27 June 2014

But a whimper

Not many people appear twice in the same issue of Private Eye but Dominic Cummings, a former special adviser (spad) for Michael Gove has managed it this week (No 1369 27 June – 10 July), under The New Coalition Academy (page 23) and Me and My Spoon (page 26):

This feat stems from an interview he gave Alice Thomson and Rachel Sylvester which made the front page of The Times on 16 June. He is quoted as saying:
As Bismarck said about Napoleon III, Cameron is a sphinx without a riddle – he bumbles from one shambles to another without the slightest sense of purpose. … Everyone is trying to find the secret of David Cameron, but he is what he appears to be. He had a picture of Macmillan on his wall – that’s all you need to know.
Subsequently he posted on his Wordpress blog A few responses to comments, misconceptions etc about my Times interview, referring in passing to an earlier post The Hollow Men (Part 1). This starts with a selection from TS Eliot’s poem:

Close up:

On Wordpress blogs the readers’ comments are called “thoughts”, and I offered one, a very short one: “Eliot”. This wasn’t allowed through. On this blog, when I’m offered an acceptable correction I not only let it stand but respond with “Thanks, corrected” or some such. Cummings’ blog is a much grander affair than mine, and he might well have regarded Western Independent’s input as a trivial attempt at attention-seeking off his back. So, if he’d not published but had corrected his misspelling of Eliot’s name, I really wouldn’t have minded.

But at the time of this post, it’s still “Elliot”. Readers can draw their own conclusions, particularly when he and Mr G have such a reputation as advocates for academic rigour.

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