From the sardonic to the absurd, Pi Comment’s very own Humour and Satire column casts a light-hearted look at modern problems and student life. Alex Castillo envisages how a truthful interview with Boris Johnson on his decision to Vote Leave, might play out.
Dominic Cummings is described by many as the “mastermind” behind the campaign to leave the EU due to his influential role as Campaign Director. Here we talk to him about his role in the Vote Leave campaign leading up to the EU referendum of June 2016.
Mr Cummings, what persuaded you to direct the Vote Leave campaign?
“It was time to finally take the fight to the bureaucrats in the EU and I realised we needed to fight this battle, as Sun Tzu said, on the 9th ground, where the tentacles of the EU octopus are sliced off by the will of the people. I saw that we needed to…”
The door suddenly barges open and standing in the doorway, sandwich in one hand and bike helmet in the other, is Boris Johnson.
“I’m taking over now. Get out, Dom.” Boris says with a mouth full of ploughman’s. Boris shoves Dominic out the door, sits down and stretches his feet out onto the table.
“So, ask me the hard questions, chap. I’m ready.”
Mr Johnson, there’s been a lot of criticism about the way you and Vote Leave used the issue of Turkey joining the EU to sway voters, despite the fact that there is little indication that Turkey will ever achieve full membership. Would you consider apologising for those remarks?
“Actually that one’s quite hard. Could you start with something easier? Like, maybe, what did I have for breakfast this morning? Something like that.”
I have a letter that you and Michael Gove sent to David Cameron seven days before the referendum, raising the issue of common borders with Turkey.
“Ohh. You mean that old chestnut. No, you’ve misunderstood. Michael and I were talking about the animal, not the country.”
“Yes. You see with all this freedom of movement that is controlled by Brussels, who knows what they could be sending our way; chickens, ducks, pheasants, turkeys. I had a pet pheasant once. His name was Milo. He was delicious. That’s why we need to take back control. To stop this kind of invasion. Also, I had oats for breakfast.”
Statistical figures used by the Vote Leave campaign, such as the claim that we send £350 million a week to the EU, have since been refuted or described as misleading. Were you aware that these figures were misleading at the time?
“Look, maths was never my strong suit at school. I was more interested in rugger, fives and going on the prowl with Darius and Charles. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter. I made up loads of stuff when I wrote for The Times, but they were just “white lies”. All I know is that we have to stop 80 million Turkeys coming into the country.”
Vote Leave is currently under investigation for overspending and breaking electoral law. Do you think that any laws were broken by the campaign?
“Absolutely not. When we were in Amsterdam, Darius forked out 800 for some snow and a couple of prozzies. Would you consider that overspending? No, because we had a great time.”
How has your relationship with Michael Gove changed since he publicly blocked your bid to succeed David Cameron as Prime Minister in 2016?
“Michael who? It’s fine. I don’t care. I don’t mind that he doesn’t come round for pints and vindaloo anymore. I’m not bothered that he doesn’t retweet my posts anymore. I couldn’t care less that he de-friended me on Playstation Network and we no longer play Call of Duty every Thursday night. Who cares!”
Would you ever consider running for leader of the Conservative party in the future?
“Me? I definitely wouldn’t not discount myself from not running. As my father once said, ‘if you don’t shoot you can’t kill a pheasant.’ Oh, poor old Milo.”