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Iain Maciver: There are those who plan and those who don’t – and one of them could force PM to quit

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street to make a statement in the House of Commons, Westminster, after it was announced that Scotland Yard has launched an investigation into a "number of events" in Downing Street and Whitehall in relation to potential beaches of coronavirus laws.  Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street to make a statement in the House of Commons, Westminster, after it was announced that Scotland Yard has launched an investigation into a "number of events" in Downing Street and Whitehall in relation to potential beaches of coronavirus laws. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who plan and those who don’t.

They live very different lives. Planners have a good idea what will happen tomorrow and even in the next few years. Non-planners just have no idea. Stop there.

One very meticulous planner is at the very top of decision-making in this country and he is generally regarded as a menace and is not to be trusted. No, of course not him. It’s not Sue Gray either.

Most people think this person is driven by revenge for being booted out of his job by people who probably did much worse and much more often and who possibly misled us about all that.

PM messed up when he sacked Dominic Cummings

Now this same fellow can probably decide when the prime minister has to quit and, quite possibly, who is going to be the next leader as well.

No one in power wants to admit it but when the PM sacked Dominic Cummings, he messed up. He knew Cummings was a strategist to his fingertips and not someone who could forgive easily if he felt wronged.

Now Dom feels very wronged and unfairly treated. He was upstairs when the alleged partying was going on. He knows exactly what went on because his office was right there – in 10 Downing Street. That was some mistake.

It was not a mistake like putting on your pants back to front. That can happen to anyone in a hurry. Which reminds me that I know someone who was recently at an Edinburgh market which sold Calvin Klien underpants. Expensive, they were. Beside them, he spotted almost-identical pairs of cheaper Calum Clines. How very Caledonian, he thought. I shall support these fine Scottish drawers’ makers instead.

They were rubbish. The elastic gave out within two weeks. Holes appeared where no hole should ever be. Cheap ripoffs made in the Far East and there was nothing Scottish about them, except the word Calum, strategically placed to lure gullible Scots. Don’t get caught with your pants down-priced. Calums will not give you the support you need. Take note.

Dominic’s ice-cold insult

Like myself, Dom makes notes on his phone all the time. I do it because I forget whether Mrs X said to get cabbages or carrots. He does it because he is a planner collecting data that could be useful later. He had the exact time he last walked out of Downing Street and of each of these alleged get-togethers. He may forget what’s on his shopping list, but I doubt it.

Dominic Cummings knows exactly what went on in No.10. Photo by Tayfun Salci/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock

Dom used a new insult this week. Kunlangeta. It’s from the Yupik language of bitterly cold north-west Alaska. It means someone who has become incapable of doing the right thing so others must just chuck him off the ice. That is some plan.

Met Police chief Cressida Dick has a new plan because she has finally spotted some evidence of lockdown breaches at Downing Street. It’s actually on her desk sent to her by the Cabinet Office – recorded delivery, I hope. She has to do something now.

Is it me or does anyone else think this is just another plan to delay the Sue Gray report? OMG. Or OMC, as we text it in Gaelic. That’s O Mo Chreach, literally Oh My End, or Oh My Destruction. For emphasis, you can say Oh My Destruction Has Come. Or more usually OMFC, just like in English.

Counting the cost of transport plans

Our Scottish Government meanwhile also has a possible plan for having a series of tunnels to the Western Isles instead of some CalMac ferry routes. A 17-mile-long, dual carriageway-width subsea link running under the Minch could connect Benbecula with Skye and a subsea link to Mull and one to Harris. Some newspapers claim islanders on Mull don’t want a tunnel. Fine. So Lewis can have theirs. It’d all cost a mere £450 million.

That is actually good value for all that boring, burrowing and shafting. Transport projects don’t come cheap. Also planned is a ClydeMetro network with an upgrade of the Glasgow Subway to connect with the rail network over the next 20 years. That will cost £6 billion. Our much overdue underpasses would just be a tenth of that – or even a twelfth of that. I don’t have my phone calculator to work it out.

I said there were two types of people – planners and non-planners. I was wrong. There are actually three kinds of people in the world. Those who can count and those who can’t.


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