IF there was ever any doubt about Boris Johnson’s glib promises of a great 2020, then his Grand Vizier Dominic Cummings has surely blown it apart by appearing to openly admit that Tory policies would be unpopular at the outset.

In a New Year blog dominated by obscure references and management jargon, Cummings talks about the types of people he wants to see come on board in a bid to disintegrate the ingrained civil service.

Most of the media have picked up on his emphasis on bringing in “weirdos” with ideas. They also highlighted his own apparent ignorance of employment law in hiring and firing new officials.

READ MORE: Dominic Cummings urges 'weirdos' to apply for Downing Street jobs

However, the part that jumped out at me was his view that, with the huge Tory majority, there is no longer a need to compromise over unpopular policies over the next couple of years. To emphasise this, he adds that both great ideas and bad ideas can seem bad at first. That should set off the alarms.

If good and bad ideas cannot be distinguished, will it be too late when said bad idea turns out to be exactly that. Either way, we can be fairly confident that 2020 is unlikely to be that imminent paradise promised by Johnson.

It is going to be a question of how bad it gets and whether anyone can trust that such a long term-plan will reach a positive pay-off, should we still be a part of the UK at that stage.

READ MORE: Kirsty Strickland: Wish me luck! I’ve applied for a job with Dominic Cummings

There is merit in Cummings’s view. The civil service is inherently swollen, antiquated, bureaucratic and resistant to change. It probably would benefit from many of these ideas. But it could also break under the intense pressure it is already under because of Brexit. Some would say that is the very plan, one touted by right-wing ex-Trump guru Steve Bannon as the US system began to be gutted from the inside.

What it doesn’t do is explain the actual politics and what it means for democracy. His is, in the main, a process revolution. While Cummings does seem to believe it would serve the public better, that isn’t the same as saying it would do so in an open and democratic manner. I am sure that an autocratic system would be even more effective under those terms.

Yes, Cummings masterminded the Leave campaign victory, waxing lyrical about the need to listen to the people. But when he rails against the civil service he is not looking to increase public accountability. He wants to usurp and rip up the outdated structures.

Simply put, democracy is not efficient. It is one of those sacrifices we make in order to secure a voice for the people. The question is, how far will Cummings’s plan wrench itself from true public accountability? His disdain for parliament is well known. He states that there is an opportunity of a “new government with a significant majority and little need to worry about short-term unpopularity while trying to make rapid progress with long-term problems”.

His sneering isn’t confined to politicians. He turns on the relations with the press, decrying the cosiness of the media lobby. Like Trump’s America, the rise of social media has opened up a direct line to the public, without all that scrutiny rubbish.

The sort of mentality that created the Brexit NHS battle bus lie and made a mockery of social media makes Cummings’s next reference to “storytelling” ominous. He wrote: “We’re particularly interested in deep experts on TV and digital. We also are interested in people who have worked in movies or on advertising campaigns. There are some very interesting possibilities in the intersection of technology and story telling – if you’ve done something weird, this may be the place for you.”

For his insistent derision of “narratives” it is clear that he knows the importance of maintaining a cover for whatever damage this government is about to do – whether through a genuinely held belief that it will improve government or in a cynical power grab a la Johnson. Again, like Donald Trump, this could well be a government in perpetual campaign mode when it comes of communication.

We are relatively fortunate here in Scotland that many of the departments under the great eye will be shielded, as they are devolved powers. However, we can only be sure of this by leaving the Union. Then we can look at making our own independent nation as effective and efficient as possible, under our own terms.

Kevin Dyson