Is this the real reason we love Line of Duty?

Dominic Cummings, at the centre of allegations about Boris Johnson, leaves his home in London on March 17, 2021

Dominic Cummings, at the centre of allegations about Boris Johnson, leaves his home in London on March 17, 2021 - Credit: Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images

Set in a Britain with zero-Covid and corruption is punished, is this why we love Line of Duty?


On Sunday night I was (like, apparently, 80% of the population of the United Kingdom) watching Line of Duty on BBC 1, when I had a sudden realisation: Line of Duty takes place on an alternate earth. 

Two things give it away: First of all, the events of this season are quite explicitly set in a 2020 in which there appears to be no Covid pandemic.

Secondly, in Line of Duty world, while corruption in high office does sometimes go unpunished, it is least officially frowned upon and there are still laws against it. 

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Unlike in our own ‘Earth 1’ Britain, it hasn’t been given a cutesy rebrand along with the tacit approval of the establishment and the eager endorsement of its media cheerleaders.

Unless of course, the AC in AC-12 stands for “anti-chumocracy.”

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Alarm bells and eyebrows were raised throughout the Conservative media sphere this week when it was reported that the prime minister, when called upon to impose further lockdowns last year, had replied that he would rather “let the bodies pile up in their thousands“.

At least, that was the sentence quoted on the front page of a previously loyal right wing tabloid newspaper on Monday last (curiously, the one which employs Michael Gove’s wife as a leading contributor).

What is particularly odd about this incident is the apparent reluctance of the prime minister’s people to help him get out of it. Come on guys, earn your money, there are all sorts of ways of spinning this...

"Yes, he said it, but he was playing Dungeons & Dragons!" "Yes, he said it, but he was writing lyrics for his new death metal band!" 

Because it’s either one of those, or the leader of our nation is a rampaging narcissist with no regard whatsoever for human life, and surely nobody thinks that.


The prime minister had already covered himself in yet more glory after it emerged that when Richard Dyson, the vacuum cleaner entrepreneur (and leading Brexiter, not that that matters) complained to the PM in a private text conversation that tax regulations were hampering his efforts to produce ventilators in the early days of the pandemic (an enterprise which, you will recall, resulted in the production of no ventilators whatsoever). Johnson promised to “fix it“.

Leaving aside the questionable legality and extremely ropey ethics of this intervention, the thought of a badly dressed man with a shock of white hair and curious vocal mannerisms promising to “fix it” for someone doesn’t exactly bring back happy mem… (don’t even go there – Ed)


Never let it be said that this government has done nothing to encourage imports; it was revealed this week that David Quarrey, the prime minister's international affairs adviser and deputy national security adviser, personally imported a new and potentially more lethal variant of the Covid virus into the country from India while on official business.

Indeed, it was because he was on official government business that he was made exempt from the usual quarantine and screening procedures upon arriving back in the country. Because everyone respects a diplomatic passport, even viruses.


Never let it be said that our government has failed to take its responsibilities during the pandemic seriously. Why, even as we speak they are offering themselves as guinea pigs to see whether the new Covid variant imported from India by the prime minister‘s international affairs advisor David Quarrey can indeed resist the vaccine.

We shall not forget their sacrifice…


Well Boris and his helpers thought they’d seen the last of him
But he’s back and like his dress sense, the future’s looking grim
They’d watched him stagger up the street with that big old’ cardboard box
Then cancelled all his ID cards and changed all of the locks
They saw him round the corner with gladness in their hearts
And went back to the job of selling Britain off for parts
But now he has returned bringing horror fear and dread
And everybody’s dirty secrets in his massive head
Let no one say that Boris wasn’t warned
Hell hath no fury like a Dominic scorned.
Who knows what ghastly truths that bulbous cranium conceals?
He was there for all the meetings and in on all the deals
He was party to the treachery chicanery and deceit
And you can be damn certain that he kept all the receipts
This time around he will be even harder to avoid
Soon as he cuts a deal with an amenable tabloid
He knows the whole damn story and he’ll write it out verbatim
And take vengeance upon all those who did not appreciate him
He’ll make them wish that they had not been borned
Hell hath no fury like a Dominic scorned

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