Great strategist or bad genius? Dominic Cummings, Brexit's "Doctor No"

By and

Posted 25 September 2019 at 09h41, updated yesterday at 05h30

Sloppy look and nervous look, Dominic Cummings stands in a corner. But we notice it immediately, with his very pale complexion and this way of supervising at a distance, like a silent shadow, the spokesman from the British government, coming to brief the journalists in one of the windowless rooms of the House of Commons, at Westminster.

Boris Johnson's "special advisor" (BoJo) seldom appears in public, even rarer than he replies to interviews. But since the British have discovered its central role in the campaign for Brexit, since they also understood that this spin doctor was behind the mad will – "Do or die ("sink or swim") " said "BoJo" – to leave the European Union (EU) before October 31, the 47-year-old man inherited an unflattering nickname, "the Mekon", in reference to the character of the villain, in the cartoon of the 1960s Dan Darewho was constantly trying to destroy the planet.

Read also Brexit: Parliament suspension is illegal, John Bercow calls to sit as early as Wednesday

On September 3, while Boris Johnson announced his decision to suspend Parliament, "the Mekon" is standing in his corner, watching as much the journalists as the spokesman of the government. A political columnist dared to challenge him: "And what does Mr. Cummings think? " He was volleyed from the back of the room: "You, you talk to him (the spokesperson). I'm just here to watch … "

Anti-Brexit activists in front of the British Parliament in London, waving caricatures of Dominic Cummings, September 4, 2019. ISABEL INFANTES / AFP

Outside, in front of Westminster Palace, placards brandished by pro-European protesters caricatured him, half-Rasputin and Dr. Strangelove, both dangerous and uncontrollable. Earlier, journalists will report seeing him walking the gallery reserved for the press, a glass of red wine in hand. Then, while his "boss" was trying – unsuccessfully – to get new parliamentary elections from Parliament, appealing to Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Conservatives' bête noire: "Go Jeremy, accept it, this general election, do not be afraid! "

A kind of bad genius

So who is this man whose former Conservative Prime Minister John Major has just claimed his head on the grounds that he "Poisons" his side ? "A career psychopath", diagnosed another former prime minister, David Cameron. "He is either crazy, or nil, or brilliant, and probably a little of the three," noted, in 2013, the journalist Guardian Patrick Wintour, who was already titling his portrait "Dominic Cummings, genius or threat? "… A few months ago, millions of Britons were able to discover his character on television in Brexit. The Uncivil War, a TV movie produced by Channel 4. In the role of Mr. Cummings, the British comedian Benedict Cumberbatch was a brain type, neurotic, idealistic and a little crazy. A kind of bad genius.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here