The great unknown that occupies Dominic Cummings is called Boris Johnson. Is the Prime Minister like him, one of those who prefers to turn the junk drawer and put it back in order or will he resign himself to rearranging everything to give an appearance of novelty? Does he also prefer creative destruction or, finally, is he just another example of “chimpanzee politics”? “Most of our politics still responds to the language and morality of the primitive hunting and gathering tribes:‘ In favor of which chief should we shout more to solve our problems for us? ” Our ‘chimpanzee policy’ has an evolutionary logic; the powerful instinct to be part of a group is the reverse of our hostility towards other groups. ” The reflection was written by Cummings in one of his long intellectual and spiritual retreats on the farm that his parents, a businessman and a teacher, have in Durham. His blog is the mental delusion of a genius who abhors the characters of medium intelligence who populate the UK public landscape and who aspires to change things with the help of chaos responses devised by science and the market. The James Bond films, the poetry of T. S. Eliot, the prose of Pericles or Tolstoy, all combine it with a flow of own thoughts in which glimpses of genius are glimpsed.

Cummings (Durham, UK, 48 years old) is, for now, the power that pulls the strings behind Johnson’s charismatic and popular figure. He is a strategist with specific objectives, which he leaves behind as tests passed. His enemies hate him and try to present him as a hair-growth salesman whose fall is always near. His aesthetic, as provocative as his ideas, does not help. It is surprising in the few photographs in which he appears as the permanent shadow of the Prime Minister. In a corner, always supported with apparent reluctance, with a shirt that never touched the iron and pants that by some miracle are no longer in the ankles.

Admirers highlight his political instinct and his ability to connect with people’s feelings. A product of the private school and of the Oxford classrooms (Bachelor of Ancient and Modern History, fluent in Russian), he has that immense contempt for the elites who have welcomed each other. In his youth he went through the savage Russia that awakened capitalism (he participated, in fact, in the ruinous project of an airline connecting Samara with Vienna). On his return to the UK, he came into contact with very conservative groups. It partnered with Business for Sterling, a business organization that campaigned to avoid joining the euro monetary system. It set a brilliant and ambitious politician, Michael Gove, at the head of the Ministry of Education during the Government of David Cameron. His plans to radically change the British education system immediately collided with teachers, school institutions and the prestigious Civil Service. Cummings managed in a short time to carve out a battalion of enemies. His manifest contempt for Cameron himself and his coalition partner, Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, reached such a level that even Prime Minister Cameron publicly defined him as a “professional psychopath.”

Boris Johnson’s guru wants to make the island a center for artificial intelligence, robotics and renewable energy

The rehabilitation came when he was seized by Matthew Elliott, the head of the Vote Leave campaign, which brought together the interests of all eurosceptics in the 2016 Brexit referendum. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch helped fatten the legend when he played Cummings himself in the movie Brexit: The Uncivil War. “Why didn’t anyone like it?” Asks the character to his wife, journalist Mary Wakefield, of the conservative weekly The Spectator. The ability of the cinema to summarize in a sequence and present as a brilliant revelation what was probably a ruminated idea in time shows Cummings scribbling on a blackboard until they find the slogan Take Back Control (let’s regain control). The message, defiant towards Europe and epic in its nationalism, permeated many Britons. Above all, thanks to Johnson’s discipline, which he repeated up to seven times in the same sentence. So he turned to Cummings again for his election campaign last December. And another catchy phrase, Get Brexit Done (let’s make Brexit come true, it would come to mean), led Johnson to Downing Street. Cummings perceived the satiety of many citizens after three years of political paralysis better than anyone and fueled the resentment of all those who felt that politicians were trying to circumvent the result of the referendum.

The star guru’s mission is now to circle the UK. Freed from “the chains of the European Union”, Cummings wants to make the island the world center for robotics, artificial intelligence and renewable energy. And it has called for this all “scientists, data experts, economists … and the rare and misfits with special skills” to transform Downing Street into a laboratory of ideas. Johnson, for the moment, lets him do it. And his enemies meanwhile wait for the moment when he becomes a nuisance again and the prime minister verifies that, in “chimpanzee politics”, there is only room for a boss who punches himself in the chest.