Dominic Cummings just wants to be understood – like every other powerful man sidelined in politics

The former special advisers’s newfound love of self-promotion is amusing because it shows that he is not unique, much as he clearly wants to be, writes Marie Le Conte

Tuesday 27 July 2021 11:21
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<p>Cummings is interviewed by the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg last week</p>

Cummings is interviewed by the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg last week

Allow me, if you will, to start this column by proposing a toast. I am writing this at 11am, so my mug of coffee will have to do, but I would like to raise a glass to the humble Baron Llewellyn of Steep, peer of the realm and Her Majesty’s ambassador to France.

An alumnus of both Eton and Oxford, his background is not what sets him apart from his political contemporaries. Instead, what makes Llewllyn special is that he knows to shut the hell up. He was chief of staff to David Cameron – first as leader of the opposition, then as prime minister – for over a decade, yet we never hear from him. It is bliss.

The same cannot be said of Dominic Cummings, regrettably. Boris Johnson’s senior adviser in No 10 was shadowy, mysterious and silent, and then he wasn’t; somehow, it has become nearly impossible to go about your day without stumbling upon at least one tweet of his. Dominic Cummings now tweets like his life depends on it. He has a Substack newsletter, which he encourages people to pay for with the zeal of a journalist recently made redundant.

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