I can’t stand Dominic Cummings. It was loathing at first sight when I first came across him in 2001 and nothing I have heard or seen since has changed my mind.
And I hope that anyone who reads this column knows that I am not a defender of the Johnson Government, which I regard as Blairism without the charm.
So why do I say that Mr Cummings should not be sacked from his Downing Street job? Why am I adamant that he should not be fined or prosecuted for his wild midnight ride to Durham, or for his blurred, myopic bumble up the road to Barnard Castle?
Well, there are lots of reasons. The first is that, like Mr Cummings himself, I think the rules he broke are stupid and futile. The only difference between him and me is that I have argued from the start that they are a mad over-reaction. He has never actually said so.
But he plainly thinks so – or otherwise why did he take no notice of those rules as soon as they interfered with his normal life?
In this, he is the same as Professor Neil Ferguson, the man whose warnings of mass deaths gave the Government the excuse for the whole disaster. If Professor Ferguson really believed this, he would not have dreamed of canoodling with a non-member of his family.
I doubt that anybody much in the top layers of Government truly believes all this rubbish. They know it has not worked and has done terrible damage and only cling to it in the hope that they will not be found out.
They created a panic and lost control of it. They are now just hoping to get through the misery they caused without anybody realising just what a mess they made, or punishing them for it.
Gosh, how I hope that a chilly, severe public inquiry, preferably headed by Lord Sumption, exposes these nincompoops to the derision they deserve, once this is over.
But for now, back to Mr Cummings. Why would you want him sacked? If he is dismissed, then he won’t suffer. He’ll walk into a better paid job in the private sector. What good will that do you?