This was first posted on Facebook on 14th November 2020, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
A few facts.
Trump has stopped dyeing his hair. (No, it is not a toupee, he has a massive combover with tons of product, but it came loose in a good Scottish breeze once when he was here to buy a golf course.) The Ivanka Trump version is that he dyes it himself from a DIY-box, and the reason the colour is so weird is that he’s never had the patience to leave it on the right amount of time.
There are multiple ways of leaving 10 Downing Street that do not involve going through the front door in full view of the press cameras, so you can take it as definite that Dominic Cummings’ conspicuous departure, cardboard box in his hands as if he had been packing up his desk, was staged to allow the papers a photo-op that would be an irresistible illustration to a story about how he’s definitely gone.
Dominic Cummings’ actual office is elsewhere in Whitehall, anyway, not in 10 Downing Street itself.
There is no official confirmation that Dominic Cummings has actually resigned, but he said in May he planned to leave in 6 months and now no-deal Brexit is imminent and inevitable, there’s no real reason for him to stay.
The story circulating among Westminster reporters who will repeat anything Dominic Cummings tells them as gospel, about Johnson angrily firing Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain because they’d been “briefing against” the Prime Minister’s current girlfriend, had to be retracted within a couple of hours as it appears it was just made up – as anyone with common sense would realise.
Johnson doesn’t get into fights with his mates because they’ve been sending nasty texts about his current girlfriend: he’s not that sort of guy at all.
Carrie Symonds may detest Cummings and Cain for all I know, but Johnson wouldn’t sack them because she did.
Talk of a “bitter power struggle” is almost certainly made up, too. Dominic Cummings likely planned Friday’s news coup in which all of the news was about his big Departure. And he is likely still working for Johnson (or Johnson for him, hard to tell) til the end of this month.
What is very likely true is that Boris Johnson plans to announce some big change next week, that will be attributed to his having fired Dominic Cummings. Given Johnson must now avoid pissing off Joe Biden by breaking the Good Friday Agreement, it would be nice to think this change involves the Internal Market Bill, which will be back (presumably) in the House of Commons in December, but seriously, we don’t know that – only that Cummings/Johnson have planned something, and Cummings’ big theatrical departure through the black Number 10 door is certainly part of it / to distract attention from it.