Raab: even worse than Johnson

Submitted by AWL on 13 April, 2020 - 8:00 Author: Mohan Sen
Dominic Raab

Boris Johnson's replacement Dominic Raab is even more right-wing and nationalist, and more ideologically committed than the opportunist Johnson.

In last year's Conservative leadership election, Raab was, before he was eliminated, the right-wing opposition to Johnson, waving the banner of a No Deal Brexit to Tory members. He advocated linking a No Deal Brexit to a large cut in corporation tax!

He has a long history as a right-wing ideologue and campaigner. In 2011, he co-authored a pamphlet, After the Coalition, with four other Tory MPs from the “Free Enterprise Group” – all now central to Johnson’s government – advocating extensive privatisation of the NHS:

“Hospitals should be given their independence, extending the Foundation Hospital model - initially controversial but now almost universally accepted.

“New non-profit and private operators should be allowed into the service, and, indeed should compete on price.”

They advocated even harsher attacks on benefits and the right to strike than the Tories would actually implement in the next decade. They wanted to exempt small firms from paying under-21s any minimum wage, expand "free schools" and allow them to make money, and contract out more prisons to the private sector.

They saw reducing corporation tax and income tax for the high-paid as "a priority".

They admitted in passing that immigration does not affect wages, but nonetheless advocated new restrictions on migrants.

Raab would develop many of these views further over the next years, for instance campaigning for privately-run and profit-making state schools.

In 2012, the same group of Tory MPs wrote a book called Britannia Unchained, which claimed that “too many people in Britain... prefer a lie-in to hard work… We must stop bailing out the reckless, avoiding all risk, and rewarding laziness… Once they enter the workplace, the British are among the worst idlers in the world. We work among the lowest hours, we retire early and our productivity is poor.”

To remedy this problem, the book advocated a series of attacks on workers’ rights. Attacking workers’ rights is a favourite theme of Raab’s over many years, one which he has consistently tied to a desire to escape EU standards and regulations.

In 2017 he sparked outrage by saying that most food bank users are not “languishing in poverty”.

Not neglecting the right-wing culture war while he is busy promoting extreme neo-liberalism, in 2011 Raab described feminists as “obnoxious bigots” and claimed that the “most flagrant discrimination [is] against men”. Before anyone asks, he defended this stance - in 2019. He has proposed abolishing the Government Equalities Officer and the Department of International Development.

In 2018 he sparked another controversy with his claim that immigration was responsible for soaring house prices.

During his time as a junior minister in the Ministry of Justice, Raab waged war on the rights of prisoners, leading opposition to a European Court of Justice decision giving at least some prisoners the right to vote and attempting to get foreigners sentenced to longer than a year deported.

Raab is even more likely than Johnson to exploit the Covid-19 crisis to promote extreme right-wing policies and to push for a disastrous hard Brexit at the end of the year, with no delay.

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