JUST when you thought the Government's handling of the coronavirus crisis couldn't sink any lower, along comes Dominic Cummings.
At worst, the Prime Minister's top aide is a first-class hypocrite for breaking the very lockdown rules he helped to write.
At best - if you accept his reasons for that journey - he is a selfish sod. Because what type of man would want his elderly parents to be around a child potentially infected with a virus which can be lethal for the old? Not a very admirable one.
Dominic Cummings isn't a single mother on a council housing estate in a desperate situation with no options.
Someone as politically and socially well-connected as him couldn't have found a solution that didn't involve a 264-mile road trip from London to Durham?
Are we expected to believe that during that four-and-a-half-hour journey the family didn't stop the car at a service station to fill up with fuel, buy food, or use the toilet?
In any household, parents would naturally panic if they thought they had both developed Covid-19.
But they'd at least try to muddle through - even if it involved their child eating cereal and being on electronic devices for a week - rather than take them to granny's.
Boris Johnson himself said in a speech on March 18 that "children should not be left with older grandparents who may be particularly vulnerable".
Unless Dominic Cummings didn't hear him, this is a classic case of 'do as I say and not as I do'.
Cummings' position is untenable because the Government needs people to continue to abide by lockdown measures
During this pandemic so much has been asked of some citizens. Thirteen-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab from Brixton died in hospital without his mum or dad by his bedside.
And his coffin was lowered into the ground without his immediate family present because two of his siblings had coronavirus symptoms. Arrangements were made for relatives to watch his funeral on a livestream.
That's the magnitude of the sacrifice that some ordinary folk have made. Cummings' position is untenable because the Government needs people to continue to abide by lockdown measures.
The ruled will not uphold the regulations if the rulers are so flagrantly flouting them. Nobody in Johnson's circle could afford to get this wrong.
Cummings successfully framed the general election as 'the elite versus the people' on Brexit.
He portrays himself as outside the establishment, and that's no bad place to be. The very clothes he wears send out a message to the public: 'I'm not one of them, I'm one of you.'
But breaking the spirit of the rules you imposed on others screams political privilege far more than wearing a suit and tie does.
Cummings is surely now a liability to Johnson. Had this Government a better record during the pandemic, it might be different.
But bar its economic package, Downing Street has failed on almost everything since Covid-19 hit our shores. PPE, testing, care homes and a lockdown that came too late.
They've had to dump the international comparison charts from their daily briefings because the figures are so damning.
Breaking the spirit of the rules you imposed on others screams political privilege far more than wearing a suit and tie does
The Government is in an even tighter spot because they hailed Professor Neil Ferguson's resignation from Sage for a minor lockdown breach as "the right thing to do".
There would certainly be no shortage of Tory ministers and MPs pleased to see the back of Cummings.
A neighbour of his parents discovered he was at their farm when he heard loud music and looked over the hedge to see Dominic dancing to Abba in the garden.
That image, when juxtaposed against the mask-scarred faces of nurses on Covid wards, is a powerful one. The second most powerful man in Britain may well have met his Waterloo.