Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Dominic Cummings Takes The Piss

Reputations, one might think, are forged through achievement, but such a thought would be misplaced when it comes to chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings. His reputation has been forged through spin, the creative reinterpretation of reality. He is presented as an all-seeing, all-knowing problem solver, someone who gets things done. In reality, he is a delusional windbag all too ready to blame his ineptitude on others.
Polecat Dom is also staggeringly pretentious, as befits someone whose house was rebuilt so it could house a Tapestry Room. So it should have surprised no-one when Katy Balls of the increasingly alt-right Spectator magazine told “Tonight’s SpAd school saw Dominic Cummings invite aides to special weekend training - advisers are to spend an upcoming Saturday learning about super forecasting and management”. Was this for real?

Apparently it was, as the Murdoch Times carries the news on its front page, telling readers “Read how only the paranoid survive, Cummings tells aides … When Dominic Cummings held his weekly briefing with Government advisors last night, he gave them a little light reading before an away day … He instructed them to read Philip Tetlock’s Superforecasting … He also told them to read High Output Management by Andrew Grove”.
There was more. “Mr Cummings told advisors that the books would help to inform them about how to make decisions under pressure in complex organisations”. And to that I call pretentious bullshit. Cummings could not manage a whelk stall, although he would be able to identify a fall guy and slag them off for his ineptitude in doing so.

As to “superforecasting”, this too is bullshit, at a level which truly takes the piss. His ability in this field, or the lack of it, can be demonstrated directly.

One, his own forecasting skills were so poor that he felt the need to break lockdown so he could change his blog to suggest he had predicted the Coronavirus pandemic.
Two, his forecasting and management shortcomings meant he not only did not see that his lockdown-busing exploits would alienate millions of voters, he had no idea of what to do about it, other than once again talk well, but lie badly, in his own Downing Street briefing.

Three, his management of headline events for his nominal boss, alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, is so poor that initiatives end up being ridiculed - as with the Mail on Sunday’s effort last weekend - or, worse, fail to dominate the news cycle except to attract adverse comment, as with Bozo’s “New Dealspin yesterday.
And Four, if he’s such a great forecaster, how come he missed that allowing pubs to reopen on a Saturday in high summer was not a good idea? If the weather is dry and warm, it means increasingly aggressive and drunk punters spilling out on to the streets, and it it rains, drinkers will be cooped up in confined spaces together for long periods.

Both scenarios encourage transmission of Covid-19, which, just in case the Polecat has forgotten this in his desire to be stylish, he is supposed to be helping to stop.

Dominic Cummings couldn’t forecast a fart after a lentil curry. But you knew that anyway.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at



Jez Box said...

I did know that anyway, but am still delighted you pointed it out.

A Sid Test said...

Cummings' reports consist mainly of hyperlinks to reports written by cranks.

grim northerner said...

Neo-taylorism, privatisation, not particularly innovative. Cummings's angle is the addition of dodgy faux dawinian pseudo science that opens the door to eugenics to justify economic inequality. A riseable contribution imo.

Arnold said...

The pubs will reopen Saturday. So we'll see if the government can organise a piss-up in a brewery.

Johnspartacusanonymous said...

Nor in a distillery.!!