Tag Archives: Dominic Raab

Coronavirus transmission rate is increasing, so why all this talk of easing lockdown?

Dominic Raab: he reckons it will be all right to lift some lockdown restrictions, despite the fact that more people are catching Covid-19 (again).

Covid-19’s reproduction rate must be decreasing if the UK’s lockdown is to be lifted – and this critical ‘R’ rate is actually rising.

So why is all the talk about lifting the lockdown?

We’re told the speed of coronavirus infections is rising because of the epidemic that has been revealed in care homes…

… and what about the deaths in mental health hospitals and among people with learning disabilities?

These are places that may be reasonably expected to have the proper procedures in place if a pandemic sweeps the UK – unless the government failed to ensure that those procedures were in place, and all the necessary equipment was available.

(It was the government that had responsibility for emergency planning, and for ensuring that preparations were properly carried out.)

But we have a government that is also keen to lift the lockdown because its donors in big business are not making the profits they normally expect, while the people who generate those profits are being told to stay home for their own safety.

This is further evidence that, if Boris Johnson lifts his lockdown even slightly, he will set us on course for a bigger disaster.

The critical ‘R’ rate measuring the spread of coronavirus infections is on the rise again, the national statistician says – raising fresh questions about any lockdown easing.

A reproduction rate of anything above 1 means each infected person is, on average, passing it on to more than one other, but experts agree it must be well below 1 to prevent a second peak of the pandemic.

Crucially, it is the most important of the five tests before the lockdown can be eased significantly. The prime minister himself admitted there is still a “pandemic” in care homes.

The warning came as Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, said any relaxation of restrictions – to be announced by Boris Johnson on Sunday – would be “modest, small and incremental”.

Source: Coronavirus rate of transmission is increasing, says chief government statistician | The Independent

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Coronavirus tests: Raab throws Hancock under a bus

Dominic Raab: he opens his mouth… and drops Matt Hancock in the mire.

Brace yourself: the Tory government is about to miss yet another target.

Remember when Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he had set a goal of carrying out 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of April?

Here – refresh your memory:

And then Dominic Raab took over the daily coronavirus press conference.

Asked to repeat the commitment, he said: “The Health Secretary set out that target.”

That’s buck-passing if ever I heard it.

It suggests that this is accurate:

It reminds us of previous failures, including the claim that a quarter of a million tests would be carried out every day:

And it suggests that more “gibberish” like this may be on the way:

What it doesn’t suggest is that we’re going to see mass testing any time soon. Carole Cadwalladr was right when she commented on the last failure:

It also suggests that Raab is quietly pushing the discredited “herd immunity” fantasy:

And it’s all very odd – for one very important reason:

So there’s plenty of capacity for coronavirus testing, but it isn’t happening, despite promises from a senior cabinet member.

Dominic Raab said a mouthful when he handed off the commitment for 100,000 tests to Matt Hancock.

But do you get the feeling he didn’t tell us everything we needed to know?

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Coronavirus:  Peston is right – Raab taking over from Johnson IS ‘deeply worrying’

Dominic Raab: it’s almost a facepalm but we’ll probably be doing that action for real within days.

Dominic Raab – the man who didn’t realise how much UK trade relies on the Dover-Calais crossing…

… the man who said it would be easier to get a trade deal with the EU after crashing out of the bloc without one when the opposite was the case…

… is now in charge of the UK’s fight against coronavirus, after Boris Johnson went into hospital and named Raab as his chosen stand-in.

This provides us with a rare opportunity to agree with ITV politics pundit Robert Peston:

Yes. It really is “deeply worrying”.

What’s he going to do – take us back to the “herd immunity” fallacy and send us all out to catch Covid-19 too?

Source: Dominic Raab to lead UK through coronavirus hurdles | Politics | The Guardian

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Coronavirus: who cares what Dominic Raab says when he does THIS?

Here is the man who has been given responsibility – responsibility, mark you – for the UK’s defence against coronavirus if Boris Johnson becomes ill.

And Dominic Raab showed he’s yet another Cabinet member who simply can’t follow his own instructions to the public.

One of those demands is that we avoid touching our faces. Most particularly, we’re not supposed to touch objects when we don’t know where they’ve been, and then lick our fingers.

But here’s photographic evidence of Mr Raab doing just that – at a coronavirus press conference.

No wonder the sign language interpreter looks gobsmacked.

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Remember Nazanin? Johnson doesn’t – so other Brits on hunger strike in Iran will be ignored

Imprisoned: British-Australian Kylie Moore-Gilbert is one of many UK (or part-UK) citizens languishing in an Iranian prison because Boris Johnson is too busy sunning himself to do anything about it.

Richard Ratcliffe wrote about this back in November, when we had a chance to bring in a government that would help UK citizens wrongly convicted in foreign lands.

