Tag Archives: dominic raab

The Tory Leadership Race – A Tale of How We’re Utterly Screwed

Well, she’s gone.

It’s hardly a surprise. Theresa May’s eventual demise had been as inevitable as Piers Morgan feigning indignation – yet somehow more excruciating. Observing the sorry sight of Theresa May limping through these past few months, her power ever dwindling and the already dubious proclamations becoming increasingly laughable, was like having a front row seat at the world’s most soul destroying pantomime.

On and on she went, lurching from disaster to outright calamity with each parliamentary speech being underpinned by a cacophony of derisive laughter. Every single time she wandered in front of the lectern, half of you would be expecting a resignation while the remaining half would be hoping for one.

Until it finally came. The end of Theresa May’s miserable reign, signed off with an actual whimper.

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I’d say “missing you already”, but that would be a massive lie.

While it’s true that May will be missed by approximately nobody, her farewell monologue providing a timely reminder of the self delusion that plagued her leadership as she rattled off a list of achievements which presumably belonged to a different Prime Minister, it would be the apex of folly to say we’re over the worst.

Far from it.

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Please pass on my deepest sympathies to your tentative hopes for a bright future.

Yes, that’s right. That unrelenting wave of optimism eroding misery which has suddenly engulfed you is another Tory leadership contest – and, if that wasn’t a cause for despair in of itself, the spectre of Brexit is still looming large, insidiously seeping into the minds of prospective candidates and raising the insanity level by a factor of sixteen.

Not to say that sanity is ever with the Tories in abundance. Indeed, the roll call of aspirants reads like a ‘Who’s who’ of the most duplicitous, incompetent and ideologically demented politicians of the past three years. It speaks cacophonous volumes that, when scanning the list of hopefuls, you’re left concluding Jeremy Hunt is one of the more palatable options. Sure, he left the NHS on life support and can’t remember the nationality of his own wife, but at least he can probably count to ten.

To say that the pool of talent amongst the front runners is meagre doesn’t really do justice to the cold dread that immediately overwhelms your senses as the image of them bumbling through the doors of Number 10 flashes through your mind. We’re not simply talking your garden variety of hapless jobsworth here – we’re talking Esther McVey.

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Potentially your future Prime Minister there, having absolutely no issue with parents picking which parts of the curriculum their children should undertake based on nothing but their own bigotry.

Chances are your mind will immediately revert to what, on the face of it, is a rational defence mechanism. “But that’s just Esther McVey.” you’ll protest. “As if that terminal dimwit will ever garner enough support to be Prime Minister!”

In a less asinine period, this would be a credible safety net. Esther McVey couldn’t be trusted to babysit a shoe, let alone run a nation that’s fractured right down the middle and about to topple into the abyss (which incidentally, is an outcome Esther is inexplicably pushing for). Yet, as improbable as a McVey premiership may indeed be, all bets are off when you catch a glimpse of the preposterously bequiffed new potato leading the pack:

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There is no God.

Ah yes – Boris Johnson. I remember him. A man so unremittingly focused on his self imposed destiny of becoming our Prime Minister, he forgot to pick up a few things along the way. You know – integrity, moral fibre, the respect of anyone who has had the misfortune of working with him? All the basics that make up a functional member of the human race really. A man so lacking in sincerity that even Grima Wormtongue is a more trustworthy source on matters of reality, the very fact that Prime Minister Boris Johnson could even be a distant possibility, let alone a probable inevitability is the sign of a country that has lost it’s collective mind.

Speaking of a total loss of critical faculties, the entire leadership race has fast turned into a painfully unhinged race to the bottom. Granted we already knew the likes of Dominic Raab (a man so notably inept that he only recently noticed Britain is an island) were ideologically entrenched beyond repair – but Brexit has poisoned the well to such an alarming degree that comparatively credible candidates are left scrambling in the haze, desperately grasping at whatever half baked solution comes within touching distance of their fingers.

