How do you know?


I was in two minds whether to call this blog  ‘Narcissistic Psychopaths’ or ‘How do you know?’ and, as you see, the one in more approachable English won. So what’s it all about?

It started when I read messages from several people I knew vaguely on Facebook and Twitter who were saying that they had a fellow feeling with Cummings and that he was perfectly right to chose his child’s well being over obeying the rules that everybody else was following.  Many said, ‘I would have done the same. It’s only human nature to look after your children.’ But my mind was yelling ‘What!!’ even before I reached the end of the sentence because what they were saying was based on the assumption that we are all the same and that is by no means universally true. Not all parents love their children as I know to my cost. My mother beat the hell out of me and hated me with a passion. Far too many of us have to cope with all sorts of adverse situations. And people diagnosed as narcissistic psychopaths, as Trump and Johnson are now being diagnosed, often turn out to have had one hell of a childhood but that doesn’t mean we should tolerate the terrible things they are doing as adults. At which point I had to stop to look up narcissistic psychopaths to see what the psychologists were talking about. Very revealing.

The behaviour of a narcissistic psychopath is always the same. ”They lie pathologically, they malign the truth, they create fake scandals and demonise perceived enemies and critics.”  And being narcissistic, they consider themselves the most important people on the planet, and if something goes wrong under their administration, they find someone else to blame. All of it seems demonstrably true in the case of Trump, who talks about himself and how wonderful he is virtually all the time, and Johnson who was described by the Master of Eton (writing to his father) as a boy who ”honestly believes that it is churlish of us not to regard him as an exception, one who should be free of the network of obligation which binds everyone else.” And now we’ve got a third candidate for the title in Dominic Cummings, who also obviously feels that the rules and obligations that bind the rest of us do not – and should not – apply to him. The rest of us are unimportant, we’re just plebs and expendable. Look at this for an example of how he thinks. Here he is talking about the virus and advocating ‘ herd immunity’ as the answer to it. ”Herd immunity, protect the economy and if that means some pensioners die, too bad.” Well thanks a bunch Mr Cummings.

So what do we know about this man? He’s obviously powerful. Take a look at one of the things he wrote in his blog before the General election that put Johnson in power.

‘Tell your family and friends, face to face: if Boris Johnson doesn’t get a majority, then Corbyn and Sturgeon will control the government, their official policy is to give the vote to millions of foreign citizens to cheat their second referendum, we’ll all get screwed on taxes, parliament will drag the whole country into crisis and immigration will return to being a central issue in politics instead of being marginalized by Brexit.’


So there’s the man in essence. He hates Corbyn and Sturgeon who are honest politicians: he likes to manipulate people: he doesn’t want to pay his taxes: he’s a racist who likes to frighten his followers with talk of millions of foreign immigrants coming into the country (remember the poster?): he thinks Brexit is a solution.

He is also a eugenist, as I discovered when I read an account of a talk he’d given to The Department of Education in which he ‘allegedly’ claimed ‘a child’s performance has more to do with genetic make-up than the standard of his or her education.’ That provoked a flurry of complaints and in answer to his critics he said he had warned of the danger of public debates being confused by misunderstanding of such technical terms. ‘Or to translate, I may have said it but you didn’t understand what I was talking about. Which is on a par with I may have driven 30 miles but it was to test my eye sight.’


The Huffington Post however nailed him, very neatly, saying ‘whatever you may think of the defense, it’s worth looking a little more closely because Cumming’s technocratic, effectively eugenic, definitely gene-focused approach is dangerously close to affecting public policy,’

I will let Gayle Letherby have the final word because she’s put this situation so succinctly. She tweeted two days ago. Respec’ Gayle.

‘We live in a society/world where being an arrogant, egotistical, morally deficient, lazy, lying charlatan leads to success.

We live in a society/world where being a life-long anti-racist, working for equality, social justice and peace leads to condemnation and attack.’



8 thoughts on “How do you know?

  1. Very interesting Beryl, and so terrifying. Horrible, horrible people. I have actually just unfollowed someone on twitter who on one day (after the ridiculous ‘stay alert’ instructions) said people were stupid if they didn’t understand the rules (this is the English ones, I hasten to add, which made no sense to no-one else I know) and that they (I’m using ‘they’ to protect identity, heaven knows why) knew ‘exactly what I have to do’ (which was basically stay home in their mansion and tend their numerous acres of garden), and just a few days later said Cummings was ‘just a man doing the best to protect his family’ (presumably the rest of us don’t have families, or more likely don’t have the nonce to protect them…) and the media should all be locked up for hounding the poor dear man.

    As usual, I am so glad I live in Scotland where our First Minister has consistently acted in the interests of the people, and given clear information every day in her briefings.

    I don’t know much about K Starmer, but if he can get enough support to unseat this appalling excuse for a government, I’ll be happy. Though was just discussing with my husband whether, if there were a GE today, I ought to vote SNP or Labour. I am an SNP member and support that party all the way, but if backing Labour meant getting rid of Johnson and his henchmen in Westminster?

    I hope you are staying safe and well Beryl. You are an inspiration.


  2. Dear Beryl, you have hit the nail on the head as usual! Frighteningly, people already saying that they do not have to follow the guidelines now. We have stopped walking along the river in our village as too many people on footpaths. This horrible situation is not like Pirates of the Caribbean – rules are rules. Keep safe everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is the same on my walk beside the Dee – I do appreciate that I do not have exclusive rights to the path, but there is a big notice up saying no cycling, yet I am bombarded with cyclists all the time – plus, people out walking who will not move into single file, when passing, or who come across a friend, so chat to one another from opposite sides of the path – all good social distancing, or would be except the rest of us have no choice but to walk straight through the middle of them. I do try, I really do, to keep calm and remember we are all stressed, but some people do seem to be taking Cummings’ lead – ie ‘the rules don’t apply to me, because I am Very Special. Unlike you. who are most definitely NOT.’

    Luckily I am very fortunate and have other walking routes that are less popular.

    Liked by 1 person

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