He referred to the fact that, after his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was jailed on a false charge of spying, others have also been arrested, accused and imprisoned.

In an open letter to Boris Johnson, he wrote: “Other British Iranians have been arrested and sentenced, particularly in Spring 2018 and again this summer.

“The UK now has more prisoners held in Evin prison than any of its allies.”

Mr Johnson had worsened Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s situation when he made a false statement about her in Parliament, which the Iranian government had seized, intending to use it to double her five-year sentence.

The Iranian government has linked her plight with its demand for the payment of an arms debt said to be owed by the UK to Iran (from a government company called IMS).

As Mr Ratcliffe stated, the Iranian government has also arrested other British, or part-British, citizens.

Among these are Australian-British academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, held in Evin prison since 2018 on a 10-year sentence for spying.

She has now begun a hunger strike, alongside French-Iranian researcher Fariba Adelkhah.

It won’t do her any good. Nazanin went on hunger strike, along with her husband, last year. It attracted no interest – from either the Iranian government or the British.

We may hope that the Australian government has more concern for the welfare of its joint citizens than the British under Boris Johnson. He couldn’t care less.

And Nazanin?

She celebrated (if you can call it that) her birthday on December 26:

Neither Boris Johnson nor Dominic Raab have any interest in helping Nazanin, let alone Ms Moore-Gilbert.

Boris Johnson is working harder on his suntan, over in the billionaires’ playground island of Mustique.

The UK had a chance to elect a government that takes the welfare of its citizens more seriously – but we blew it.

Let us hope, for Ms Moore-Gilbert’s sake, that the Australian government takes its duties more seriously.

Source: Australian-British academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert on hunger strike in Iranian jail | Australia news | The Guardian

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Prime Minister’s Questions with Mrs Mike

Dominic Raab: If he had heard some of the things Mrs Mike said about him while he was standing in for Boris Johnson at PMQs today, his ears may well have turned blue and fallen off.

Mrs Mike swears at politicians.

Admittedly, she only swears at them on the TV – she would never be so rude to their faces (except in certain extreme cases, or the case of certain extremists) – and mostly during Prime Minister’s Questions.

I’ve been looking for a way to share this with you for a considerable period of time – partly because I think the reaction of someone who isn’t a professional pundit may be informative – and finally wore her down with a promise to ‘bleep’ out some of the words she uses with appropriate sound effects.

Thus was born PMQs with Mrs Mike.

This is a pilot project; a first effort to see how it goes, if you like. It happened on a day when Boris Johnson was dodging the bullets, having arranged to make his speech to the Conservative conference at the same time like the coward he is.

Instead, Dominic Raab took the flak from my significant other. What follows is a selection of her output, taken from questions by backbenchers.

Here’s the clip:

Constructive criticism will be welcomed as I’m hoping to make this a regular occurrence.

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Boris Johnson’s first cabinet appointments are as nightmarish as we all expected

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson: Both were forced out of Theresa May’s government so it should be no surprise to see her appointed to his administration. Both have previously brought shame on the nation – as did new Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

A woman who was forced to resign from Theresa May’s cabinet as a threat to national security is now joining Boris Johnson’s – to take responsibility for national security.

Priti Patel was forced out in 2017 after it was discovered that she was carrying out her own foreign policy, independent of the UK government, by having talks with the Israeli government and trying to support its objectives in the UK.

She has been named as Mr Johnson’s new Home Secretary. It is ironic that a woman who was sacked as a security risk is now in charge of security. It is also hugely dangerous for everybody in the United Kingdom.

Similarly ludicrous is the appointment of Dominic Raab as Foreign Secretary. This is the man who – as Brexit Secretary – did not understand the significance of the Dover-Calais crossing.

Both Ms Patel and Mr Raab were among the authors of Britannia Unchained, the book that claimed British workers are “among the worst idlers in the world”, that the UK “rewards laziness” and “too many people in Britain prefer a lie-in to hard work”. Ironically, it turned out that they were among the laziest people in Parliament at the time, with Ms Patel’s attendance at 81.8 per cent, while Dominic Raab was the laziest of the lot with Parliamentary attendance of just 79.1 per cent.

So they were right. It seems the UK really does reward laziness – or at least, its Conservative government does.

Sajid Javid has been announced as the new Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Are we about to discover that he can’t do any sums?

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Stewart surge knocks Raab out of Tory leader race – and threatens even Johnson

Sucker punch: Dominic Raab has been knocked out of the Conservative leadership race after Rory Stewart enjoyed a surge that doubled his support among MPs.

Surprise results from the second round of the Conservative Party leadership election show a big leap in support for Rory Stewart.

Mr Stewart, who scraped into the second round of the election in bottom place, has doubled his support, leapfrogging both Dominic Raab and Sajid Javid.

Mr Raab is out now; Mr Javid may be out next time.

Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove will be disappointed; their support base has hardly changed since the first round.

Neither has Boris Johnson’s. And he will have been hoping to dodge having to clash with Mr Stewart in the BBC’s televised debate this evening (June 18).

Mr Stewart will want to ask the race leader whether he has been making contradictory promises to different groups in order to secure their support and Mr Johnson’s response to this and other questions may dictate the result of the contest.

But who will get Dominic Raab’s votes?

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Any new Tory leader trying ‘no-deal’ Brexit could be toppled. Does Boris Johnson know?

Boris Johnson: He hasn’t ruled out a ‘no-deal’ Brexit as he’s desperate for the UK to quit the EU on October 31. Has he realised that his own party may not allow it? Probably not. Does that face suggest anything is going on in the mind behind it, at all?

Enough Conservative MPs would support a ‘no confidence’ vote in a Tory government that supports a ‘no-deal’ Brexit to trigger an election.

That’s the word from DWP Secretary Amber Rudd – and it’s a clear warning for Boris Johnson (and Dominic Raab, although he’s much less likely to win the Tory leadership).

But will they pay attention? Mr Johnson has proved impossible to contact, so reasoning with him seems even more remote at the moment.

And he is in pole position to win the Tory leadership race.

Let’s hope he does. It seems clear that a ‘no confidence’ vote in any Conservative government, and a general election, may be the only hope for any decent future for the United Kingdom.

Cabinet minister Amber Rudd has revealed she believes there is a sufficient number of Tory MPs who are willing to topple a government intent on leaving the EU without a Brexit deal.

The remarks from the work and pensions secretary came as the former Conservative chancellor Ken Clarke vowed to take the extraordinary step as a last resort if “some idiot was sailing onto a no-deal Brexit”.

A second senior Tory, Dominic Grieve, told the House of Commons last week he would vote against the government in a motion of no confidence in the same circumstances.

Source: Amber Rudd warns ‘numbers are there’ to topple new Tory government pushing ahead with no-deal Brexit | The Independent

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POLL: Does anybody care about all these Tory leadership hopefuls and their druggie pasts?

Andrea Leadsom: She’s the fourth Tory leadership candidate to admit having smoked “weed”.

Can somebody please tell me how having taken drugs in the past makes someone a better candidate to be the leader of the Conservative Party – let alone prime minister?

Jeremy Hunt was the first; he admitted taking a cannabis lassi (it’s a kind of drink made in India).

Then Rory Stewart said he took opium at a wedding in Iran, prompting speculation in some quarters that he was pre-empting a revelation – possibly by a rival.

And then the floodgates opened.

Boris Johnson took cocaine and cannabis at college. Can anybody say they’re surprised?

Dominic Raab has had cannabis, and so has Andrea Leadsom.

And Michael Gove took cocaine. In his confession, he went on at length about the drug’s harmful effects (“drugs damage lives”) and about his feelings on the subject now (“it is something I deeply regret”). This caused more rancour than the straight confessions of the others.

Green MP Caroline Lucas said it was “rank hypocrisy” to admit to “mistakes” while “backing policies that perpetuate harm”.

Crispin Blunt, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group for drug policy reform, said: “Michael has delivered a politically-crafted and deeply unconvincing hand-wringing statement of regret for committing a victimless crime. He should have used the opportunity to join a vital and urgent policy debate.”

Ex-Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron pointed out that all six “continue to back policies that send less fortunate folk to prison for the same thing. It’s disgusting”.

And current Lib Dem leadership hopeful Ed Davey observed: “They might all be historical confessions but the way this Tory leadership is going it’s like they’re all off their heads.”

That certainly appears to be the conclusion of the satirists, who have been having great fun concocting fictional pasts for other MPs. I particularly enjoyed the idea of Jacob Rees-Mogg having used camphorated tincture of laudanum with his nanny in 1899.

And apparently Larry the Downing Street Cat has admitted a continuing fondness for catnip. Well, why not?

In the interests of full disclosure, This Writer is happy to admit a long history of substance abuse including cocktails of diesel, metal polish and (when I can get it) Uranium-239. We journalists run on heavy fuel!

But there is a serious question here.

The issue of illegal drugs has been a major political football for decades. Remember the “war on drugs”? The lives of millions of people have been affected – many ruined – by organised drug-pushers; Michael Gove wasn’t wrong about that. And many people have been punished – sometimes jailed – simply for possession of certain substances.

And the hypocrisy of the mass media should also be taken into account. Remember the thunderous furore after Diane Abbott drank a mojito on a train? In comparison, we get hardly a whimper after people who may become prime minister confessed to serious historical crimes.

Against this background, it is right to question the attitude of these confessors. Let’s have a poll:

Source: Tory leadership hopeful Andrea Leadsom becomes 6th candidate to admit drugs past – Mirror Online

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