Isn’t it nice of the Times to translate it for us?

Mr Cummings struck a defiant note at the regular Friday meeting of the special advisers in Downing Street last night.

He reportedly told the group that he was “p***** off’ about people briefing ‘bull****’ about spad pay and the lack of gender balance among advisers. He added: “If you don’t like how I run things, there’s the door. **** off.”

He told advisers that if they had a problem with his style they knew where the door was he said they could talk to him in private if they had concerns, The Times reported.

27 thoughts on “Isn’t it nice of the Times to translate it for us?”

  1. Great. Good to see him getting rid of some worthless, leaking, untrustworthy fuckers.

    However, he should have sacked every single spad appointed by a Remainer minister the moment he arrived.

    Biggie – do German employers prefer to retain staff who are actively plotting to hamper and discredit them?

  2. Cummings was right. He has made it clear that his team are in a war, and the enemy are the Remainers. Whether or not she was leaking, this Spad was fraternizing with the enemy during the height of the war. You can’t have people like that working in important jobs for you.

  3. Suspect Cummings will be gone shortly after Brexit (assuming it happens). Can’t keep fighting with this intensity on all fronts.

  4. I think he’ll stay. There’s a legislative programme to get through on a zero majority, which will require his particular skills. Of course, if he’s not forced into it next week, he may try for a GE before too long.

  5. Suspect Cummings will be gone shortly after Brexit (assuming it happens). Can’t keep fighting with this intensity on all fronts.

    The Left has for at least three decades. It would help if others around him woke up and realised they were in an all out war, whether they want to be or not.

  6. I think I read somewhere that Cumming’s contract is until 31st October. Ie, we’re out. If I understood it correctly, he delayed an operation he was about to have, when he got the call from Boris, and has rescheduled that op for post 31st October?

    Ie, Cummings has set the (logical) termination point for his mission. Of course, there is nothing to stop him coming back after his op, but that’ll be presumably post an election when Boris would no longer be in war mode? Although there would be more than enough for him to be getting on with – the civil service, quangos, the wider swamp…

    This nonsense from Brussels about a possible extension. I can’t see it changes anything. Leavers want that deadline. Maybe it is designed to try and break the current unity of the Cabinet, to try and toy with the Rudds and co?

  7. MBE – I dunno, but I suspect that we’re in the era of post-normal politics.

    After the Great Unmasking of the last three years, it seems obvious that any government trying to do sensible, moderate, popular things will be in the fight of its life against the institutional class, who are now a full-blown eschatological cult devoted to Carbon Terror, open borders, and an anarcho-tyrannical therapeutic panopticon State. I don’t see any indication they’ll recover their sanity after we leave the EU.

    So, if Dom Cummings didn’t exist, we’d be forced to open a Jedi training academy in Durham to replace him. Because the weaponised media, politicised civil service, aggressive lawfare, mandatory Diversity-worship and anti-democratic instincts of our current ruling elite aren’t going to simply go away on November 1st. If anything, they’ll double down on the politics of spite.

    Brexit was always going to be necessary but not sufficient to create the conditions for a grand realignment of British politics. We need to somehow bring our institutions back under effective (not just nominal) democratic control, which is a much harder and less tangible task.

  8. Suspect Cummings will be gone shortly after Brexit (assuming it happens). Can’t keep fighting with this intensity on all fronts.

    Which will probably suit him down to the ground. Retire from the battlefield successful with full honours. Nothing wrong with that at all.

    People like Cummings (and indeed myself as an occasional hatchet man) are not “organisation men”. You want to bring us in to solve a problem regardless, indeed in spite of bureaucratic intransigence and then fuck off when it’s done because 1) Nobody can keep up the pace full time 2) You need different skills to make the organisational process flow after radical changes.

    Dom is absolutely the right person for now. He may also have various jobs to do post-BRExit dealing with the aftermath, but he’s not the sort of person you want around either full-time or focused on a single-task for any long period.

    If I was Boris, I’d keep him hanging around doing bits here and there, so if any cabinet minister was slacking off / not delivering / in thrall to their civil servants then Boris always have the option of saying “Maybe we should let Dominic have a look at the problem”.

    That would sort most things out without any intervention I suspect.

    🙂

  9. One problem with Cummings is we are all talking about him, specifically, by virtue of there being only one of him. Really transformational change might require dozens of him, deployed across Whitehall, plus a few clones to send in to the quangos (actually scratch the “few”, if you tot them up and include all the related appointments as chairs of review committees and various public inquiries, suspect you’re needing three figures) and at least several thousand, preferably tens of thousands, of sympathisers – same tastes and desires, not necessarily the strategic nous – to voluntarily set up turf in the rank and file of the civil service, media, academia, judiciary, local government, charity sector…

    Can’t see it happening.

    As for current operations – trying to turn over a lot of apple-carts simultaneously while struggling with a lack of parliamentary control is a recipe for rows and pushback that there might not be capacity to fend off. Apparently Javid did his nut about this spad sacking. This isn’t the best of time to have a Brown-Blair style standoff between chancellor and PM, and Boris hasn’t the leeway to sack Javid for now. It all seems rather volatile and unstable, so likely not a solution for the longer term. Imagine this time one thousand as every entrenched interest gets upset…

    (Suspect this has been a big part of the problem implementing Brexit – the status quo involves EU entanglement with almost every aspect of national life, around which current systems have evolved – people in positions of influence in all these sectors therefore tend to benefit from present arrangements and may stand to lose out from a shake-up. Cummings is a genuine radical and would see Brexit as only the very start of what needs to be changed. In a way he isn’t ideally suited to a nominally Conservative administration – never going to happen but a eurosceptic version of the old Liberal party, before it got all social democratic, might have been the best environment for him to flourish under.)

