Mark Steel: Dominic Cummings' actions tell the public rules are to be broken


It’s not just lockdown rules that are changing.

Because now that checking your eyesight is an acceptable reason for driving 60 miles, the rules for every-thing are different.

To start with if you tell an optician you can only see six feet ahead of you, and even that is blurred and completely purple, you will no longer be tested with an old-fashioned eye chart.

Instead they will ask you to drive a tractor to a well-known beauty spot.

Then they will diagnose a weakened retina, because you caused a multi-car pile-up by ploughing through the central reservation on the M6 by Stafford services.

Arsonists can say: “Hello officer. I needed to see if I was colour blind, so I set fire to the church to check I could distinguish the bright orange of the flames pouring from the roof from the musty grey of the smoke drifting across the town.

“The good news is my eyes seem to be in good working order. Bye for now.”

This should also revolutionise the way drink-drivers are dealt with. From now on the police won’t have to muck about with cumbersome breathalysers.

Instead, if the police suspect a driver may be completely drunk they will ask them to drive 60 miles – making sure that before they set off they’ve put a small child on the back seat.

Mark Steel says members of the public may as well be asked to drive a tractor to test eyesight due to Dominic Cummings’s flouting of lockdown rules

Because of Dominic Cummings, now you can break any rule you’ve given to others if you say: “I used my discretion.”

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If Dominic was an air steward his safety announcement would go: “In the event of an emergency, calmly follow the arrows towards the exit door.

“Don’t run or collect your belongings because this will obstruct me, and I’ll be running and collecting my belongings and pushing everyone else out of the way, possibly into the smoke pouring in from the engines. But don’t worry, I’ll be using my discretion.”

If he’d been a warden in the Second World War he’d have said: “It is essential we maintain a total blackout following an air raid siren.

“But it was all right for me to turn on floodlights across the garden all night and play a game of five-a-side football, because I was using my discretion.”

Mark Steel: ‘If [Boris] was running a Formula 1 team he’d say: ‘There’s no point comparing our times to those of Lewis Hamilton. The fact he finished four days ahead of us, and we had to push the car round the last nine laps… teaches us nothing.’

The other catchphrase the Government seems keen on is “we have to move on”. 

This is fine, as long as everyone is allowed to do this when they’ve been caught breaking rules too.

The next time a bank robber is in court he should say: “We can argue all day about who aimed a sawn-off shotgun at who, but what the British people want now is for us all to move on.”

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And Boris Johnson now says there’s no point in comparing our figures of infection rates to other countries, as we had been doing until we became the worst in Europe.

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If he was running a Formula 1 team he’d say: “There’s no point comparing our times to those of Lewis Hamilton.

The fact he finished four days ahead of us, and we had to push the car round the last nine laps because the steering wheel fell off, teaches us nothing.”

They seem to have given up even trying to make sense – and that’s probably for the best.





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