Dominic Cummings: A revolution coming to Whitehall?

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  • Dominic Cummings: The feared T-shirt technocrat who scorns the political class

    The Downing Street ideas man relishes challenges, but voices contempt for civil servants and their ministerial masters


    Skulking in the background of TV news footage of Boris Johnson’s cabinet of C-list politicos, a strange figure in a T-shirt could be seen. His name: Dominic Cummings, now the prime minister’s senior adviser. He’s all forehead and no smile, clutching a pen and possibly a notebook, and doubtless making notes.

    What a pity, one thought, that David Davis wasn’t round the cabinet table. In 2017 Cummings noted that Davis was as “thick as mince”, as “lazy as a toad” and as “vain as Narcissus”. As they passed him in the corridor on Thursday, many of Johnson’s new appointees must have wondered how they will be summarised in that notebook. We’ll have to wait a bit to find out.



    The Bismarck-obsessed Brexiter hates the civil service and called Cameron ‘a sphinx without a riddle’

    David Cameron has given his strong backing to Michael Gove's views that more must be done to tackle extreme Islamist ideology before it spills into violence but suggested the education secretary's former aide Dominic Cummings is a "career psychopath".

    Why Dominic Cummings at No 10 could spell trouble for Boris Johnson

    The appointment of the former Vote Leave chief as a senior adviser has brought the anxieties of the hardest Brexiteers rushing to the surface.


    Boris Johnson’s decision to appoint Dominic Cummings as his most senior adviser in Downing Street raises many questions about the sort of administration he intends to run, one of which is what sort of attitude it will take to the most hardline Brexiteers on the Tory backbenches

    I don't know about anyone else, but I never heard of Cummings until four days ago, now he seems to be everywhere, or at least all the media are talking about him and that's for a very good reason. After Boris, he's the second most powerful man in Downing Street as Boris has appointed him as his chief advisror. Downsing Street staff already call him the CEO. It could even be argued that with Boris' known habitual laziness and lack of attention to details, Cummings will be the real power to take the UK out of the EU, but is that all he's got planned?:/


    Cummings read history at Oxford and is driven by facts. He loves scientists and mathematicians and hates politicians and bureaucrats. Does he know what job he's got and who he's got to work with...?:whistling:


    To get to know him a little bit after reading some of the articles I've linked to, if you have the time read his blog article on the referendum which he wrote in 2017. He was the campaign director for the Vote Leave Campaign and it's very inciteful as to the kind of person he is. He's a prolific writer and he's the main link to his blog.


    Basically, forget Brexit, that's small fry if Cummings has his way, he wants to revolutionise the way the country works and he is not just talking hot air either. Many of his arguments in his blog posts are fact based and very interesting, I only wish I had the time to read it all, but I've read a few of them and I'm in no doubt that if Boris does give him free reign, we are in for very interesting times and about time too after the disaster that was May's government.


    Will Boris unleash this guy to tear down the civil service and all the bureaucracy that is attached to government and the State? I bloody hope so!:)


    Edit: June 2020:


    Here is a lecture that Cummings gave in 2014, outlining his plans for Whitehall reform:


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    Edited once, last by Horizon: Added link to lecture ().

  • And no doubt the torch and pitchfork brigade like media will already have dug up some dirt on that guy to throw into the mix should he start to annoy them. ;)

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • And no doubt the torch and pitchfork brigade like media will already have dug up some dirt on that guy to throw into the mix should he start to annoy them. ;)

    How is this guy any different to Remainer dickhead Mr Campbell ?, is it the fact that he is with Boris that really irks the luvvies?

  • The Guardian hates him already. And yes, as I said on another thread, he is Alastair Campbell MkII.

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  • His comments are terribly funny and reveal a sharp mind. Hope he uses it to slice into the soft underbelly of the EU leviathan. Politics needs some nasty bastards to spice it up as things have become so incredibly angel cakey lately that a bit of red hot chili pepper might not go amiss. ^^

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • The EU is a sideshow, he's going for the whole UK establishment! He hates the civil service and all bureaucracy across the country ranging from hospital bureaucracy to crime matters. Whether Boris will let him, remains to be seen.

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  • Interesting isn't it, how the dynamism of a country can be affected by the dynamism of a government


    Also interesting how vague Boris is when being asked questions about his detailed plans for Brexit. He answers in a vague fashion. We all know by now that, when he chooses, he is no burbling Bertie Wooster. Have you also noticed his cabinet are not going beyond generalities. I think this is incredibly wise. Once you give detailed to the media, just want to tear it apart, creating doubt, suspicion, animosity and depression. The people in this country need to be saved from themselves and that means the media need to remain de-fanged until Nov 1. (Even after then, I'd love it if Emily Maitlis, Andrew Marr and Channel 4 News were forced by Boris and his cohorts to clean up their act).

