Dominic Cummings is forcing government advisors to read books promoting paranoia and superforecasting as part of a rigorous training regime he arranged.
Special advisors were told to read the 350-page novel Superforecasting – a form of predicting events through random selection – by Philip Tetlocks and High Output Management by Andrew Grove which claims that ‘only the paranoid survive’.
The regime includes weekend away days during the summer break where advisors are expected to discuss roadblocks preventing the progress of government policies, causing great frustration amongst official who have been forced to attend, POLITICO reports.
In a Zoom call with advisers last week he ended a briefing by claiming that ‘a hard rain is coming’.
In the latest call he told advisers Downing Street did not care how people voted during the general election, but that they wanted to ‘get stuff done’.
Cummings also dismissed claims Downing Street wanted a Brexiteer to replace current civil service head Mark Sedwill, saying it was ‘totally and utterly stupid’ and a ‘dumb idea’, according to the Times.
He criticised Sir Jonathan Powell, former chief of staff to Tony Blair, for claiming it was part of a ‘rolling coup’.
But Boris Johnson’s chief adviser said Sir Jonathan was a ‘moron’ for joining the ‘loony toons conspiracy group’.
No 10 has come under fire for its decision to fill Sedwill’s other role as National Security Advisor with David Frost, who is leading Brexit negotiation on behalf of Britain.
MPs have set out their concerns that Frost may be inexperienced having had no involvement in the security sector beforehand and that he may fail to ‘tell the truth’ to ministers given he was a political appointee.
Yesterday, Theresa May attacked cabinet office minister Michael Gove over the move in a Commons debate, while Gove was also heckled for suggesting Frost’s appointment had the backing of a civil service.