People like the curiously affable Rory Stewart are reasonable enough to know that Brexit is going to leave us a few million light years from utopia and, in a less ludicrous time, would likely make a someway decent Prime Minister. But alas, unbridled insanity with a side order of blind faith is the order of the day and the rest of the menu neglects to cater for anyone with an allergy to self immolation – so poor old Rory is forced to tentatively set foot into the rabbit hole should he wish to have any chance of winning.

Even more troubling, for many of the Tory membership Stewart’s desperate pragmatism doesn’t go anywhere near far enough. Cutting off just one foot simply won’t do if you wish to ingratiate yourself with the disconcertingly sizeable manic wing of the party. If you want to win favour upon this key battlefield, you’ll need to really believe in Brexit and amputate every extremity below the torso; lest you be accused of talking our great nation down.

In terms of likely winners, this realistically leaves us with anybody who tows the line of “No deal is better than no Brexit” – sincerely or otherwise. So what we’re left with is a split between people credulous enough to believe completely cutting ties with the largest trading bloc on the planet is somehow a good idea, and cynical careerists who put personal advancement in front of the prosperity of a nation they claim to serve.

All in all, it’s paints a rather murky picture in terms of a hopeful future. While Britain has always had its problems, many of which are still prevalent to this day, the unceremonious dump Brexit curled out upon the canvas has served to deepen these woes further – cementing us in an especially putrid stasis, each individual citizen stranded waist deep in the mire.

Tossing rationality to one side, part of me finds itself almost yearning for Boris Johnson to become Prime Minister. After all, he was the figurehead of Leave. He was the one who stood on a message of “hope” and that Brexit was the key for a glorious future. A cry which has long since echoed around the hard line echo chambers is that, if a Brexiteer had been at the helm, everything would have been fine – so why not just let them have what they want, while the rest of us sit back and watch the bullshit fuelled prosperity train fail to leave the first station?

In many respects, it would be somewhat satisfying to watch the charlatans flounder at every turn as their previous bluster recedes to a perplexed murmur. At least until the rational part of my brain suddenly taps me on the shoulder and offers the timely reminder that I still have to live here.

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Dominic Raab and Theresa’s Cabinet of Misfit Toys

Anyone watch Peston last night? I sure did, though I possess nothing but envy towards you if it happened to have passed you by. Far from a relatively jovial evening of breezy political discussion with the always endearing Robert Peston, the experience quickly became akin to having a cheese grater forcibly scraped across your brain. This was largely thanks to the innately insufferable Nadine Dorries who, despite being ever indignant towards people questioning her intelligence, seemingly struggles with the relatively simple concept of not responding to questions that were asked of someone else.

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If you value your sanity, it’d be best you avoid watching on catch-up. Trust me.

Though to be fair to her, I can understand why she was eager to pontificate. The only card Dorries and her ilk have to play is to endlessly bemoan a perceived problem they don’t have any real solutions to – and with Theresa May finally having produced a draft of the EU Withdrawal Agreement, it gave her the perfect opportunity to express her self-righteous indignation while keeping the empty vacuum behind her eyes conveniently obscured underneath a veil of distraction.

Indeed, today’s inevitable ministerial resignations only serve as testament to such an approach not only being a prevalent tactic, but also one which has poisoned our parliamentary system, setting in a seemingly irreversible rot which precipitated today’s collapse.

There’s already been resignations aplenty, each one undertaken under the pretence of “principle” and accompanied with the sort of bitter sloganeering usually found in one of Leave.EU’s pathetic morsels of wretched propaganda.

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See? Right at home.

A significant portion of the resignees you’re unlikely to have heard too much of, having largely spent their cabinet career skulking in the shadows, periodically emerging with the occasional boneheaded, pro-Brexit soundbite or filling in if the government required a last minute stooge to suffer an avalanche of derision courtesy of the Question Time audience.

However there are two rather prominent Cabinet ministers who’ve also handed in their notice, though their prominence has only really been achieved by way of abject incompetence.

Obviously I speak of Esther McVey and, of course, Dominic Raab – a man who was ostensibly appointed our Brexit secretary in an move which can only be described as an act of sheer defiance against logic itself.