    How is this guy any different to Remainer dickhead Mr Campbell ?, is it the fact that he is with Boris that really irks the luvvies?

    The overriding difference between between Alistair Campbell and Dominic Cummings is that Campbell is, as you say, a dickead and Cummings is quite the opposite

  • The media love Campbell 'cos he's a remainer.

    Mark Twain — 'Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.'

  • Interesting isn't it, how the dynamism of a country can be affected by the dynamism of a government

    The government leads the country and the prime minister leads the government, so no, no surprise. If you have a soulless robot as prime minister who sucks the air out of every room she enters, it was no wonder the country felt somewhat fatigued too.


    Also interesting how vague Boris is when being asked questions about his detailed plans for Brexit. He answers in a vague fashion. We all know by now that, when he chooses, he is no burbling Bertie Wooster. Have you also noticed his cabinet are not going beyond generalities. I think this is incredibly wise. Once you give detailed to the media, just want to tear it apart, creating doubt, suspicion, animosity and depression. The people in this country need to be saved from themselves and that means the media need to remain de-fanged until Nov 1. (Even after then, I'd love it if Emily Maitlis, Andrew Marr and Channel 4 News were forced by Boris and his cohorts to clean up their act).

    Either that or Boris and chums haven't got a clue what to do.

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  • Oh, I think they know what to do. I think they are just aware also of what that might take in the present climate of clown world.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • On the first post of this thread, I posted a link to Cumming' thread and I urge everyone to read some of it, if they get a chance, because I suspect that much of what he says will now become government policy.


    I suggested the other day that Cummings might retire after Brexit in January, I think that was somewhat premature....


    It looks like Cummings will be at the heart of tearing up Whitehall and as he has a beef about just about everything, we could be in for very interesting times. He is particularly interested in the mess that is defence procurement, as the MoD consistently over spends on unsuitable equipment, so it looks like Cummings will be buying the tanks from now on!8|


    Boris wanted the power, which he's now got, where as Cummings wants to change the world. Who will really be in charge at No 10, Boris or Cummings?

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  • Who will be in charge? Well, obviously Boris, since he's PM. But I'm not sure the question really matters. Quite likely they have the same "take" on things. After all, Cummings has been Boris's behind-the scenes adviser/Svengali when he was running for Mayor.


    You say "Cummings wants to change the world". I say "who wouldn't?".


    Margaret Thatcher had Keith Joseph to help her consider the higher order of things and think the unthinkable. An amazing man. He has various ministerial posts but he was too progressive and honest to survive except under the radar, which was eventually how he contributed. These


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Joseph

    https://www.cps.org.uk/researc…hes-that-shook-the-world/.


    If Cummings is half as bright and original a thinker as Joseph, the next 4-5 years is going to be an exciting roller coaster ride.

  • Officially the Cabinet is in charge, not some unelected advisor

    I think if the aforesaid V=Cummings has an sense he will quit whilst he is ahead before any shit hits the fan - as it will

  • "It looks like Cummings will be at the heart of tearing up Whitehall and as he has a beef about just about everything, we could be in for very interesting times. He is particularly interested in the mess that is defence procurement, as the MoD consistently over spends on unsuitable equipment, so it looks like Cummings will be buying the tanks from now on!"


    The MOD like the Foreign Office still believe that Britannia still rules the waves, and happily spends a few billions on new aircraft carriers etc. Guided missiles from an enemy and those vessels are gone

    We should stop wasting money on so called defence and foreign jaunts and spend it where it is needed

  • I imagine the real discussions in cabinet office are not what is presented in public or given to the MSM to present as a headline.

  • Who will be in charge? Well, obviously Boris, since he's PM. But I'm not sure the question really matters. Quite likely they have the same "take" on things. After all, Cummings has been Boris's behind-the scenes adviser/Svengali when he was running for Mayor.

    He was the only campaign guy as far as I know and even now, Cummings is not chief of staff, that's somewhere else.

    If Cummings is half as bright and original a thinker as Joseph, the next 4-5 years is going to be an exciting roller coaster ride.

    Things need shaking, I just hope this is not just one massive PR campaign with no substance.

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  • Things need shaking, I just hope this is not just one massive PR campaign with no substance.

    Hear, hear. 3 years wasted due to the shenanigans in Parliament. It must never happen again.

    Mark Twain — 'Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.'

  • 1 He was the only campaign guy as far as I know and even now, Cummings is not chief of staff, that's somewhere else.

