After Dominic Raab’s unconvincing performance on Afghanistan before the House of Commons Foreign Affairs committee, the Whitehall leaks about the fitness for office of Boris Johnson’s foreign secretary are coming thick and fast.
Beyond the Watergate question – what did you know, when did you go on holiday? – there is much amusement about the many nicknames Raab has picked up during his brief tenure at Great George Street.
One soubriquet is “Dim Dom” – a snooty reference from Foreign Office mandarins who pride themselves on their mental agility and have little time for Raab’s own intellectual credentials. (Degree in Law, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford; masters in law at Cambridge).
Some no doubt remember Raab’s spell at the Foreign Office as a legal adviser between 2000 and 2006, working on a range of issues from investor protection to war crimes policy. “I would never had him on my selection committee,” said one ex FCO man.
The sharpest put-down, however, appeared in The Economist which reported he is known as “Five I’s, a wordplay on the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing arrangement between the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
In Raab’s case, the I’s stand for: imperious, insular, idle, irascible and ignorant.