DOMINIC Cummings was, of course, always going to walk away from the fold-up picnic table leaving us feeling that we had been fed scraps of truth.

Did you expect full transparency over the details of his trip to Durham? Not at all. This is the age of 24-hour media, of absolute scrutiny, a constant searching for the killer line.

As such, our politicians – and their advisers – more than ever are committing the seven deadly sins of omission; Obfuscation, Denial, Disdain, Arrogance, Wrath (against critics), Lack of Contrition and Hypocrisy.

Be honest, what’s Boris Johnson’s wing man going to say to the media? “Listen, I’ve had to deal with Bojo, corona and you lot on my backs for months so I fancied a little Winnie the Pooh time with the wife in the woods. Deal with it.” Before adding with a cheeky smile: “And my eyesight is actually 20-20.”

No. He employed the sins of omission and even added another – Audacity – when he claimed partial sight loss, a blatant attempt to illicit sympathy rarely employed since Mary Ingalls had us in tears on Little House On The Prairie when she went blind.

And for those expecting Boris Johnson to sack his badly-dressed Machiavelli? Never. Cummings helped secure an 80-seat majority. He brought down the Red Wall. He is a kingmaker who taught his king how to divide and conquer.

On that basis did you every think Boris Johnson was going to say: “Listen, chaps, and chapesses, I’ve told a few porkies in my day – I’m sure you remember the Eurocoffins tale I pedalled and all of that gubbins – but what does it really matter? I’m not entirely sure either about Dom’s reasons for a walk in the bluebell woods, but if he were having a jolly so be it; let’s jolly well get on with it!”

We’ve long been treated to the sins of omission in politics. Tony Blair proved to be lacking in contrition when it came to details of dodgy war dossiers. Bill Clinton’s presidency was almost ended when he declared, “I did not have sex with the woman,” revealing not only denial but disdain for popular intelligence.

Jeremy Corbyn’s attendance at a Black September terrorist memorial resulted in the Labour leader arguing, “I was present at the wreath-laying. I don’t think I was actually involved in it.”

But, sadly, the sins of omission have been cranking up as the Covid pressures have come bearing down. At this moment our First Minister is performing the Bo Peep role admirably. However, since early March the speech content has too often been about omission. When will she open up about her part in the Scottish Government’s herd immunity strategy, given that clinical director Jason Leitch admitted that herd immunity was part of the game plan initially?

When will she reveal in full the process of discharging the untested elderly from hospitals into care homes? Did she rage down the phone to Boris Johnson when he declared on March 2 that, “Britain was well-placed to deal with the virus?”

The FM has also been using "tiredness" to explain her Health Secretary Jeanne Freeman getting key figures wrong about the number of patients (921) being transferred from hospitals to care homes.

This is three times higher than Freeman had originally suggested and an arithmetic error way beyond Diane Abbott proportions. When we will get the full detail on the tragic errors committed?

There is little doubt Nicola Sturgeon is a powerful politician but all too often that rating seems to earned by the ability to remain steadfast.

But we need more from a leader. The FM, for example, has now accused the Prime Minister of choosing “political interest ahead of the public interest” over the backing of Dominic Cummings. Isn’t hypocrisy involved here, given her initial backing of Dr Catherine Calderwood for breaking lockdown rules?

Then again, was the FM ever going to say: “Of course I’m being inconsistent. I was absolutely right to ignore Catherine Calderwood’s massive error of judgement – right up until the point the public s***storm became so great my eyesight became as bad as that of Dominic Cummings.”

We can forgive errors of judgement – even Mr Magoo’s trip to Durham can be understood, if never condoned. But obfuscation and sins of omission need to called to account.

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