Sowing discord with behavioural manipulation

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A month in to Dominic Cummings reign as chief aid to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and chaos is beginning to boil over.In his blog, Cummings regularly records his desire to break systems, quoting military philosophy as justification for his arguments. His aim, it seems, is to break a system he dislikes and despises and, it would seem, he happily uses any means to achieve his aims.This is not a political blog. It is one concerned with public relations and communication – the building of relationships that give organisations their licence to operate supported by effective communication, knowledge, understanding and ethical behaviour. In the video below, Cummings explains at the 2017 Ogilvy Nudgestock conference the methods employed to achieve a win in the UK referendum concerning participation in the EU – known now as the Brexit Referendum. If, as I am, you are involved in public relations and communication, then I’d urge you to watch the whole thing so you can understand the deliberate, planned and blatant behavioural manipulation that is in progress right now, working towards a complete system breakdown of benefit only to its perpetrators.In the video, Cummings takes you through the tricks and tactics he deployed in order to – in his own words at various points in the presentation – ‘provoke rage…neutralise…put the boot in’. The seven million people exposed to the 1.5bn targeted ads over the short period of time pre-referendum is peanuts compared to what’s ahead in the UK – and other countries around the world – as elections, media, citizens, public psychology and governing systems are blatantly manipulated for private gain. Cummings’ work appears to be a (pseudo) intellectual exercise centred on ways to break the system he reviles.​What’s going on today behind the doors of 10 Downing Street has nothing to do with the rights and wrongs of being in or out of Europe. It has nothing to do with the health and wellbeing of the UK population. It has everything to do with the selfish and power-hungry wanting their own way, shamelessly stoking division and hatred and using unethical and underhand practices to do so​Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash