This is the first time I have cried with rage since it all started. I want to throw things at the wall and watch them break. If I could leave the house, I’d get on the first train I could and beat down the doors of Downing Street with my fists. I’d break my own bones against the walls of government if I had to. But I can’t do that.
It is so, so hard to know what to do when we can’t even go outside. I feel useless, like I’m watching the country crumble around me and I can’t do anything about it. I should be doing something about it. I spent an hour drafting a letter to my MP and it feels useless. I sent it and felt nothing.
This is what I wrote:
I am writing today, as I’m sure many of my fellow constituents have already done, to express my sheer rage and despair at the actions of Dominic Cummings. Cummings’ actions, in failing to quarantine and instead leaving lockdown with at least one symptomatic person, are more than simply a flagrant defiance of the UK’s current lockdown regulations, but are an example of abhorrent, unconscionable behaviour that would be worthy of rebuke from any UK citizen, but are absolutely tantamount to a fireable offence from a government official.
In effect, Mr Johnson has chosen to defend the potentially illegal and dangerous actions of an individual with whom he has close personal and professional ties in a blatant, offensive act of nepotism. This cannot be allowed to stand. It is simply, objectively not acceptable for there to be one law for government officials and another law for the general populace, especially when people’s lives are depending on these laws being universally applied, respected, and followed.
To add to this, Mr Johnson’s ludicrous defence of Cummings as having acted with ‘integrity’ to follow his ‘fatherly instinct’ is, to put it colloquially, a slap in the face to all parents who have reluctantly put their ‘parental instincts’ aside and chosen to follow the lockdown regulations instead. Many parents have been forced to care for their children while they themselves are sick; been unable to see their children when they themselves are symptomatic; and in some cases been unable to visit their sick and dying children, perhaps most notably the parents of 13 year old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwaha, whose death on March 30th was widely reported, and whose parents were unable to visit him or attend his funeral.
Mr Johnson has effectively, in mounting this defence of Cummings, criticised all those parents who have been forced to make unfathomable decisions regarding their own children in order to protect the safety and lives of their fellow citizens. This, once more, is simply unconscionable; a nation already in mourning for so many of its loved ones does not deserve to, in effect, be told that they failed their children by doing what they were previously told was the only right and correct thing to do.
In the wake of these actions coming to light, Cummings’ position in the UK government is no longer tenable. A country cannot have faith in its government when the head of that government, as well as many of our elected officials, openly speak out in defence of behaviour that is not only immoral in the highest degree, but shows complete disregard for the regulations imposed by that government. At very best, it shows a complete lack of respect on behalf of the government for the wellbeing and lives of its citizens; at worst, it sets a dangerous precedent for putting the law into one’s own hands and choosing one’s individual priorities over the common good, risking thousands and thousands of lives to a virus we are already struggling to fight.
I thank you for having spoken out about this on your public platforms already, and look forward to hearing what the government intends to do about Cummings’ position, as anything other than an immediate termination of his role is simply unacceptable.
What I wanted to write: the government does not care that we are dying in droves. You don’t give two fucks about the people who can’t bury their children. You haven’t lost so much as an hour of sleep over all those last weeks, days, hours, minutes that were spent alone. All the people who died with only a stranger in a mask to hold their hand. The families and partners who are mourning with nothing tangible to show for their loss. All you care about is saving your own skins, and your skins are completely transparent. I can see the rot at the core of all of you.
This isn’t the first time I have wept with incandescent fury at this government. I cried when the Brexit result was announced, and when it emerged that the official campaign had broken electoral laws and was not rebuked. I cried when Grenfell burnt to ash on all of our TV screens and the charred carcass of the building was the only tombstone the victims had.
But this is something less insidious and more blatant. Not worse, per se, but they’re not even bothering to hide that it’s always been a case of Us and Them.
I don’t know what the country will look like when this is done. I don’t know how many of us will have the energy to open our eyes and really look at it. I’m tired of the rage. It’s so hard to speak of fighting the looming threat of a deadly virus when it feels like you’re constantly fighting your own government.
And when it feels like you’re losing both battles.