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Posts Tagged ‘Cummings’

Cummings is now a laughing stock. Alas, so is Britain

Posted by hkarner - 31. Mai 2020

Date: 31‑05‑2020

Source: The Guardian by William Keegan

The guru of Brexit and the 2019 election has been exposed. But the economic and social damage is well and truly done

Dominic Cummings: digging himself deeper.

My father, who was of Irish extraction but hailed from County Durham, used to say: never kick a man when he is down. After the shambles of Mr Dominic Cummings’s recent excursion to Durham, one might be tempted to make an exception to the rule. But there is no need. The prime minister’s once‑valued adviser has been kicking himself – but not in the colloquial sense of expressing regret for his actions.

Deeper and deeper he dug himself in, as one terminological inexactitude led to another, and the rule‑breaker failed lamentably to justify breaking government lockdown instructions for which he was at least in part responsible.

Now, I have never, to my knowledge, met Mr Cummings. But what amazes me, and almost everyone I know, is how this first‑class clown could have acquired a reputation for having anything resembling a brain. His snivelling appearance before the media in the garden of No 10 was a classic of its kind.

The eye test has made him an international laughing stock; and, while we are on the subject of sight, his supposed foresight in forecasting the outbreak of the plague must be making George Orwell laugh in his grave. In 1984, Big Brother’s team made forecasts once they knew the result. Cummings appears to have tried the same but was found out. The guru can, it seems, be sensationally incompetent. If only he had manifested such incompetence during the referendum campaign and the 2019 general election. In those days he was, alas, far more successful in distorting the truth. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Cummings v the blob

Posted by hkarner - 8. Februar 2020

Date: 06‑02‑2020

Source: The Economist: Bagehot

The prime minister’s special adviser faces a tough adversary

For a man widely regarded as a cross between Machiavelli and Rasputin, Dominic Cummings has lost a lot of battles lately. The prime minister’s special adviser opposed both Huawei’s involvement in Britain’s 5g networks and the hs2 rail network (which he labelled “a disaster zone”). Boris Johnson has given the green light to the first and is shortly expected to approve the second. Mr Cummings’s plan to cut the size of the cabinet and create a super‑department of business has been ditched. So have his schemes to turn Downing Street into a nasa‑style mission‑control centre and to ship Conservative Party headquarters to the north of the country.

He suffered yet another embarrassment this week when he tried to challenge the prerogatives of the lobby—the collection of political journalists who get special briefings from “Westminster sources”. Mr Cummings has been waging war on the media for some time, for instance by banning ministers from appearing on programmes that he regards as hostile, and he kicked the conflict up a notch on February 3rd, allowing only selected members of the lobby to attend a briefing. The rejects included a disproportionate number of journalists from left‑wing publications. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Britain after Brexit: Dominic Cummings’s plan to reshape the state

Posted by hkarner - 5. Januar 2020

Date: 02‑01‑2020

Source: The Economist

Why Downing Street thinks that to get anything done it must first fix the machinery of government

The suspicion with which many Brexiteers have long regarded Brussels has come to be matched by an equal mistrust of Whitehall. After repeated delays to Britain’s exit from the European Union, many Leavers became convinced that bien‑pensant officials were out to subvert the will of the people. Yet for Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s chief adviser and brains behind the Leave campaign, the frustration with the civil service goes back much further. The subtitle of an entry on his personal blog, written in 2014, sums up his outlook: “The failures of Westminster & Whitehall: Wrong people, bad education and training, dysfunctional institutions with no architecture for fixing errors.” Some Eurosceptics want to put a bomb under Whitehall in order to get Brexit done. Mr Cummings wants to get Brexit done so that he can put a bomb under Whitehall.

Following Boris Johnson’s triumph in the December election, the government has an opportunity to reshape the country. Labour is in chaos, the Remainers are defeated and the British system gives huge power to governments with a large parliamentary majority. Mr Cummings’s thinking—set out over hundreds of thousands of words in a blog that ranges from Sun Tzu and Bismarck to education policy and space exploration—helps explain why many in Downing Street think that to get anything done in government they will first have to fix the civil service. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Is Britain Becoming a Failed State?

Posted by hkarner - 21. August 2019

Date: 20-08-2019
Source: by Chris Patten

Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong and a former EU commissioner for external affairs, is Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

Failed states used to be largely the preserve of the developing world, where the institutions of democracy do not have deep roots. But given the extent to which the Brexit campaign has undermined Britain’s institutions through lies, it is reasonable to worry that the country will soon come to resemble a tinpot dictatorship.

LONDON – What is a failed state? Not so long ago, when I was Britain’s Overseas Development Minister, and later European Commissioner for External Affairs, I would probably have tried to answer the question by pointing to specific examples, including several countries in Latin America and Africa.

I would have highlighted tribal conflicts, military coups, economic failure, extremes of poverty, and high mortality rates. I might have referred to the failure of more prosperous societies to ensure that globalization helped everyone and did not leave some communities trapped in deprivation. In addition, I would certainly have mentioned systems of government that had ceased to deliver what they were intended to do, and certainly what outside well-wishers hoped and assumed they would do. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Behind the Tory claims of bold Brexit action is nothing but empty bravado

Posted by hkarner - 5. August 2019

Date: 04-08-2019
Source: The Guardian by Nick Cohen

The new government has set itself against conformism, but it really hates reasonable doubt

‘The right ought to know that a no-deal Brexit is an act of epic folly.’

Like an enraged bull charging a matador, the British right is putting its head down and stampeding towards a no-deal Brexit. It has to keep moving. Were it to stop and consider where it was heading, it would never take the risks it is taking with Britain’s future.

The left fails so often because it thinks it is enough to hate Conservatives and say they are wicked, rather than understand Conservatives and show them to be dangerous. I cannot emphasise strongly enough that on its own terms the right ought to know that a no-deal Brexit is an act of epic folly and that Boris Johnson’s talk of a new golden age for merrie England is as much bullshit as bullish: the drivel of a man and a movement that have nothing but empty bravado to sustain them. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Boris Johnson Turns to Maverick Brexit Architect to Deliver EU Split

Posted by hkarner - 26. Juli 2019

Date: 26-07-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Prime Minister Boris Johnson puts the blunt political strategist in charge of making sure the U.K. can get out of the EU

Dominic Cummings

LONDON—Dominic Cummings, an architect of the 2016 British referendum campaign to leave the European Union, has spent the past three years railing against the government for its failure to break with the bloc.

Now the fate of Brexit lies partly in his hands.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday named the 47-year-old Mr. Cummings as one of his most senior advisers, putting the blunt political strategist in charge of making sure the U.K. can get out of the EU in just over three months.

Mr. Cummings hasn’t been shy about criticizing the government’s handling of Brexit so far. In his blog he trashed British civil servants and even senior euroskeptic lawmakers who he said were “too busy shooting or skiing or chasing girls to do any actual work.”

“He has got a reputation as a maverick genius,” says Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London. “But also someone who tends to rub people up the wrong way and enjoys doing so.”

Placing a critic of the British establishment at the heart of Downing Street points to the gamble Mr. Johnson is making as he plays hardball to get out of the EU by Oct. 31. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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