    2 Things need shaking, I just hope this is not just one massive PR campaign with no substance.

    1 Cummings doesn't need a title to do what he does


    2 Your pessimism knows no bounds!

  • He was the only campaign guy as far as I know and even now, Cummings is not chief of staff, that's somewhere else.

    Things need shaking, I just hope this is not just one massive PR campaign with no substance.

    Cummings may not have had the "Chief of Staff" title but he was certainly running the show

  • "It looks like Cummings will be at the heart of tearing up Whitehall and as he has a beef about just about everything, we could be in for very interesting times. He is particularly interested in the mess that is defence procurement, as the MoD consistently over spends on unsuitable equipment, so it looks like Cummings will be buying the tanks from now on!"


    The MOD like the Foreign Office still believe that Britannia still rules the waves, and happily spends a few billions on new aircraft carriers etc. Guided missiles from an enemy and those vessels are gone

    We should stop wasting money on so called defence and foreign jaunts and spend it where it is needed

    Thanks for that. If I had just emerged from solitary confinement and you were the only news source ......... I'd probably commit suicide.


    Have you ever thought of joining Reuters?

  • Thanks for that. If I had just emerged from solitary confinement and you were the only news source ......... I'd probably commit suicide.


    Have you ever thought of joining Reuters?

    Would anyone miss you?

  • Thanks for that. If I had just emerged from solitary confinement and you were the only news source ......... I'd probably commit suicide.

    LOL Thanks I almost spat my coffee out when I read that.


    I don't really care who has the title of PM or who runs the show as long as it's not a shitshow. We need serious changes but past experience tells me not much will change and things will just be shifted around a bit.

  • Yep. We'll see whether there really is widespread reform, most people in Whitehall couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery, so we'll just wait and see if the actual "revolution" happens.


    1 Cummings doesn't need a title to do what he does


    2 Your pessimism knows no bounds!

    I'm optimistic by nature, but as Fidget said, we've had three years of delays, so the proof is in the pudding here.


    Cummings may not have had the "Chief of Staff" title but he was certainly running the show

    The get Brexit done slogans came from him and it delivered Boris a majority, so yes, he's the one pulling all the strings.

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  • 1 Yep. We'll see whether there really is widespread reform, most people in Whitehall couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery, so we'll just wait and see if the actual "revolution" happens.


    2 I'm optimistic by nature, but as Fidget said, we've had three years of delays, so the proof is in the pudding here.


    3 The get Brexit done slogans came from him and it delivered Boris a majority, so yes, he's the one pulling all the strings.

    1 How on earth do you get the idea that anyone in Whitehall is pursuing a revolution? Making changes is not a revolution


    2 There hasn't been 3 years of delay with Boris as PM. When TV interviewers ask Boris: ".... then why is it that under your government .... bla bla bla?" they damn well know that (a) such failures or incompetence was either pre-Boris or due to an expected level of malignancy by others in parliament, including in his own party and (b) that Boris has too much character strength to offer that as an excuse. But what's your excuse for a pessimistic forecast based on previous failures before Boris came into power?


    3 Do you know for a fact that Cummings created those slogans? And even if he did, how does that lead you to conclude Cummings is "pulling all the strings"? The inference from your stated conclusion is that Boris is a puppet and, without Cummings, would be an empty vessel, just a cute witty sloganising moppet. If it's just your opinion, so be it, and since neither of us has that inside information, my opinion is that yours is wrong. Your link to Cummings' blog is very useful, thanks a lot, and certainly I can see that he tilts to revolution rather than evolution. But, as with most things, evolution vs revolution is a scale not a dichotomy. A guy like that is hired to think the unthinkable, to break free of the straitjacket of conventional Conservative wisdom. Cameron had Steve Hilton, Thatcher had Keith Joseph, Boris has Cummings. But none of them were "pulling all the strings".

  • 1 How on earth do you get the idea that anyone in Whitehall is pursuing a revolution? Making changes is not a revolution

    Read Cummings' own words on his site, link in the first post here.

    Your link to Cummings' blog is very useful, thanks a lot, and certainly I can see that he tilts to revolution rather than evolution. But, as with most things, evolution vs revolution is a scale not a dichotomy. A guy like that is hired to think the unthinkable, to break free of the straitjacket of conventional Conservative wisdom. Cameron had Steve Hilton, Thatcher had Keith Joseph, Boris has Cummings. But none of them were "pulling all the strings".

    Well, we'll see. He may just be the ideas guy, but I think he is more ambitious than that. He wants to do things too, not just think about them.

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  • If he has anything to do with the Tory party getting into government and the current trend to activating the mandate then he is doing a great job.