Dominic Cummings has become a major political figure in British politics in recent years. Seen as the principal figure in the Vote Leave campaign over Brexit, and played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the subsequent Channel 4 drama, he was brought into government when Boris Johnson was elected Prime Minister with a wide-ranging brief to deliver Brexit, but was also a major figure during the days of the pandemic. His decision to drive from London to Durham when he was infected with the coronavirus brought considerable criticism and his subsequent statement to the press was mocked widely, including on Bleeding Cool.
Today he has been talking to a Parliamentary Select Committee, during which he has condemned Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock for incompetence and for pushing a herd immunity strategy in the early days, something the government denied. He also expressed regrets and apologies for his trip to Durham during lockdown, now citing there were security concerns regarding threats against his family he couldn't talk about then. He's also stating that the Government should have challenge-tested vaccines at a far earlier stage, paid thousands of people to be infected by Coronavirus, and then treated them with the vaccines which, as he states, were created by pharmaceutical companies in hours. and have been able to introduce vaccines far sooner. And if anyone died, pay their families millions in compensation – but that this would have saved tens of thousands of lives. That's going to make headlines, but this is Bleeding Cool and so take greater note that Cummings threw in a few pop culture references, including the pointing Spider-Man meme. He states that government in practice during the early days of the pandemic was "like that Spider-Man meme with both Spider-Man's pointing at each other. It was like that but with everybody. You had Hancock pointing at the permanent secretary, the permanent secretary pointing at Hancock, they are both pointing at the Cabinet, the Cabinet are pointing back at them. And all the different Spider-Man's are pointing back at each other saying 'it's your responsibility.'"
The meme comes from the sixties Spider-Man cartoon when Spider-Man met a villain posing at him, and is often used to show internal contradictions by an individual or a group in their actions and statements. It's noted that Boris Johnson has made a number of comic book references over the years, principally Tintin and Hulk, and there was also this "Avengers Assemble" scene from the Channel 4 drama. Turns out Vote Leave was full of geeks. And having Dominic Cummings talking Spider-Man does make me think that the upcoming Doctor Strange movie, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and featuring Tom Holland as Spider-Man, may have all sorts of different memes ready to be released.