At last – the 2020 Radicalism Show. But means and ends must always be balanced: does Dominic Cummings have the same ends in mind as Boris Johnson?
There is good news, and there is bad news. Something tells me that the reign of Boris Johnson is going to be like this for as long as it shall live.
The good news is that – as he warned anyone prepared to listen – Dominic Cummings is not taking any prisoners in his attacks on the Establishment. The casually biased media channels are not receiving formal briefings on what’s going on, and so of course are trying to depict BojoDom as a wicked One Party State trying to create a One Party State that isn’t their Party State, how very dare they.
The 4th Estate Mobentum will find no sympathy in this corner: having bombarded the People with mendacious propaganda for four years, they are now receiving a comeuppance that was long overdue. However, Hell that no fury and all that. The Times appears to think that hissy fits and foot-stamping are in order: earlier this week – desperate for some angle alleging incompetence – its columnist Philip Collins dismissed the PM’s Cabinet reshuffle as ‘feeble’.
I was left pondering what Collins would call a robust reshuffle….shooting the Royal Family, perhaps, or placing Mr David’s cerebral remains on a spike at Spithead. It was, in fact, almost precisely the Treasury purge I called for here on October 17th 2017 – a clearout of the Unelected State putchists who tried to kick Brexit into the long grass.
So, the élite media licking their wounds, and the Treasury with a stake through its heart. First two rounds to Cummings, then.
The bad news is that I have rather more faith in Cummings’ “good” intentions than those of Boris. It’s not hard to see what the Prime Minister is up to. There is a whole clutch of Green claptrap, minimum wage and Spend-spend-spend Bills pouring into Parliament; some of which reflects the very real influence of Johnson’s girlfriend, but most of which is designed to leave Labour with nothing to moan about – and thus an even narrower electoral franchise to which it can appeal.
Clever politics – but fraught with constitutional danger. So mediocre is the Labour Shadow Front Bench now – so risible the leadership – that the UK has become what I began to fear ten years ago….a nation lacking in plurality, and being run by a bloke who wants to turn it into Singapore.
There’s also a very real fiscal and economic danger with this expansionist Chancellor policy: the time to spend money was at the start of Zirp around 2009….when debt was dirt cheap. The Tsunami is coming – the symptoms become clearer every week – and the new Chancellor lacks Javid’s experience of dealing with it. Having someone malleable and wet behind the ears is one thing; having a PM whose grasp of the world economy is at best simplistic is another thing entirely.
Johnsonian virtue signalling is apparent even in the ethnicity of the new CofTE. Rishi Sunak has been an MP for just four years, and is a Person of Colour. Bizarrely we have Idi Amin to thank for his presence, as the family escaped to Britain as East African Asians. He’s just 39.
But look behind the veil…..et voilà: the family is white collar professional and rich, he went to a very posh private school and then Oxbridge. He is yet another Goldman Sachs alumni. For all I know, the chap is thoroughly able. But as Peter Cook was fond of remarking ironically, “Ah yes, indeed….all the telltale signs are there.”
Furthermore, my female friends think him rather tasty. In this our Beauty Parade Century, such things are important.
For myself, I sit here in the sunshine of a mild Aquitaine Friday and wonder What Dominic did Next. Mr Cummings is, I sense, more of a process untangler and promoter of free and brave thinking than a constitutional reformer. This is – let’s face it – a terrific start….but can he bend his mind to the broader canvass beyond Party politics and fiscal policy?
He is I know interested in geopolitics; but personally I think, under Dominic Raab’s tutelage, the FCO is in safe hands.
Ideally, Cumming’s next target should be education. It needs radical reform of its goals, practices, judgement criteria for success, and fumigation of the conformist fluffies who created the New Left fascism in the first place. It will be a titanic struggle – but worth every demo, march and pernicious media spin it will almost certainly evoke.
Further, although it’s not top of mind for most voters, root and branch reform of our legislative and other “democratic” systems truly cannot wait much longer for reform. We need a creative rethink on a Second Chamber, wholesale devolution of power down to regional and local levels, and above all the institution of a proper, modern, fully representative voting system regardless of gerrymandering advantage.
Yet somehow, my water tells me Dominic Cummings will be unable to resist one major muscle-flexing exercise before tackling any of the above. More than one Whiteminster resident has remarked to me in the past that Cummings thinks both the Home Office and the Security Services are dysfunctional. He is also uneasy (as am I) about the unparalleled fiefdom of power Sir Mark Sedwill has quietly invaded and colonised during a long career demonstrating less than libertarian tendencies.
Boris Johnson is himself, of course, very obviously of the same bent. Boris the Spider remains unchanged as the globally connected inventor of Skripal bollocks, supporter of the ghastly Saudi régime, and cronyism with the rich and powerful in all walks of life.
Sooner or later, Bojo will have to make a choice. If he chooses Sedwill (and shunts Cummings into a siding) then it will be time for everyone to start worrying about the survival of liberal democracy in Britain.
Nobody will start worrying, naturally – because they can’t be bothered to any more. But I write figuratively.
Enjoy the weekend.