Dom Cummings sets up No.10 ‘skunkworks’ tasked with roadmapping #netzero

Posted: July 12, 2020 by tallbloke in climate, data, democracy, government
Skunkworks project - Wikipedia
Lockheed Martin skunkworks
Credit: Wikipedia commons

No 10 has posted a civil service job advertisement for the head of a new analytical unit, who, the job description said, will work inside Downing Street for two years, says a report in the Guardian.

“The analytical unit, known as 10 ‘data science’ or ‘10ds’ is a pseudo startup within No 10 designed to drive forward the quantitative revolution. The current plan is to establish a data engineering team, data science team, a skunkworks and an analytical deep dive unit,” it said.

“One of the priority policy areas highlighted in the advert for which “analysis is critical”, is “how to optimally achieve net-zero”. It said outside applicants can expect to earn £135,000 – or perhaps more for an “outstanding candidate” – a salary level likely to raise eyebrows in Whitehall.”

The CCC’s nose will be put out of joint by this. Cue the hysteria from the Brighton elf, Selwyn Gummer et al.

  1. oldbrew says:

    “how to optimally achieve net-zero” – aka Mission Impossible.

  2. Filbert Cobb says:

    Applicants may be disappointed that the salary offered is less than 50% of the package enjoyed by the CEO of CCC

  3. Chaswarnertoo says:

    Why? UK net zero has zero effect. Insanity.

  4. ivan says:

    There is a simple answer to that problem – repeal the Climate Change Act (2008) and the Paris agreement, plus all things hanging off them. They can send the £135,000 as soon as possible.

    This looks like another one of the government’s ‘jobs for the boys’ schemes – is Gummer or Yeo about to retire from something?

  5. Graeme No.3 says:

    No.10 should be able to claim “net zero” because it looks like the provision of hot air in winter will be a certainty.
    Not sure what they will do in summer, open a window perhaps? I know! a Climate Conference in some salubrious spot.

  6. dennisambler says:

    It is only by creative “carbon accounting” that Net Zero can be achieved and then only on a computer screen.

  7. tempestnut says:

    LOL People should not to too worried about net-zero any more. With revelations that will be coming down the track between now and the end of the year about the behavior of the establishment people will unite and demand the the whole political establishment be banded from public office forever. I thought Cummins was a breath of fresh air, but he seems to be playing stupid games.

  8. Ivan, you are correct but my view from afar indicates that it can not be done until UK is out of the EU and the EU court has no say in UK affairs. No country should ever allow an outside organisation eg EU or UN to make laws for that country. Switzerland has citizen referendum which can over rule anything their government does. That is why they are not in the EU. Dictator countries such a China would never go along with an outside body making rules. China has no intention of following the Paris agreement or any junk decision of the UN.

  9. JB says:

    Knowledge is Power.
    Time is Money.
    Power equals Work divided by Time.
    Money equals Work divided by Knowledge.

    Thus Money approaches infinity as Knowledge approaches zero.
    –Denis Poirier’s Theorem

  10. E.M.Smith says:


    Smith’s corollary to Poirier’s Theorem:

    The mechanism by which money approaches infinity is inflation.

    The value of money approaches zero as money quantity approaches infinity.

    For existance proofs, see Weimar Germany, Zimbabwe, and many others starting with the Roman Empire.

  11. Gamecock says:

    “This here group is our skunk works.”

    Doesn’t work.

    You can’t have a skunk works without a Kelly Johnson or equivalent. It’s the people that make it. Sticking establishment engineers in a group will produce nothing of interest.

  12. Paul Vaughan says:

    They’ve miscalculated.

    It’s dangerous because they aren’t smart enough — no matter how they assemble “inter-parliamentary” teams — to find a peaceful way out of the corner into which they’ve backed themselves.

    Trying to save face after finding a creative way to abruptly abort the plan will be many orders of magnitude safer and more secure than the consequences of what they are contemplating.

  13. oldbrew says:

    They’re going to need a lot of nuclear power or a lot of stats fiddling, or both, to get anywhere near ‘net zero’.

  14. oldbrew says:

    What they don’t need is make-work schemes…

    The new £590m tidal lagoon plan in north Wales – just a day after Swansea Bay tidal lagoon dealt major blow

    Bosses at The Port of Mostyn believe the plan is more modest but still ambitious

  15. oldbrew says:

    This looks more like it…

    Monday 13 July 2020
    UK Government invests £40m to develop next-gen nuclear tech

    A majority of the funding will support three Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) projects, which are much smaller than traditional nuclear energy power plants

  16. Rosie says:

    I’m pretty worried about this development. It’s looking to me like more Hinkley Point-style China/France builds. Check out what ‘Zion Lights’ tweeted to Boris a few hours ago – what do you guys think?