Spitting Image jumped on Dominic Cummings' sacking from Prime Minister Boris Johnson's cabinet on Friday. The show managed to throw in a sketch covering his downfall in this week's episode, which is impressively quick. Cummings' fall from grace can be traced back to the coronavirus. He got infected back in May and instead of quarantining at home, he got into a car with his family and drove off for a holiday. He singlehandedly destroyed public confidence in the UK government's messaging about the lockdown and isolating to control the pandemic.
As a result, you can probably lay the surge in infection rates across the UK ever since at his feet. Serial killer Peter Sutcliffe also died from COVID on Friday. Is the universe trying to tell us something by taking out these two awful men on the same day?
Whoever runs Spitting Image's official YouTube Channel is amazingly on the ball. They probably don't sleep much. How else could they put up a supercut of their Dominic Cummings sketches and also this week's sketch about his downfall?
Dominic Cummings: The Evil Alien at No. 10
Cummings' puppet is probably the cruelest lampoon imaginable on Spitting Image. The general public knows nothing about what he's like in real life, and there's a general assumption that he's an unfeeling, cold savant, a bargain-basement Lex Luthor scheming to disrupt and undermine government institutions. He's considered responsible for the tactics that won the Brexit vote and is considered Boris Johnson's version of Steve Bannon. The Guardian columnist Marina Hyde brilliantly and hilariously termed Cummings "Boris Johnson's emotional support psycho". It is not an exaggeration to say he is the most hated member of Johnson's cabinet, especially by the other Tories.. There was much rejoicing on Friday at his sacking. Someone tweeted, "Dominic Cummings has been sacked. The next Prime Minister will be Boris Johnson."
Spitting Image has elected to make Cummings an evil space alien that can barely disguise being an alien. He doesn't even bother pretending he understands human emotion. He is like a cross between Ming the Merciless and a Mekon. The Dominic Cummings puppet might have more moving parts than all the others on the show. They deliberately made its eyes separate so they wobbled whenever his head moves too much so he looks deranged. The pupils are made with shiny material so that's an inhuman glow when they hit the light. They made the hollowness of his bald head inflatable and retractable so that it throbs and ebbs whenever he uses his sinister telepathic powers. Oh, and he likes to eat babies.
This is mean, childish, and hysterically funny. It's a team of writers who thought this through, all to vilify a public figure whose actions have affected the lives of millions of people. That's punching up, not down. Cummings may or may not vanish from public life or he might go into the lecture or private consultancy business, but it would be a shame if Spitting Image retires his puppet so soon given the amount of work that went into creating and writing it.