Almost before the dust had settled on David Davis’ eventual resignation from the job which he had not been doing very much for the past two years, we found that his replacement was to be Dominic Raab. So one useless Brexit Secretary was being replaced by another. Raab will be familiar to politics watchers as someone whose confidence in his own ability remains totally unappreciated by those who have seen him in action.
That did not stop the Telegraph’s Christopher “No” Hope from going all Nadine Dorries and talking up the new arrival: “Dominic Raab is formerly David Davis's chief of staff in Opposition. He is also a black belt in karate. First at university. Clever bloke”. He could be a black belt in sodding origami as far as political reality is concerned. Moreover, the idea that Raab is “clever” is, shall we say, not universally held.
He is already infamous for his co-authorship of the book Britannia Unchained (along with the deeply untrustworthy and serially dishonest Priti Patel) which asserted “Once they enter the workplace, the British are among the worst idlers in the world”. Raab provoked outrage during a Victoria Derbyshire Big Debate in the run-up to last year’s General Election when he claimed “most food bank users are not ‘languishing in poverty’ … Instead Dominic Raab blamed ‘cash flow problems’ for the huge rise of people using the Trussell Trust - which gave out nearly 1.2million emergency food parcels last year”.
People were so desperate that they were taking their own lives, yet there was Dominic Raab acting like a clueless cost accountant. Dead clever that is. And the rest of his back catalogue does not inspire confidence. His Politics Home essay “We must end feminist bigotry” is a classic of jaw-dropping misinformation.
Elsewhere, David Allen Green observed “Many will remember Dominic Raab from his attempts at MoJ to repeal the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights. He failed, primarily because he did not come up with a legally literate, viable or detailed plan of how to do it. Just slogans”. Adam Wagner concurred. “Dominic Raab is well known in legal circles as a clever ideologue who has failed to push through a replacement for the Human Rights Act despite years of trying. Not a good omen”.
Adam Bienkov had another Raab failure in mind. “New Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab called for the EU working time directive to be scrapped and rights for agency workers to be axed”. And those merely looking on were equally unimpressed.
The Tweeter known as Briefcase Mike observed “Dominic Raab will be all too horribly familiar to viewers of Daily Politics. The combination of stupidity, arrogance and being terribly pleased with himself makes him exactly the kind of tosser that May makes a Secretary of State”. And Jo Phillips concluded “Dominic Raab? Oh my goodness. By some distance, the worst media performer in the Tory Cabinet. Very short fuse. Easily rattled”.
As ever, the Tory-supporting press talk up Theresa May’s actions. Then the realisation dawns that those actions were not as wise as advertised. Then the whole thing unravels. And then we are back to the square one of this crashingly inept Government.
Swing voters will now ask: If things are this bad, can Jeremy Corbyn be any worse?