What is twitter for if not (yet another) hot take on the Cummings Committee evidence?

I'll try to keep it short. 1/6
It is, on its face, a damning indictment of chaos and dysfunction at the heart of Government, which in March, and again in the autumn, cost many thousands of lives. 2/6
But Cummings is an unreliable narrator, full of contradictions. His errors, lies and missteps are excusable. Others': not so much.

His comments on groupthink, playing by the rules, openness and transparency will rightly raise eyebrows. 3/6
We await the Government's response. My guess is that they will attack the messenger (likely, with success).
They will also say that this is all in the past and that people don't care, and they will point, relentlessly, to vaccinations success. 4/6
The problem for the Govt is that the chaos and dysfunction identified by Cummings is a feature of this administration, led by this careering shopping trolley of a Prime Minister. 5/6
It is not just a bug which happened to afflict the COVID response in March and September. It is affecting the COVID response *now* and all other areas of Govt policy too.

The question is whether more people now start to notice. 6/6

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More from @syrpis

21 May
A BBC journalist used 'deceitful' methods to secure 1995 interview. Wow.

Have the 'outraged' press forgotten about phone hacking?

Has the 'outraged' government forgotten about its relationship with the truth?
Read 6 tweets
16 May
Seeing lots of reaction to proposals for a progressive alliance, and have been struck by one thing.

Members and activists tend to reject it; while 'mere' supporters of opposition parties tend to embrace it. 1/7
Obviously, there are a lot more 'mere' supporters than members and activists.

But, I don't think that there can be any chance that a progressive alliance will happen without the strong support of members and activists.

So, why might the two groups think as they do? 2/7
Members/activists might oppose a progressive alliance because:
a) they are familiar with the party rules (which make it much more difficult);
b) they are likely to think their party can win; 3/7
Read 7 tweets
13 May
The Higher Education (Free Speech) Bill is more than a little incoherent - as @michelledonelan seems intent on demonstrating.

The Bill is here: bills.parliament.uk/Publications/4… 1/8
It aims to secure free speech 'within the law', so... there will be debates about what the limits of the law are (see eg Prevent; IHRA anti-semitism definition etc). 2/8
It aims to stop discrimination based on an individual's 'ideas, beliefs or views' (for academics, 'within their field of expertise'), so... there will be debates about what each of those means. 3/8
Read 8 tweets
11 May
I have commented before on the hypocrisy and double standards which characterise the actions of this Govt. From that perspective, the debate about Scottish independence is going to be... an interesting watch. 1/8

The Govt, once the champion of 'sovereignty' and 'taking back control' now finds itself... defending the Union.

The contortions Ministers are going through are quite something. 2/8
So, for example, we are hearing...

1. That absent a clear majority in the popular vote, the SNP, which received 48% of the vote, lacks the mandate to have a referendum.

Remind me what % of the popular vote David Cameron won in 2015? [Answer: 37%] 3/8
Read 8 tweets
10 May
A couple of thoughts on Scottish independence and Brexit, prompted by this thread from @paulwaugh.
Self-determination and sovereignty are powerful concepts, which supporters of Brexit/Scottish independence do rely on.

Yet, they are difficult concepts, given the extent of international interdependence and cooperation (on trade and beyond) 2/
One should think about both the sovereignty gains and losses associated with participation in the relevant 'Union' (UK/EU); and also the future relationship with ex-partners after 'independence'. 3/
Read 11 tweets
9 May
Watching as the Labour party, once again, descends into uncivil war. It cannot coalesce around any policy position or agree on who is best placed to deliver it. 1/6
We've been hearing a lot from ghosts of the past - Mandelson, McCluskey, McDonnell, Pidcock, Flint, Adonis and more. Much of 'the analysis' harks back to either Blair or Corbyn. It makes for grim reading and grim viewing. 2/6
We've been hearing a lot about the need to 'learn lessons' and 'listen to the people' and 'engage with voters' real concerns'. But what if (outlandish thought this) 'the people' disagree, and are sending a range of different messages? 3/6
Read 7 tweets

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