I can't keep quiet anymore, I am a Dominic Cummings Stan
Like a Mike Tyson fight, I can't take my eyes off the man who gets into the ring and kicks the shit out of everyone
Somewhere between Laredo and Houston, Texas, I understood. Seven hours of dusty driving through Freer, George West and Beeville, alien cities with little more than a petrol station or occasional car dealership for company. The journey felt endless but by its end, we were still in Texas. We were pulled over at an immigration roadblock within the first hour, close to the Mexican border, and, once our visa status shifted from potential threat to object of curiosity, asked about amenities. "There's a Buc-ee's [a motorway services chain] before you get to Houston," the immigration officer told us. Five hours later we got there, fatigued by the presidential election hype on the car radio.
I understood, also, in Upstate New York, the Florida panhandle, the industrial outskirts of Philadelphia, that the America experienced by the people in these places was not the America of their omnipresent media or, indeed, politics. The news bulletins that interspersed local radio's country music felt dislocated, until one voice boomed out. The intonation and vocabulary, painting the passing road and desolate scrub in an illuminating gloss. The voice spoke to the place and you know who it belonged to, the then president of the United States. Donald J Trump.
Why not catapult a grenade into the White House and blow apart the system that has forgotten and forsaken you? I understood.
So too do I understand Dominic Cummings, I think. Our politics are different but their diagnoses are similar - that the British state is cancerous. Too unwieldy to respond to whichever crisis it is forced to navigate next, an old rusting ship stuck in the Suez canal. It is populated by a clique of career civil servants, waiting for their pensions, and a morass of technocrats that circulate among government departments depriving them of the ability to maintain inadequacy, let alone improve.
Collapse and chaos can be powerful agents of change in a country that, clearly, needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Every moment, from Brexit to the pandemic, is an opportunity to improve a nation in decline. Throw the grenade.
If you can separate yourself from the deserved moralising and outrage, of which I have undoubtedly been a part, that on the political stage all its men and women are merely players, then Dom is, without doubt, box office. He is Hollywood. The man is chilling, putting the kettle on, tapping out a little blog and giving the prime minister of the country six of the best before it's boiled. Any plans for the afternoon Dom? Pointless, Tipping Point, maybe pop into a select committee and release surreptitious recordings of the PRIME MINISTER admitting God only knows what.
Maybe it's only because he's now fucking Boris Johnson that I'm into it but, let's face it, Dom fucks everyone. Teachers, the EU, the Labour party. He doesn't care. Once you step into the ring you are faced with an opponent whose only desire is your demise. Even if you don't support, no, even if you loathe, the champion - you respect their craft.
You watched Mike Tyson, even for nothing more than to know the answer to: how long do you reckon this poor sod will last?
I now find myself in the rare position of looking forward to a select committee meeting, relishing the prospect, wondering which chunk of Boris Johnson Iron Dom is going to rip off with his teeth.