Dear Dominic Cummings, I have no relevant qualifications for anything, only immense self-regard, just like you. When do I start?

 I’ll say anything. I’ll do anything. Any lie, big or small, not a problem for me

Tom Peck
Political Sketch Writer
Monday 06 January 2020 17:37
Dominic Cummings talks about whacking people in the House of Lords in 2014 speech

Dear Dr Cummings,

I would like to apply for the advertised position of misfit and/or weirdo in Whitehall as advertised on your blog.

I hope you don’t mind me addressing you as Dr Cummings. Though there is no evidence that I can find that you have any qualifications at all beyond a BA in History from Oxford, a university that you truly defied the odds by attending after you left private school, I simply refuse to accept this can possibly be true.

So regularly do you pronounce your loathing for “Oxbridge egomaniacs with humanities degrees” (The Times, 2014) and “private school bluffers” (this job ad, last week), it is surely impossible to think you, yourself, could actually be one.

From what I’ve read, the only actual source of your immense self-regard – the thing that you imagine elevates you above what you very clearly are – is some time you spent reading some books in a basement somewhere.

This, in a way, is fortunate. Because I don’t actually have any qualifications either, beyond a humanities degree. All I have to offer, in any concrete form, is a toweringly high opinion of myself. I am confident that you will understand this is more than enough.

I also note that in the job ad you make clear you want people “who are cleverer than you”. If you’d said you want people cleverer than you think you are, I wouldn’t have had the audacity to apply. Nor, I imagine, would the late Stephen Hawking, but as you have made clear all that is required is an absolute chancer with a BA, I more than fit the bill.

More to the point, you are going to have to make do with the likes of me. You want to hire experts in mathematical modelling, science and data analytics. But, traditionally, people of this nature work in universities, or in actual science or research, using their actual qualifications.

And most of these people – and this really is where I predict you’re going to have issues – think Brexit is the stupidest thing any country has ever done, and wouldn’t go anywhere near you with a 10,000-foot barge pole.

They’ve watched their research groups stop receiving applications from foreign students, and they’ve seen their funding slashed. And the little “visas for scientists” plan isn’t making any difference. Because scientists, for the most part, don’t want to come to little, parochial, backwards-looking Britain anymore. Which you might not want it to be, but it is the certain, inevitable consequence of the racist lies told to win your referendum.

Actions, as you like to say, have consequences. And when it’s well known that you flooded Facebook with blatant Islamophobia, there is a strong chance you’ll find that people who aren’t racist don’t want to work for you.

But as I say, that’s not a problem for me. I’ll say anything. I’ll do anything. Any lie, big or small, not a problem for me. I don’t care a toss about the consequences of anything I say or do. That’s for the little people to worry about.

You may also have noticed that I have a completely undisguised loathing for you. That, I’m sure you can see, is a major plus point. You’ve spent whole years, decades nearly, writing angry blog posts and op-eds about Oxbridge egomaniacs with humanities degrees, but as you couldn’t be happier to be working for the platonic ideal of such a person, I imagine a healthy amount of inter-office hatred can only be a good thing.

Mainly, I am just itching to get things done, motivated by an unshakeable certainty you’ll know well – that I’m just better than everybody else.

To take just one example, I don’t have any legal qualifications either, but I can tell you now that, just like you, I wouldn’t possibly doubt for a second that I would know more about constitutional law than the Supreme Court. Just get in their faces, rub them up the wrong way and, eventually, you’ll get results.

I know you specify at great length that you want people who actually know things, who can actually do things, but come on. What sort of substitute is that for the kind of self-belief that only you and I possess?

We can do anything together, you and me. All we need is belief. Belief and absolutely massive lies. Ideally racist ones.

No need to write back. I start on Monday. Gilet in large, please.


Tom Peck

Political sketch writer

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