been lost for the greater good.
So lets not get caught up in the hysteria, and trust and lead each other, our government will have no choice but to fall into line or be consigned to history, that is democracy.
If you like me were angered by the events of the weekend let your MP know and ask them to put pressure on the Prime Minister to take action.
Please stay safe, and look after each other.