How do you solve a problem like Dominic Raab?

This morning Dominic Raab, the Justice Secretary, exposed his own ignorance on live television:

Lib Dem Women and Equalities spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

“It’s little wonder the Conservatives are failing to tackle misogyny when their Justice Secretary doesn’t even seem to know what it is.”

“These comments are an insult to the millions of women and girls impacted by misogyny and show just how out of touch the Conservatives are on this issue.

“Women and girls deserve better than these callous remarks. The Government must make misogyny a hate crime so that police forces take these crimes more seriously and support women and girls who are being so desperately let down.”

This is, of course, the very same Dominic Raab who, when Brexit Secretary, said the following:

“We are, and I hadn’t quite understood the full extent of this, but if you look at the UK and if you look at how we trade in goods, we are particularly reliant on the Dover-Calais crossing.

Has there ever been a Minister with less basic knowledge about their briefs?

He has got form for throwing his toys out of the pram when criticised as you can see from the comments to this post.

However, there is something we can do about him. It’s a bit of a slow burner, because it will take until the next election. In 2019, Liberal Democrat Monica Harding surged forward, reducing Raab’s majority to just 2743. We are campaigning hard in Esher and Walton and if you want to help unseat Raab, you can make a donation to the local party, Elmbridge Lib Dems here.

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11 Comments

  • Jayne mansfield 6th Oct '21 - 5:45pm

    Poor Dominic,

    Wasn’t there anyone with a 2. 1 in Classics who could point out the etymological roots of the word misogyny. Or was he just trying to be ‘woke’.

    Whatever. He is certainly no girly swot..

  • Couple of points on this. Firstly, the title of this piece: “How do you solve a problem like Dominic Raab?” Dominic Raab is a human being. We may all disagree with much of what he does and believes, but he’s still a human being. I think describing any human being as a ‘problem’ is really not the kind of language we should be using – especially as the headline title of an article.

    Secondly, this Wera Hobhouse’s comments seem to me like an over-reaction, and exactly like the kind of ‘playing politics’ that puts so many people off politics. It’s blindingly obvious that Dominic Raab’s remarks must have been something that came out wrong in the heat of the moment. He presumably meant that misogyny is wrong and that hatred against either gender is also wrong. Messing up your words and saying something the wrong way in a live interview is something that can happen to any politician of any colour. Not only that but Wera Hobhouse specifically described his remark as ‘callous’. What on Earth is callous about saying that misogyny is wrong, and that hatred against either gender is wrong? It seems to me that Wera Hobhouse is deliberately and gratuitously misinterpreting Dominic Raab so as to put his remarks in the worst light possible.

    Misogyny and violence against women are serious problems which need to be tackled. And that requires MPs to spend their time stepping up and seriously looking into what can be done. It’s not going to help if LibDem MPs decide instead to spend their time playing childish games trying to make party-political capital out of other MPs getting their words wrong.

  • @ Simon R

    You just said what I was thinking!

  • Jayne mansfield 6th Oct '21 - 7:07pm

    @ Simon R,
    How do you solve a problem like Maria?

    You might be able to spin Dominics Raabs words, but have you ever heard of a Freudian slip. His words are just another example of ‘whataboutery’ and because of his platform able to elicit sympathy and agreement.

    Treating people as human beings? Thats the whole point. It is the objectivisation and dehumanisation of women, the failure to see the uniqueness of women as human beings and the contribution women can make ( without resorting to traditional male behaviour), plus the often weaker muscular strength, that underpins the disproportionate violence and lack of social justice women suffer worldwide.

    If you think that women who support women and challenge those who don’t is a game.,you are sorely misinformed. Raab’s words are just one example of how the challenge to a reactionary , controlling, power imbalance that most women face every day of their lives is undermined by ‘whataboutery. He is underserving of sympathy.

    As someone who studied law, Raab can presumably assess and analyse evidence on which sex suffers disproportionately from violence and all the other instances where women suffer disproportionately, So why doesn’t he? Why at this time particularly is it not at the front of his mind? I dread to thing how many were nodding their heads in agreement when they listened to him.

    Hate doesn’t start with domestic violence or murder, it is the end result of a build up of seemingly innocuous , dismissive, demeaning attitudes about women, our minds, our bodies.

    Misogyny is hatred of women.

  • David Garlick 7th Oct '21 - 9:56am

    I agree that descibing him as a problem was much too mild. He is a serving Minister in Government and a polite desciption which to my mind is more accurate, is incompetent.
    We all make mistakes but if the roles were reversed the Tories would be all over it.

  • @David Garlick: Oh I see no problem with saying that Dominic Raab is incompetent: That’s describing his abilities, and seems like a perfectly legitimate thing to say in politics. But the headline for this article described him as a problem to be solved: That’s not attacking his abilities, his actions or his beliefs – it’s objectifying him, and almost reads in some ways like an incitement to violence. I realise that’s not the intention – I’m sure it was just careless language, and people who read LibDemVoice are almost certainly, on the whole, moderates and not the kind of people who would be incited: But imagine the same headline, “How do you solve a problem like (named person)” on a website that was read by extremists, and perhaps being used to refer to a migrant or someone vulnerable – I’d bet all of us would rightly be horrified.

  • Simon R:
    I guess it is my age, but I immediately got the reference to “The Sound of Music”. So do lighten up. And as it happens Maria turned out pretty well once she realised she was in the wrong job.

  • Jayne Mansfield 8th Oct '21 - 7:43am

    ‘From the cradle to the grave, men have a raw deal. Feminists are now the most obnoxious bigots’

    Dominic Raab. (‘We must end feminist bigotry’ Politics Home . 24.01.11

    Perhaps, Mr Raab should look up the the definition of feminism and feminist. in his dictionary.

  • Alex Macfie 8th Oct '21 - 8:21am

    I got the reference, and I’m about a generation younger than Mary. Some people have no sense of humour, but we’ll get nowhere if we show ourselves as self-righteous prigs, especially when we have to deal with the faux-conviviality of Johnson & co.

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