Johnson’s adviser Cummings says: Ignore the ignorant pundits

Dominic Cummings, special advisor for Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leaves his home in London, Britain February 18, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, said on Tuesday that people should read more about ‘superforecasting’ rather than paying attention to ignorant pundits after a Downing Street aide was forced to resign.

When asked if he regretted the appointment of Andrew Sabisky, who resigned on Monday, Cummings told reporters: “Read Philip Tetlock’s “Superforecasting” instead of political pundits who don’t know what they are talking about.”

Sabisky, who had discussed the benefits of forced contraception, quit on Monday, saying “media hysteria” about his old online posts meant he had become a distraction for the government.

In addition to posts on contraception, Sabisky also said data showed the U.S. black population had lower IQ than white people, and, in a 2016 interview with digital publication Schools Week, discussed the benefits of genetic selection.

“The media hysteria about my old stuff online is mad but I wanted to help (the government) not be a distraction,” Sabisky said on Twitter.

“Accordingly I’ve decided to resign as a contractor … I signed up to do real work, not be in the middle of a giant character assassination: if I can’t do the work properly there’s no point.”

Sabisky, who has referred to himself as a “super forecaster”, said he hoped Johnson’s office hired more people with “good geopolitical forecasting track records” and that the “media learn to stop selective quoting”.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, Editing by Sarah Young


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