- Boris Johnson’s chief adviser has posted a bizarre, rambling blog post inviting “super-talented weirdos” to work at the heart of the UK government.
- The 2,900 word blogpost set out plans to radically shake up the types of civil servants entering Number 10, listing the “unusual” qualities he wanted to see in applicants.
- The advert is part of a wider plan by the new Tory government to reform the civil service and its hiring processes, of which Cummings is a long-standing critic.
- ‘”We need some true wild cards, artists, people who never went to university and fought their way out of an appalling hell hole, weirdos from William Gibson novels like that girl hired by Bigend as a brand ‘diviner’ who feels sick at the sight of Tommy Hilfiger or that Chinese-Cuban free runner from a crime family hired by the KGB,’ Cummings wrote.
- One of the lucky applicants will become his personal assistant.
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Boris Johnson’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings has posted a bizarre blog in which he invites “super-talented weirdos” to apply for new jobs in Downing Street.
In a move well outside Whitehall’s usual hiring processes, Cummings – who has cultivated a reputation as a maverick – set out plans to overhaul the types of civil servants entering Number 10, listing the “unusual” qualities he wanted to see.
He pledged to hire more people with science degrees as well as “weirdos and misfits with odd skills,” and warned successful applicants that he will “bin you within weeks if you don’t fit” and added: “Don’t complain later because I made it clear now.”
One of the applicants would become his personal assistant, he said.
The advert is part of a wider plan by the new Tory government to reform the civil service and its hiring processes, of which Cummings is a long-standing critic.
Setting out his plans, Cummings said there were "profound problems at the core of how the British state makes decisions," saying he wanted to bring in "super-talented weirdos" with "genuine cognitive diversity" and hire fewer civil service applicants with arts degrees from Oxford and Cambridge University.
"We need some true wild cards, artists, people who never went to university and fought their way out of an appalling hell hole, weirdos from William Gibson novels like that girl hired by Bigend as a brand 'diviner' who feels sick at the sight of Tommy Hilfiger or that Chinese-Cuban free runner from a crime family hired by the KGB.
"If you want to figure out what characters around Putin might do, or how international criminal gangs might exploit holes in our border security, you don't want more Oxbridge English graduates who chat about [French psychoanalyst Jacques] Lacan at dinner parties with TV producers and spread fake news about fake news," he wrote.
Cummings said the government's 80-strong majority meant the government had "little need to worry about short-term unpopularity while trying to make rapid progress," meaning it could take unpopular risks that previous administrations could not.
Applicants were instructed to send a one-page email outlining their skill sets and ideas to "[email protected]," an unofficial email account, with the subject line "Job."
"We want to hire an unusual set of people with different skills and backgrounds to work in Downing Street … The categories are roughly: data scientists and software developers; economists; policy experts; project managers; communication experts; junior researchers one of whom will also be my personal assistant; weirdos and misfits with odd skills," he wrote.
Outlining the qualities required to become his personal assistant, Cummings warned it would require a lot of "sacrifice."
"You will not have weekday date nights, you will sacrifice many weekends - frankly it will be hard having a boy/girlfriend at all.
"It will be exhausting but interesting and if you cut it you will be involved in things at the age of 21 that most people never see."
Cummings warned that he would not hire "confident public school bluffers" for the role.
Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA, which represents senior civil servants, said the government would struggle to hire the sort of recruits Cummings was after because of its refusal to match private-sector salaries.
"It's clear the Prime Minister's aides don't fully understand the modern realities of the civil service or, indeed, the impact of a decade of pay stagnation," he said.