What will become of Cummings?

Dominic Cummings made a good impression while giving his damning testimony on how Johnson and his team mishandled the pandemic. One wonders what he’ll do next. He must be cursing himself for having hitched himself to this disgraceful assembly of chancers and incompetents. Cummings has always struck me as a kind of academic manqué – indeed his stint at Downing Street was somewhat like a high-minded young schoolmaster being appointed deputy head of some nightmare minor public school. He arrives genuinely thinking he can make a difference, but soon finds himself out on his ear, while the self-congratulatory common room goes about its seedy life as usual. One could see Cummings being quite effective – and fulfilled – in an Oxbridge scenario, say a tenure at some delightfully spooky spy-nursery establishment like St Antony’s, Oxford. That way he could continue to wield some influence in the corridors of power but simultaneously write something worthwhile about Dostoevsky, or Bismarck. I started off not liking him at all, but now I wish him well. He’s done our country a great service – perhaps not quite in the way he might have wished, but a great service nonetheless.

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