Boris can’t get rid of Dominic. He’s his brain. Boris on his own is glib, lazy and fundamentally stupid. Dominic by contrast is – not exactly intelligent, I would say, but cunning. He read History at University: a more cerebral subject than Johnson’s Classics, which is chiefly a matter of having a good memory. (That at any rate was its reputation at my University; and I’ve seen no evidence since from ex-Classical scholars to prove me wrong.) Apparently Dom’s History essays at Oxford were highly ‘original’; which may testify to his cleverness, but not necessarily to his judgment.
Obviously that rather let him down during his latest escapade – breaking his own government’s ‘stay at home’ injunction to drive up to Durham – unless it was part of a very cunning plan to – I don’t know – undermine his present patron, so that he can take over; or perhaps to further his original scheme – ‘herd immunity’ – to infect oldies, like his parents, in the North-East with the virus he’d picked up in London. (Can it be a coincidence that the mortality level in County Durham, quite low before he went there, soared soon afterwards?) In any case, he’s clearly indispensible to the duffer Johnson, who wouldn’t have won either the Brexit campaign or the last General Election without Dom’s Machiavellian scheming.
It’s hard to see where either of them goes from here. Even Tories are dismayed that Dom is still in post. There are even choppier waters coming up, what with Brexit, a new Great Depression, and all the rest. Boris’s schoolboy bluster – painfully exhibited in his ‘defence’ of Cummings at his televised press conference this afternoon – won’t get us through all that. And Cummings’s ‘scientific’ approach to politics, if he can find another patron after Boris – Gove, perhaps? – looks positively dangerous.