Friday 13 November 2020

The Cummings and goings of the transience of status

History is a mocker of man

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” Karl Marz

Dominic Cummings took a first in history at the University of Oxford, had he taken a spare module that took him back a few centuries, he might have seen today coming. It is Friday the Thirteenth, have you no sense of paraskevidekatriaphobia?

Like Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell before him in the court of Henry VIII became powerful and prominent figures of the court that they even had histories written of them, their meteoric rise to power presaged a catastrophic fall from grace.

Purposefully absentminded

As Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, it was only yesterday as internal battles raged between advisers in Downing Street that we were informed that he will be gone by Christmas. Whilst to date 51,304 have lost their lives to the Coronavirus pandemic, the court of Boris the Jape was busy playing musical chairs. [BBC News: Dominic Cummings: PM's top adviser leaves No 10 to 'clear the air']

However, I take many lessons from this departure of Dominic Cummings, he was not a particularly likeable character, what he had in the ability to win political campaigns was matched to his lack of charisma.

That the government was willing to expend all political capital and goodwill on this man at the expense of keeping faith with the people during the pandemic lockdown in May, showed how little they care, the consequence has been an unnecessarily inordinately large loss of lives.

Power is transient, O man

The speed at which he was defenestrated simply shows that you should never think the knives when properly drawn are not sharp enough to be plunged into your back with great efficacy and efficiency. In the scheme of things, your back is butter to the knives when faith has been lost in your counsel.

It is the curse of Ahithophel, the counselor whose advice King David in the bible ignored. I guess the proverbial setting his house in order was his walking out of Downing Street having cleared his desk in a public show of ignominy. [BibleHub: II Samuel 17:23]

It would be easy to mock his downfall, but the most important lesson of all is, in power and in politics, if you do not occupy the office by right, you are soon expendable. I wonder, who could have thought the fall of Cummings would rival the fall of Lucifer, just 48 hours ago? Power is transient, use it wisely, with great consideration, a sense of responsibility, and most of all humility.

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