WANTED: People keen to focus on research and real stuff. Serious message below.
I just about know who Duncan Cummings is. Just as I was getting to grips with social media, headlines were eclipsed by another single-issue. In addition to returning interesting Google search results, Dominic Cummings if he does nothing else, he fascinates. Apparently.
Turns out making up headlines (which I’d always wanted to try – can you tell?) fairly quickly perverts self-indulgent silly yet serious swagger to cheap click bait. Who knew there was something more persistently shameless and brutal than tabloid media? Social media is it. However, is at least ours.
Through this project, we and our partners have been increasingly bewildered and humbled at the resolve, resilience and determination of everyone who has and continues to meet the Covid-19 challenge, Dominic Cummings included.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m certain that his insurrection, breaking of own rules, abuse of power, double standards, getting found out et alia raise some very serious and fundamental questions that go way beyond a guy making a mistake at work and these do need to be answered.
However, way before and since Covid-19, we definitely and dutifully accepted and complied with all kinds of more serious issues and breaches; variously challenging them or remaining silent. The Government is keen to string Dom’s saga out as long as possible. He needs to be fired, or not, but quickly. In channeling our energy of outrage, we definitely need to reflect on why this story is being kept alive or is even a story. Political gaming aside, we had a converging and inspiring narrative before this to get back to and find our way through this global pandemic and collapsing world economy thing. Who’s with me?
Call to research
On that. We are working with our partners to coordinate a meta-research effort to better understand the combined multi-sector impact and implications for public services as a whole. The aim is to identify and collate the evidence needed to inform and shape strategy and service design going forward.
This is a call to action for existing research bodies, organisations, private individuals, academic institutions, sector representatives and funders to join forces in creating a unique body of evidence focused on optimising their effectiveness starting from the perspective of the interdependencies and collective power of the public sector as greater than its parts. If you are interested in aligning your existing or new research to this campaign, please get in touch.