Cummings and goings – The danger that lies ahead
By TruePublica: Professor Tim Bale, the author of a modern history of the Conservative party said of Dominic Cummings – “This is someone who really believes in what he believes in,” he said. “He believes that what he wants to do will actually improve society. He’s in it for that, rather than any glory or status.”
And yet, many observers see not just a lust for recognition in Cummings’ behaviour, but so much more. One angry turn of expression was pointed at Cummings – “He’s not the Messiah. He’s just a fucking arsehole.” Even David Cameron, the Prime Minister at the time called him a “career psychopath.”
Cummings has also been accused by the civil service as creating an aggressive, intimidating culture – as demonstrated with his recent sacking of the Chancellors media advisor – who he threw out of Downing Street using police officers. He told the entire special advisors team to ‘fuck off’ if they didn’t behave as he wanted.
Cummings was originally headhunted by another largely despised Tory with sociopathic tendencies – Iain Duncan-Smith – who put so much energy into the debacle that is now Universal Credit.
Over time, Dominic Cummings has derided Westminster figures in eye-catching media interviews and published non-stop rambling blogposts obsessed by technical and artificial intelligence systems, that in turn are obsessed over by Westminster insiders. In July 2017, Cummings, at the time a former adviser to Michael Gove tweeted that the then Brexit secretary, David Davis, was as “thick as mince”, as “lazy as a toad” and as “vain as Narcissus.” On that, he may well be right of course.
So perhaps it should be no surprise to learn that Dominic Cummings has some interesting thoughts on the wheels of government and how the country should be managed should he be at centre of it all. He clearly does not believe in the establishment, such as the civil service, or even democracy for that matter. All of these are considered irritants, hurdles and barriers to a bigger agenda. Cummings has the air of an impatient dictator.
In August 2018, this is what Dominic Cummings wrote on his blog about the year ahead:
Vote Leave argued during the referendum that a Leave victory should deliver the huge changes that the public wanted and the UK should make science and technology the focus of a profound process of national renewal. On this as on everything else, from Article 50 to how to conduct the negotiations to budget priorities to immigration policy, SW1 in general and the Conservative Party, in particular, did the opposite of what Vote Leave said.
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“The (Tories) have driven the country into the ditch and the only upside is they have exposed the rottenness of Westminster and Whitehall and forced many who wanted to keep the duvet over their eyes to face reality — the first step in improvement.”
After the abysmal May/Hammond interlude is over, hopefully, some time between October 2018 — July 2019, its replacement will need to change course on almost every front from the NHS to how SW1 pours billions into the greedy paws of corporate looters via its appallingly managed >£200 BILLION annual contracting/procurement budget — ‘there’s no money’ bleats most of SW1 as it unthinkingly shovels it at the demimonde of Carillion/BaE-like companies that prop up its MPs with donations.
May’s replacement could decide to take seriously the economic and technological forces changing the world. The UK could, with a very different vision of the future to anything now proposed in Whitehall, improve its own security and prosperity and help the world but this will require 1) substantially changing the wiring of power in Whitehall so decisions are better (new people, training, ideas, tools, and institutions), and 2) making scientific research and technology projects important at the apex of power. We could build real assets with much greater real influence than the chimerical ‘influence’ in Brussels meeting rooms that SW1 has used as an excuse to give away power to Brussels where thinking is much closer to the 1970s than to today’s coastal China or Silicon Valley.
Brushing aside Corbyn would be child’s play for a government that could focus on important questions and took project management — an undiscussable subject in SW1 — seriously.
“The whole country — the whole world — can see our rotten parties have failed us. The parties ally with the civil service to keep new ideas and people excluded. SW1 has tried to resist the revolutionary implications of the referendum but this resistance has to crack: one way or the other the old ways are doomed.”
The country voted for profound change in 2016. The Tories didn’t understand this hence, partly, the worst campaign in modern history. This dire Cabinet, doomed to merciless judgement in the history books, is visibly falling: let’s ‘push what is falling’…
Cummings has tried to defend the indefensible when it comes to the strategic, tactical and lawful campaign of Vote Leave. Strategically, it used systems designed for warfare against a civilian population, tactically, it used undeclared technologies, which was then found to be illegal both in form and funding. It is clear he has a personality disorder, as he believes Britain could change the world – without thinking it can currently barely function on its own and is now heading towards a deep and painful recession. Perhaps he has not thought about how to heal the deep divisions in society he personally has a big hand in causing.
As predicted, Theresa May has been ousted and Philip Hammond sacked from the Conservative party, along with 20 other so-called rebels and Boris Johnson is dutifully delivering on the message that Cummings desires as a bribe for power – more money for the NHS, teachers, police and the like. How he intends to deliver this without the backing of the civil service is unclear – especially as the former head of the civil service has publicly encouraged the current head to formulate plans to stop Cummings expected ravaging of the service.
As part of the chaos programme of reformation, the surge to the right will delight when the culture war is ramped up. And it will be in the hands of the new Tory party. ‘Family values’ will be weaponised against LGBT communities. It won’t be long before the religious right will be welcomed into the party and women rights pushed into the conflict. Executive powers will be exercised over democratic principles. Contrary to what Cummings sees – progressiveness will go into reverse.
Dark money – undeclared from extreme neocapitalists, from religious fundamentalists, from authoritarian regimes and dictators is now pouring into Boris Johnson’s so-called election ‘war-chest.’ Bankers, hedge-funds, and vulture funds pour even more in, in the macabre hope of cleaning up from the economic downfall of our nation. One thing is for sure – they all want payback and Cummings is not in control of them either.
These are dangerous political and economic times for Britain. They are largely in the hands of a psycho with anger management and other behavioural problems who believes that creating chaos is the fastest route to change. On that last point, he’s right but there’s a problem with his plan though. Chaos is fine if you’re in complete control of it. And he is not. In the meantime, the economic fallout being created is already proving to be catastrophic and Britain is quickly falling into the hands of extreme ideologues – something else that Cummings is not in control of either.