Dominic Cummings: Downing Street’s disruptor
International Live: Dominic Cummings, picked last week by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be his top adviser, is a combative and unorthodox political strategist credited with masterminding the unexpected 2016 Brexit vote victory.
The director of the official Leave campaign, Cummings is hailed as an innovative disruptor who will bring his win-at-all-costs mentality to delivering Brexit alongside an instinct for radical reform of government.
He has been compared to Steve Bannon, US President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, and is similarly a keen student of military theories and tactics.
Cummings’ elevation, like Bannon’s, is seen as a risky move, with some sceptical that his uncompromising and caustic style can succeed at the heart of British government. “Dominic Cummings is the disruptor’s disruptor he’s strategically single-minded and ideologically iconoclastic,” said Tim Bale, politics professor at Queen Mary University of London, who featured him in his 2011 tome “The Conservative Party: from Thatcher to Cameron”.
“Civil servants and party apparatchiks may well have their noses put out of joint by his adviser, but for Johnson that’s a price well worth paying if he can hang on to (power) and get us out of the EU.”
He became special adviser to education minister Michael Gove — later a leading Brexiteer making a name for himself by developing an “us against them” bunker mentality within the department towards the rest of government.
Notably, he is pictured in the background of photos of Johnson entering Downing Street last week, standing out from other suited civil servants in jeans and a T-shirt.
Damian McBride, a former adviser to Labour prime minister Gordon Brown, said of Cummings’ early manoeuvres: “It all suggests a wild and unpredictable ride ahead”.
Dhaka 30 July (campuslive24.com)//MIH