David Davis’ resignation last night as Brexit Secretary seems to have presented Theresa May with a quandary – how to find someone just as hapless to take his place.
Readers could be excused for thinking that finding an incompetent replacement for a Tory minister would be as easy as finding turds in a septic tank, but Davis’ particularly vacuous incompetence stands out even in the party of chaos.
May had a rare moment of honesty when, in appointing Dominic Raab to replace him, she said ‘nothing has changed‘ – managing both to tell the truth and to remind everyone of her own particular disasters during last year’s general election campaign.
Appointing @DominicRaab as Brexit sec is a further kick in the teeth for working people. This is the man who described the need to protect workers' rights after #Brexit as red tape and described foodbank users as having cashflow problems. Could @Theresa_May get it any more wrong?
— Len McCluskey (@LenMcCluskey) July 9, 2018
Twitter responded with a rush of examples of Raab’s arrogance and unpleasant views on women and the poor – he voted against making homes fit for human habitation, called British workers the laziest in the world, advertised for people to work for him for free and has an alleged liking for the idea of bringing back workhouses – and his own recent demonstrations of incompetent ignorance.
And, especially worrying in a Brexit Secretary, he has called for the Working Time Directive – the EU legislation to protect workers’ conditions and work/life balance – to be scrapped and for the axing of agency workers’ rights, as Business Insider’s Adam Bienkov pointed out:
New Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab called for the EU working time directive to be scrapped and rights for agency workers to be axed. pic.twitter.com/T9b9m27rlh
— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) July 9, 2018
The overall opinion of social media users commenting on the appointment could probably be summed up in this pithy tweet:
This the new Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab. He thinks people using food banks are experiencing "cash flow problems".
— EL4C (@EL4JC) July 9, 2018
However, most striking is that Theresa May herself seems to have held a similar opinion, at least at one time. In 2011 the Guardian, as pictured above, reported that May had attacked Raab in Parliament for his unpleasant views about women – strongly enough that he:
slump[ed] in his seat before trying to laugh it off with colleagues.
The appointment of arrogant and unpleasant people to Cabinet positions is nothing new for the Tories – if you bob in a barrel full of rotten apples, what else are you going to come up with?
But for May to be forced to scrape the absolute bottom of that barrel to replace someone who made his frequently-empty chair look competent shows how weak and desperate she is.
As Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn observed, the whole saga demonstrates how unfit the Tories are for government:
David Davis resigning at such a crucial time shows @Theresa_May has no authority left and is incapable of delivering Brexit.
With her Government in chaos, if she clings on, it's clear she's more interested in hanging on for her own sake than serving the people of our country.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) July 8, 2018
Will Michel Barnier even notice the change of ‘t**t’ opposite him at what passes for Tory negotiations with the EU? Probably – he’s a pretty sharp character.
Will Theresa May do what’s best for the country and call another general election? Doubtful, but as with so many things the matter may spin out of her control.
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