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Raging bulls**t

23 Apr 2023 4 minute read
Former deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab Image by Jordan Pettitt/PA Images

As Dominic Raab shadowboxed in front of the mirror on Saturday morning, I wonder if he felt a pang of uncertainty. What would Sun Tzu do in these circumstances, or Bruce Lee?

How could the nation’s preeminent practitioner of channelled rage be laid low by pen-pushing betas who reek of carbohydrates and ennui?

Going by his rash comments to the BBC on Friday afternoon, it’s fair to say that the former Justice Sec is in the bargaining stage of the grieving process.

Formerly the indestructible author of his own destiny, Raab sought to position himself as the victim of a Remainer cabal within the Civil Service.

The machinations of these unelected weaklings were ‘undemocratic’, explained Raab, whose personal mandate derives from representing an area that has voted Conservative since 1906.

Ignoble flailing

The problem here is that if you spend your life extolling the virtues of individualism and self-reliance, you have nobody to blame if you lose.

It hasn’t stopped him from trying, though, and his ignoble flailing illuminates the real reason for his downfall which is that people have had a gutful of egotistical incompetents rising to positions of power fuelled solely by misplaced self-belief.

We all have a Raab to contend with in working life. Armed with a library of motivational books, they are perpetually ‘striving’ in the belief that their personal success is indivisible from the fortunes of the organisation for which they work.

On Monday morning you’ll be opening emails from some berk who has spent the weekend dreaming up tiresome adjustments to your working practice because he or she is ‘driven’.

Lord release us from the driven. That Raab ‘got things done’ has been the copium that right-wing commentators have been smoking to orientate themselves in a universe where Simba has been brought down by flies he should have swished away with his tail.

Stress ball

The idea that leaders should be relentlessly energetic is on its face absurd. Genghis Khan ‘got things done’, as did Fred West.

The quantity of tasks accomplished is not a measure of their desirability and the reluctance of these restless souls to think things through is telling as to what motivates them in the first place.

The root of this sort of pathology is an avoidance of one’s own nature and Raab’s bullying of staff is projection of the most obvious kind. Sit still and sort yourself out, Dom, the nation is not your stress ball.

As society has become more psychologically aware, people are less forgiving of antiquated justifications for toxic behaviour.

Where driven individuals were once admired for their single-mindedness, we now tend to see a wailing inner-child in futile pursuit of parental validation they will never receive.

Pity would be the appropriate response, were their coping strategies not so destructive for those around them and the organisations they belong to.


Raab, remember, is so consumed with hubris that he felt qualified to try implementing his own UK Bill of Rights to replace the European Convention.

His colleague, Michael Gove, distributed a copy of the King James Bible to every school in the country having added his own introduction to the text. It’s the Word of God, kids, but better!

So, if you’re at work on Monday, quietly undoing the office Raab’s latest disastrous directive, take heart that the tide is turning. The world has become so complex that initiatives can only succeed if they take account of the array of priorities at play in it.

The days of tin-eared careerists bending all around them to their will is ending because their thoughtless posturing no longer produces results that don’t fall apart on contact with reality.

Raab will, no doubt, be shuffled off into the commentariat where his simplistic and self-serving ideology will be unconstrained by responsibility.

Another one down.

You can find more of The Shrewd View and the rest of Ben’s writing on Nation.Cymru by following his links on this map

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1 year ago

What is it about the Conservative and Unionist umbrella?
It can’t really be described as a party. It is too divided against itself to qualify.
It is just a shabby old brolly beneath which a band of self important, self serving nere-do-wells fight amongst themselves for shelter against the outrageous weather of reality, dreaming up new inflection points for the culture war they expect to save them from the irrelavence of their pernicious ideology
They’ll none of them be missed. I’ve got a little list.

Last edited 1 year ago by Erisian
robert riley
robert riley
1 year ago

Fascist idiot… Cue the british flags…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 year ago

One rat less but there are plenty more where that one came from, those peddling in the back office in No 10 will try to spin it to our greatest disadvantage, as usual…

1 year ago

just a matter of time before he’s made Lord Raabsputin of Avebully or something similar for his services to pubic relationions

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 year ago

Yes, Genghis Khan got things done, Dominic Raab aka The Blank Czech did not.
At Justice he has destroyed our courts system, overseen a failed police and wrecked prisons and probation. At the Foreign Office he abandoned our friends and allies in Kabul. At DEXEU he lasted 4 months and took us into conflict with the whole of Europe.

He even changed a rock solid Tory seat in stockbroker belt into a marginal after nearly 120 years of unbroken Tory hegemony. No he did not get things done.

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