The mission of the British Parliament was as unusual as it was politically explosive: the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson should publish the entire digital communication of Johnson's consultants since taking office – including news on WhatsApp and Facebook, on service and private phones.
When the House of Commons passed the motion on Monday, it was clear he was particularly opposed to the man many consider the most dangerous actor in British politics: Dominic Cummings, currently the closest adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. For the digital news may contain evidence to suggest that Johnson's forced break for Parliament may have a purpose other than that stated by the government. Parliament was openly talking about a scandal.
Who is Dominic Cummings, the man with the mission Brexit?
The 47-year-old comes from the northern English city of Durham. He studied Ancient and Contemporary History at Oxford, is considered an admirer of Bismarck and the Chinese military strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, who lived two and a half thousand years ago. Prior to joining Vote Leave, he was an advisor to Tory Education Minister Michael Gove. Prior to that, he joined the Sterling for Business movement, which successfully opposed Britain's accession to the Eurozone. Despite his proximity to the Tories, Cummings is not affiliated.
As head of the "Vote Leave" campaign he got the nickname "Brexit architect"; He coined the slogan "Take back control" – the British should regain control over their own affairs from the EU.
That is and remains his goal: the Brexit, in case of doubt without a deal. A recalcitrant parliament is only annoying, especially if it forbids by law an unregulated Brexit. There were no surprise reports that Cumming said leaving talks with the EU as a sham negotiations, as the "Telegraph" reported. This and Johnson's behavior are seen by many observers as evidence that the Prime Minister is not seeking a regular exit from the EU at all.
Enemy image of the Brexit opponents
His nefariousness makes Cummings so dangerous from the perspective of his critics. He does not shy away from spreading misinformation. A well-known example is the "Vote Leave" bus, which states that one pays 350 million pounds a week to the EU – the money should rather be used to promote the domestic health system. The claim that so much money went to Brussels without consideration turned out to be untrue.
Many observers currently think it is Cummings' idea to start the forced break for parliamentarians right now.
All this makes him next to Johnson the ideal enemy for proeuropeans and opponents of a hard Brexit. They show him in demonstrations on posters as a puppeteer behind Johnson, who controls the Premier – and demand to wrest control from Cummings: his "take back control" has caught up with him.
Opponents of the Political Adviser publicly demanded his dismissal, including more and more members of the Tories. Former PM John Major said people like Cummings would irreparably damage the government.
Fans of Cummings consider him a genius who can make Brexit a success – as he did with the 2016 Vote Leave campaign. Even defeats for Johnson – the loss of the parliamentary majority due to the Tory rebels, the rejected application for new elections for October 15, the anti-no-deal law – interpret some observers as part of the Cummings strategy.
With each day approaching the Brexit date at the end of October, with each new political maneuver, the consultant moves a little more into focus. This may also have contributed to the fact that Benedikt Cumberbatch played in the British television series "Brexit: The uncivil was", broadcast as the brilliant strip-puller behind the "Vote Leave" campaign in the beginning of the year.
The government system, a collection of "narcissists and bureaucrats"
The posture usually slightly bent, the voice quiet: Cummings is not polterer, at least not outward. Past appearances, however, show how much he is convinced of his own intellectual superiority and the success of his methods. "No member of the British Parliament has understood the single market," he once said at a conference. And referring to the audience: "I bet nobody here in the hall understood the internal market."
This self-confidence is also reflected in Cummings' blog. There he writes long essays in which he mixes ideas of war theorists with the ideas of computer scientists, or quotes the general Leslie R. Groves, who was involved in the development of the atomic bomb.
In between, he leaves out there but also ex-premiers: "Cameron [Ex-Premiermister David Cameron, Red.] and the others did not understand the simplest things that the world works for. "Cameron, on the other hand, scolded Cummings as a" career psychopath "in 2014 – when Cameron was head of government and Cumming's adviser to Education Minister Gove.
The dream of Brexit as a new start
Cummings likes to talk about strategy, voter focus groups and targeted campaigning on Facebook. As a campaigner for the "Vote Leave" campaign he was at the right place.
From Cummings' point of view, sluggish bureaucracy prevents technological and social progress. Therefore, his big enemy is not only Brussels – but also the British system of government, a collection of "narcissists and bureaucrats". In his world view, Brexit stands for a complete new beginning to build a dynamic state.
Over the past few weeks, Cummings has made his mark in Downing Street's No. 10 spotlight by kicking out four advisors around the premier. For example, when he released Sonia Khan on August 29; she was picked up by a police escort. The accusation: infidelity against the Conservative Party.
After the public criticism of Cummings and the political setbacks in recent weeks, the question arises whether Johnson wants to continue to trust his adviser. So far, there is no sign that the prime minister is letting him down.