Dominic Cummings is in the news again.
I blogged about him 5 months ago:
Someone is at least on the right track…
Some tweets seen…
Good grief! If this [see below] really is a snapshot of the mind of Dominic Cummings, then the government really is in the hands not only of idiots (eg Boris-idiot, Priti Patel etc) but of lunatics.
It also reminds us that lunacy is not really so hard to distinguish from genius, in most cases.
[Update, 23 January 2020: the full lunacy of Cummings’ blog post, some of which was in the deleted tweet above, seems to have been expunged from the Internet, though maybe one of his “weirdos and misfits” would be able to find it]
The above (apparently from a blog penned by Cummings) is an inward-gazing stream of consciousness (though purporting to be to the point) worthy of someone whose residential address ends with the word “Hospital”, or similar.
What makes it alarming is that Cummings is not just a stray “Conservative” (and the word seems ever-less useful as a descriptor) who is on the periphery of power (in the way that the Monday Club or the Bow Group used to be), but someone right at the centre of what could be (perhaps inaccurately) called the Johnson Project. Indeed, “Cummings Project” might be more accurate. Boris Johnson himself has few ideas beyond schoolboy fantasies such as building bridges from Scotland to Ireland, creating artificial islands with Metropolis airports on them etc.
There was talk before the recent General Election that in Cabinet (effectively in Cabinet; I suppose technically, Cabinet committee), Cummings actually overruled the Prime Minister several times. Not just spoke over him, but overruled him on decisions! Now, OK, the person posing as Prime Minister is Boris-idiot, a bad joke PM who is a proven serial —indeed constant— liar, incompetent and fantasist, but there is still such a thing as respect for the office itself…
Dominic Cummings seems to me (admittedly only from what I have read…I have never met him or anyone who has met him) to be like a person who is somewhere between a guest and a gatecrasher at a dinner party, someone who has no idea how to behave and who has no respect for the hosts, the guests, the staff or the event.
Is there anything correct about his views re. government and civil service? Yes, the gene pool is shallow or narrow; in politics now even more so than in the administration proper (Civil Service), but the answer to that is to carefully reform recruitment and training, as well as overall structure, not to let off hand grenades all over Westminster.
I think that we have to remind ourselves that governing the UK is not some kind of pathetic country house weekend game in the drawing room or Hall. This impacts on real people, in their millions, all over this country. It is not a matter of scribbling some clever little half-baked idea that can be run up the flagpole at the Oxford Union or (taking on board the Cummings dislike of Oxbridge) a Spectator drinks party.
This made me laugh, though!
I have to say that I agree with the tweeter below:
It may seem lazy to say “it is easier to destroy than create”, but the thing about truisms is that they contain truth. The machinery of administration and government in the UK was created over centuries, and particularly in the century or so since the mid-Victorian era. Once you tear it to pieces, you may find that groups of supposedly terribly clever little people, weirdos and misfits, sitting in groups around Whitehall, cannot in fact replace what presently exists.
Britain today has already suffered a number of shocks to its postwar (post-1945) stability: Thatcherism, mass immigration (accelerated since 1997), Blair-Brown “reforms”, the financial crisis of 2008, the fake “austerity” of the evil 2010-2019 “Conservative” governments (particularly the half-baked idiocies of Dunce Duncan Smith and his underlings). Now this.
Dominic Cummings is a History graduate, for what that is now worth. He will know, I presume, what happens to societies when everything that underpins their stability is knocked away. I presume that he also knows that revolutions usually consume their own children…
Update, 6 January 2020
Update, 23 March 2020
A floundering idiot working for a floundering idiot, and both pretending to be great brains…you couldn’t make it up.
Update, 30 August 2020