Weirdos wanted: five things we learnt from Dominic Cummings’ bizarre job advert

PM’s adviser posts 3,000-word blog post seeking ‘misfits’ to join him at No. 10

Dominic Cummings
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Boris Johnson’s right-hand man Dominic Cummings has posted an unusual job advert calling for “super-talented weirdos” to apply to work with him at 10 Downing Street.

Writing on his personal blog, Cummings sets out plans for a shake-up that will see staff with maths and physics PhDs teaming up with “weirdos and misfits with odd skills”.

The lengthy blog post also reveals that one successful applicant will be Cummings’ personal assistant for a year – although he warns that the role will involve tasks “which you won't enjoy”, the Daily Mail reports.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Here are five key things we learned from Cummings’ bizzare job ad:

1. He goes his own way

It’s clear that Cummings has little time for traditional Downing Street formalities, as evident in the structure of the rambling blog post.

The “advert”, which runs to almost 3,000 words, uses informal language and has been described as “bizarre” by the Daily Mail, “extraordinary” in The Telegraph and “bonkers” by the Daily Mirror.

As The Guardian says, applicants are instructed to send a one-page email outlining their ideas to an unofficial Gmail account - - with “Job” as the subject.

2. He wants to change the face of government

Cummings also appears to want to change the public face of the civil service by asking for unusual candidates who he sees as not normally associated with the roles listed.

“I don’t want confident public school bluffers,” he writes. Instead, he said Downing Street needs “unusual mathematicians”, physicists, computer scientists, data scientists and “assorted weirdos and misfits with odd skills”.

3. Oxbridge types are off the agenda

In what the Telegraph calls “a broadside at political correctness”, Cummings also railed against people in Whitehall “babbling about ‘gender identity diversity blah blah’”.

“What SW1 needs is not more drivel about ‘identity’ and ‘diversity’ from Oxbridge humanities graduates but more genuine cognitive diversity.”

In a later section, he adds that he wanted to hire recent graduates in economics, stating: “You should a) have an outstanding record at a great university.” He does not say if this would exclude those who had studied at Oxford or Cambridge.

4. He has no concerns about being unpopular

The post notes that potential applicants should be aware that the government’s large majority means that it can make policy decisions that may be highly unpopular, unlike previous governments with smaller or non-existent majorities.

“Now there is a confluence of: a) Brexit requires many large changes in policy and in the structure of decision-making, b) some people in government are prepared to take risks to change things a lot, and c) a new government with a significant majority and little need to worry about short-term unpopularity,” he writes.

5. He is a tough taskmaster

Cummings says that one of his new hires will be “a sort of personal assistant to me for a year” but warns applicants: “You will not have weekday date nights, you will sacrifice many weekends.

“Frankly it will hard having a boy/girlfriend at all,” he continues. “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.”

“I want people who are much brighter than me who can work in an extreme environment,” he adds.

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us