SO just how weird do you have to be when the Tory party’s resident Rasputin says he’s looking for oddballs and weirdos? Did Dominic Cummings have a look around the current crop of Conservatives and conclude that its existing level of eccentricity simply wasn’t buttering the parsnips?

This party is led by a man who thinks that mocking gay people and black people is harmless japery. Like one of his predecessors he belonged to an Oxford University drinking club that liked to simulate porcine bestiality after a night wrecking places and defenestrating unwary passers-by. The woman he succeeded will go down in history as the only world premier who took to the stage at a Tory party conference while trying to execute Peter Crouch’s goal celebration. Its education secretary is a man who wanted to arm tractors with guns and to intimidate Spanish fishing boats by paintballing them.

Cummings said last month that he wanted “weirdos and misfits with odd skills” to apply for jobs inside No 10. “We need some true wild cards, artists, people who never went to university and fought their way out of an appalling hell hole,” he wrote, “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.”

I confess to experiencing a bat-squeak of admiration when Cummings attempted to explain the thinking behind his call for bampots. This seemed to be his way of loosening the stranglehold that Oxford and Cambridge has traditionally held at Whitehall. Very quickly though, this was replaced by something approaching panic. If Cummings, whose favoured workplace apparel makes him look like a human condom, wants weirdos then this could all get a bit messy. Just what assortment of rockets, bangers, warmers and fruit-loops did he have in mind? I began to feel like Billy Peltzer in Gremlins when big Stripe jumps into the local swimming pool.

It hasn’t taken very long for the inevitable outcome of Cummings recruitment strategy to become apparent. Among the first wave of bright, young misfits was one Andrew Sabisky who has now had to resign after his thoughts on eugenics and race were revealed.

Among these were his reported suggestions that black people have lower IQs than whites and that compulsory contraception would be a fine way of preventing the emergence of “a permanent underclass”. He also had a spell as an agony uncle in which he dispensed the sort of sexual advice that could have got him a job in Donald Trump’s administration.

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Predictably, Sabisky’s juvenile adventures in eugenics seemed to give the greatest cause for concern. These views were expressed only a few years ago. It seems unlikely that Cummings and his team couldn’t have known about them. Perhaps they simply didn’t consider them to be all that sinister.

There is a reason why a traditional alliance of right-wing philosophers and militant atheists have always been mesmerised by ideas of eugenics, of washing away all human physical and mental frailty in a biologist’s petri-dish.

When you strip away anything of the spirituality of humanity, of those laws that bind us to each other and the need to be responsible for the welfare of others, then you can become prey to ideas of the survival of the fittest.

When a system of values is measured primarily in terms of what works then you’re embarking on a dark journey. For who gets to decide “what works” and how is that measured?

You can also understand the attraction of these ideas for some on the political Right. For, what is Conservatism if it isn’t about concentrating power and money in as few hands as possible?

The essence of conservatism is constantly to discover ways of accessing these and then finding ways of hanging on to them for as long as you can.

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The best way of achieving this is to resist all ideas of equality and social responsibility. If you could convince yourself that most poor people are thick and simply wouldn’t know what to do with power and money then maybe it is possible to have it all and maintain a clear conscience. And to help maintain their grip on power they practiced their own rudimentary form of eugenics: war.

It was simple really. You just had to arrange a few wars at regular intervals as a means of keeping the numbers of poor people down.

The trick here was to ensure that none of them ever got into Sandhurst and assume positions of battlefield command. The natural place for the poor is out on the battlefield, spilling their guts and believing in the divine right of kings to make them do it.

It’s why the Tories resisted the establishment of the National Health Service and free access to a university education. By being forced to relax their exclusive grip on good health and knowledge they might soon be forced to deal with the unthinkable: poor people, living longer, making money and (worst of all) making laws and participating in government.

There are also some useful idiots to bring into play if you want to advance theories on preventing the poor getting their mitts on all that poppy you’ve worked so hard to accumulate.

Among these are the environmentalists who say that over-population is the prime cause of the climate crisis. Guess who’ll be taking the hit if that reaches its natural conclusion?

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Conveniently, the very rich television scientists and biologists who advance such a theory omit to mention the predations of capitalism and its appetite for annexing unspoiled land on which to build bigger factories. When you already have a great deal of money and power it’s easy to get governments to relax protections of the natural environment. It’s not too many humans that’s the cause of our climate emergency; it’s too many capitalists.

Andrew Sabisky was ultimately undone not by any sense of moral outrage by the government which recruited him but by his own carelessness.

“We liked the cut of your jib; but you were too loud.” How many other of his type have managed to slip into government unnoticed?

When you plan to choose your own judges and then prevent them from interfering in dodgy laws it becomes a little easier to advance “weird and oddball” ideas of screening the poor, the weak and the infirm out of existence.

And if you’re otherwise deemed to be a drain on our public services then stay vigilant and be awake in this brave new world of Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings.