Dominic Cummings really does look like the evil Mekon, as I suggested last year: https://bernardjporter.com/2020/02/13/journey-to-mekonta/. For those not brought up on the Eagle comic in the 1950s, the Mekon was the leader of the ‘Treens’ of the planet Venus – tall green men wrapped in copper hoops, and presumably women too, though we never see them – and the mortal enemy of ‘Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future’. This was all set in the 1990s – forty years in the future to the Eagle then.
God I loved the Eagle! And I’ve just bought a reprint of the first Dan Dare series – the Venusian one – to recapture my boyhood in my old age. The Mekon is introduced in the 30th issue, of 3 November 1950. He (or he may be an ‘it’) is a fantastically intelligent creature, with a huge brain, who worships only ‘science’, and despises human feelings, emotion and sympathy.
Isn’t Cummings a bit like that? He certainly sounds a bit inhuman, and technocratic. And also somewhat Saturnine (yes, wrong planet, I know). I’m not however totally convinced about the intelligence that everyone attributes to him. He’s bright, certainly, but his main intellectual power seems to stem from the fact that he’s unwilling to be fettered by morality. Hence his altering one of his past blogs on one occasion to give the impression that he foresaw Covid-19 before everyone else. And if he’s so smart, why did he work so hard and effectively to get Johnson into power when – as he says now – Johnson clearly wasn’t up to it?
My characterisation of Cummings is that he is bright but has no depth. Just as Johnson is funny but has no depth. Life is not just numbers, algorithms, sheer logic, technology, intelligence, efficiency. Nor is it a game you learn at Eton. It has layers too. Cummings only sees the surface of things, and Johnson the fun side. Dan Dare, thou shouldst be living at this hour. You’d sort them out!