It’s always heartening when colleagues rally round in one’s hour of need, and hour of need is where Brexit Secretary David Davis is right now. Having spent the past two years pretending to know his subject, he has today been done up like one of Mr Thirsty’s kippers by people like Olly Robbins, who really does know his stuff, over the so-called backstop arrangements to prevent outcomes like a hard border on the island of Ireland.
Even his fellow Brexteers are describing what was hammered out in two rounds of talks with Theresa May as a fudge. Others are putting it less charitably. But from out there on the back benches has come one unswerving voice of support.
Sadly for Davis, that voice belongs to (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries, who gave the distinct impression of being adrift from reality as she Tweeted “David Davis is ex SAS. He’s trained to survive. He’s also trained to take people out”. Did he once escort her down the nearest Spoons for a few scoops, perhaps?
The reaction was less than sympathetic, with Chris Boyd concluding “sorry, this reads like a promo for alan partridge: alpha papa”. That was one of the kinder replies.
One Tweeter reminded Ms Dorries that DD’s tales of derring-do might not have been quite what they were cracked up to be: “He was Territorial Army SAS ... only trained to survive at weekends”. And if he was in the SAS … you asked for it.
“David Davis was in the SAS. He can drink his own piss so yeah, I think he'll be okay negotiating Britain's exit from the EU”. Yes, she asked for it.
Also, as James Melville observed, “A Brexiter drifts into the arena of the unwell. Just look at the state of this tweet … Also, David Davis was a member of the Territorial Army SAS support for about a year while also working as an insurance clerk in order to earn the money to retake his A Level examinations”. Not so much 007, more 003 and a half. Ish.
Some observers of Westminster politics were unprepared for yet another exhibition of Dorries delusion, one being Adam Payne of Business insider: “An actual MP wrote this”. Sounds like someone may have to go to the country for a long rest.
Meanwhile, James Felton took the fragrant Nadine at her word, well, sort of. “I see we've reached the ‘watch yourself, David Davis may go full fucking Rambo’ stage of sensible political discourse”. They’d have to drag him out of the bar first.
And Marina Hyde of the Guardian recalled Davis’ less than stellar effect on the Tory leadership contest which he lost to Young Dave, through the words of the late but never forgotten Simon Hoggart: “David Davis is the part-time Tory leadership contender (he used to be in the TA version of the SAS, which meant that he learned how to strangle people with piano wire, but only at weekends”. Ouch!
David Davis has become a figure of special ridicule with his less than appealing introduction of Sticky Irish Backstop Fudge (tm) today. That much is bad enough. Nadine Dorries has managed to make him look yet worse. With friends like these, and all that.