  10. Also what JG said, in spades. I think the main challenge for a post-Brexit PM is likely to be stabilising the whole situation. The benefits of a freer hand after Brexit are likely to be available, in politically practical terms, only once things have settled down a bit.

  11. Steve,

    “After the Great Unmasking of the last three years, it seems obvious that any government trying to do sensible, moderate, popular things will be in the fight of its life against the institutional class, who are now a full-blown eschatological cult devoted to Carbon Terror, open borders, and an anarcho-tyrannical therapeutic panopticon State. I don’t see any indication they’ll recover their sanity after we leave the EU.”

    The current institutional class is weak. I’d say they’re approaching their end in the same way the CofE died in the 80s. One media (TV) replaced another (people sitting in pews). People get new sources of information and start making different (better) decisions.

  12. @Ears My take on the Javid not being happy about the spad being fired is that he didn’t get to fire the spad and wasn’t involved. Not that he wanted to keep the spad.

  13. BoM4 – I’d say they’re vulnerable, but not weak. They exercise hegemonic control over professional politics, the public sector, the media, the voluntary sector and churches (FWIW), academia, international institutions and the HyperMegaGlobocorps, who have only recently started throwing their considerable weight around.

    Thankfully God made our enemies ridiculous, so I fancy our chances, but it won’t be an uncontested thingy.

    I don’t know much about D. Cummings other than his blog and his (possibly wildly inaccurate) depiction by Benedict Cumberbatch, but the latter had a very interesting line of dialogue that chimes with my own idle musings.

    TV’s version of the Domster said something about the near future containing multiple simultaneous social, cultural and economic crises which TPTB have completely failed to prepare for or even imagine. I reckon that is so, and the mid-21st century is going to be when the prophecy of Bachman–Turner Overdrive is fulfilled.

    Let’s rock.

  14. @SBML

    Yes, I think that interpretation is correct, but that’s essentially a disagreement with the Cummingsesque way of working – treating everything as a war, bypassing standard procedures, be prepared to shoot first and don’t necessarily ask (or deign to answer) too many questions later, make sure everyone know who is running the show so you don’t have to take too much spurious input from people whose say you wouldn’t accept anyway if they happened to disagree with you. As the extract Timmy quotes makes clear, it’s a high-friction way of working – and probably not sustainable for very long, otherwise the gears of the machinery government will simply burn through.

  15. My take on the Javid not being happy about the spad being fired is that he didn’t get to fire the spad and wasn’t involved. Not that he wanted to keep the spad.

    I think Javid is right to be upset on the basis that it is his SpAD and only he has the right to fire her. Dominic did it because it sends the right message and fuck Javid’s feelings. Probably also correct at the present time.

    As for the lens through which Dominic Cummings views the world, he uses a tailored version of the OODA Loop (observe–orient–decide–act), which is a decision making process developed by military strategist and United States Air Force Colonel John Boyd.

    Being military oriented it does rather drive itself to action, which must be horrific to the Sir Humprey’s of this world (and lesser underlings of the uncivil service.

  16. @ JG
    “if any cabinet minister was slacking off / not delivering / in thrall to their civil servants”

    The thing is, that is the norm, not the exception. It needs a legion of Doms.

  17. Steve,

    “BoM4 – I’d say they’re vulnerable, but not weak. They exercise hegemonic control over professional politics, the public sector, the media, the voluntary sector and churches (FWIW), academia, international institutions and the HyperMegaGlobocorps, who have only recently started throwing their considerable weight around.”

    But behind many of those institutions are MPs selecting them, or building institutions with their friends running them. You get the right sort of government, they can either wipe out the institution and build a new one, or replace the people in charge.

    The lefty march through the institutions happened because the Blairites wanted to do it and Cameron and May were cut from the same cloth.

    The thing that really changes everything is the media shift. Anyone can share a fact or a photo that can be shared on, and go viral. And the more facts that get out there that point out the problems with The Narrative, the less people trust The Narrative.

  18. @MyBurningEars August 31, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Suspect Cummings will be gone shortly after Brexit (assuming it happens). Can’t keep fighting with this intensity on all fronts.

    Suspect? He will.

    Cummings has delayed major surgery to help Johnson deliver Brexit. Cummings is suffering agonizing pain to achieve Brexit – country before self

  19. “I think Javid is right to be upset on the basis that it is his SpAD and only he has the right to fire her.”

    IIRC all the spads technically serve at the discretion of the Prime Minister actually – they are appointed to ministers. Obviously they normally get to choose their own, but they don’t have a free hand (otherwise there’d be armies of the buggers).

    But people who should know better (and maybe do) were writing that Javid was out of the loop. So he has to be seen to push back or look weak in public, regardless of his true feelings on the matter.

  20. We need to somehow bring our institutions back under effective (not just nominal) democratic control, which is a much harder and less tangible task.

    Mr Ecks has a simple and effective solution.

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