TRUMP’S imminent exit from the White House and Cummings’s flounce out of No 10 are silver linings in the dark clouds of 2020 as this annus horribilis draws to a close.

And in many ways, we should allow a little positivity into our lives. Important changes are happening and not all of them are bad. In the US the coming man is a far more reasonable and humane character than the Tangoed Terror. Expertise and science will soon be back at the heart of the Oval Office, tolerance and dignity, international co-operation and respect for the rule of law with Biden pledging to restore America’s “soul”. Let us hope that Biden is experienced enough not to fall victim to what a great Republican president once termed the “military-industrial complex” with their vested interest in intervention and armed adventurism.

Back in Old Blighty, the future is even less certain. Johnson has sold his own soul and the British people’s collective future in a Faustian pact with Cummings and the Brexiteers in order to propel him to the most powerful position in the land. His fiancée, Carrie Symonds, may have exerted her soft power to force Johnson to finally show Cummings the door, but the fact remains that his adviser’s style of macho-geekery has already wreaked much damage. Most importantly, no matter how much Cummings’s malign influence is “seen” to be put on the long arm by his headline-grabbing exit, there is still a clear and present threat to governance. While the ailing Prime Minister is self-isolating in Downing Street he is driving the country towards the Brexit cliff-edge.

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And in The Times and Telegraph, rumours from “sources” abound that Johnson is open-minded about Cummings’s return, with the big boy band possibly getting back together for a second nationwide tour come the next election. Can any of us really bear the thought of a comeback in 2024 with the same old gang making more trouble and spinning more lies and misinformation with impunity?

Herein lies the rub. Trump is about to be booted out from the White House amidst tantrums and protests and Cummings may have volunteered to exit stage left. Johnson is undergoing a pretend “reset” but the lingering smell and odour of corruption, division and fake news will take longer to dispel. Especially if Cummings is only resting on the back-burner, ready to jump back into the breach post-Brexit and of course if The Donald makes good on his threat to return in 2024 to the presidential stakes.

So, the intervening years are absolutely crucial in order to ensure that these two twisters of truth and their enablers never set foot in the corridors of power again.

When I say “enablers” I mean the Republican last ditches hanging on in there backing Trump as their only option for re-election and the great hope for the survival of their party. I also mean the English Tory Cabinet, hand-picked for their unquestioning and conscience-free allegiance to Cummings and Johnson’s re-structuring project. The head of the viper may have been cut off on both sides of the Atlantic, but its venom will leave a bitter aftertaste that will be very hard to shift.

It’s comedic that Johnson is even talking about a “reset” now Cummings is gone. Not for the first time Johnson is taking us all for fools if he thinks he can distance himself from the catalogue of damage, mismanagement and gross incompetence that has marked his first year as PM with Cummings dripping poisonous “advice” in his ear. As the man in charge, the buck stops at his door, with or without “staffing changes”.

We’re still hurtling headlong towards Brexit on January 1 with a heads-or-tails approach when it comes to choosing a rubbish deal versus a No Deal. Whatever way the coin falls, it’s going to be bad for Britain, doubly so as it coincides with the devastating second wave of a pandemic and the PM’s failure to take control and keep his citizens safe from the virus’ insidious grip.

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Johnson’s fatal flaw, well documented by fans and critics alike, is dithering in decision making. Back in March, into that vacuum of responsibility and care stepped Mr Cummings and his herd immunity ideas, followed closely by 12 months of jobs for the boys no matter how incompetent or unqualified, leading to epic failures on PPE supplies and the Test and Trace fiasco. Not to mention Barnard Castle. All signed off under Johnson’s watch.

So, while we’re basking in the afterglow of Trump’s unedifying demise and we’re getting our hopes up for better under Biden, let’s keep it real. Cummings may be gone for now and the “creepy shapeshifter” as a leading Democrat described Johnson, may be changing form, but we are still hurtling towards disaster. Unfortunately the SNP’s election boast to stop Brexit has come to naught and “democracy denier” Johnson shows no sign whatsoever of accepting the will of the Scottish people. Indeed yesterday’s pronouncements suggest that he is more likely to go for broke in getting rid of our turbulent parliament.

It will take more than a phoney reset to offload responsibility for the ensuing carnage come January 1st. Happy New Year Global Britain – anyone for Indyref2 with or without permission from the colonial capital?