Monday, May 25, 2020

Sympathy for The Dominic

I imagine a really unhappy, difficult few years at school for Dominic Cummings.

A sportless nerd with no social skills, bad clothes, poor taste in music. A narrow, unshared range of interests which he gradually, over university and beyond, developed both an encyclopaedic knowledge of and brutal passion for. Pilloried and bullied by the cool kids. Privileged, unpopular family. Odd accent he veered between defiantly maintaining and desperately gentrifying. A carapace of contempt growing as his highly focussed intelligence was brought to bear on issues which suddenly, in the socially mediated age, became politically crucial.

Not so much tough as beyond caring: Here I am. This is my bus. Get on board, pay the fare or get out of my way. And once you're on, you obey my rules. Listen to my choice of Abba tunes. These are my skills. This is my price.

Do you know what? I bet he's a really kind dad. A loving husband. And I bet he panicked, completely, when Mary Wakefield phoned to to tell him she thought she had the virus.

And I bet they had no friends in London they could ask for help.

Now, well, he has the Tory party in the palm of his hand. They are a useless conglomerate of the inept, the corrupt, the weak and the slavishly compromised. He's not that clever, but he's committed. He's certain. He's in William Gibson's Pattern Recognition and he is Hubertus Bigend. And his agenda fits with the bad billionaires, though he thinks he's way above and beyond these grasping cretins. Money doesn't interest him. It's all about being right. It's all about vengeance. There's a kind of febrile purity there.

The London media are hopeless. They have nothing but ambition to fuel them, nothing but a really horrible vanity. Even those without need of his patronage, who clearly dislike him, fire their weapons like empty tins of Harp against a a Saracen armoured car (copyright Lionel Shriver, sorry. Currently reading the marvellous Ordinary Decent Criminals).

His weakness? Love for family. It could have undone someone with less of a brass neck, more sensitivity to the opinions of others. But not now. Not with this bunch of buffoons in Government. Dominic Cummings is their only hope. And what they don't realise is that he has as much hatred for them as he does the press. You can see it in every choice of Decathlon trackie bottoms, every used Discovery Sport.

Every trip to Durham.

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