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I’d love to say I’m sorry to see them go – but that would be a lie. A massive lie.

The resignation of McVey was expected and nobody really seems the least bit disappointed to see her go. The only quibble anyone could really have with such a pathetically inept minister finally pissing off is that she’s managed to fashion her own exit; resigning over the supposed Brexit “betrayal” with assumed honour hardly befitting of someone who’s heaped untold amounts of misery upon the most destitute and desperate by way of Universal Credit.

As morally repulsive as McVey’s reign of ruination may have been however, she is but a mere pretender when compared to the dishonourable absurdity of Dominic Raab, our erstwhile Brexit Secretary.

Raab is a rather strange character, paradoxically bearing the demeanour of a lost and frightened child while sporting the receding hairline of a middle aged man. Though these are merely cheap shots at what is ultimately immaterial. To let a man of such callous ineptitude escape with a bit of shallow aesthetical ribbing would be letting him off far too lightly.

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Looks like young Dominic has been summoned into the headmaster’s office again.

It’s fair to say that not much was expected of Raab when he suddenly found himself in the spotlight as our nation’s Brexit Secretary. Our first attempt at employing someone with a semblance of nous had been an unmitigated disaster – and he didn’t even get fired; he himself having initially started the trend of running away the moment accountability drew near. So if he was shit, what could you really expect from his substitute?

Raab did indeed exceed expectations, though only by virtue of somehow making David Davis appear a veritable political titan by way of retrospective comparison.

Never once did Raab inspire confidence. While at times he did at least try to fashion his own style of aggressive negotiations, all attempts fell pitifully flat as each bluff was carried out with the expertise of a poker novice holding his cards backwards. In fact his chronic bumblings became so laughable there were rumours that he was in fact a hard Brexit sleeper agent, surreptitiously sabotaging negotiations from within. Whether there’s any truth in this only Raab himself will ever know, though it’s hard to expect such delicate subterfuge coming from a man who only realised that Britain is an island last week. Resigning in protest against a deal it was his job to cobble together is a move regrettably fitting of such a dubious intellect.

One man who most definitely is looking to collapse May’s Brexit deal (and indeed May’s premiership) however is the chronically displaced time immigrant Jacob Rees-Mogg, finally handing in the letter of no confidence we’ve all known was inevitable for at least a year.

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Having now seen what became of Walter the Softy, you can’t help but feel that perhaps Dennis the Menace had a point.

Naturally he wasn’t courteous enough to enclose a workable alternative, but that’s always been the problem with the hardline Brexiteers. Whether we’re talking about Dorries, Rees-Mogg or now Dominic Raab, their bluster and laughably ramshackle veneer of patriotic integrity is all they have. It’s the easiest thing in the world to rally against a proposal that is universally despised, but do they really have any better ideas? When you consider that, when pressed today, Rees-Mogg suggested Boris Johnson and David Davis as credible replacements for May – two men who have offered nothing but empty rhetoric for over two years – the answer can only be summed up with a definitive “no”.

So where does this leave us? The mere citizens helplessly chained to the roof of this runaway train as it hurtles ever closer to the ravine?

Well let’s see. A government collapsing in on itself? Check. An EU withdrawal agreement over two years in the making about to die on its arse in less than a day? Check. Michael Gove mooted as our next Brexit Secretary? Check fucking mate.

As much as the Mogglodytes clearly revel in boosting their own profile by way of political brinkmanship, it seems to overlook the fact that these are serious and needless risks that we’re taking – and the plebs are along for the ride whether we like it or not. Brexit has always been fuelled by unrefined ideology with feasibility not even reaching the level of a mere afterthought – and the fatal drawbacks of such a short sighted approach are becoming more obvious by the day.

Ultimately these calculated resignations are doomed to be an exercise in futility. They might very well oust May, but the ship will still be sinking with the antagonists short of actual solutions – and if we’re to learn from the lessons of recent history, Raab and the rest of the rats are going to flee before it finally goes down.

It’s just a shame they have to chew so many holes in the hull before they scarper.