Brian Reade says that the PM’s recent reshuffle confirmed that we have never seen such a dearth of ability in a group of public figures, andBritain’s poorest people will siffer
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Even the most tribal of football fans can at times hold a sneaking admiration for their rivals.
Back in the day, I would often be left in awe at Manchester United’s glorious triumvirate of Best, Law and Charlton and the beauty of Arsenal’s team of Invincibles.
And at the risk of making you bring up your breakfast, I’ll even admit there were ministers serving Margaret Thatcher, like Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine, who had qualities I respected.
But as I surveyed the comings and goings in this week’s Tory Cabinet reshuffle I can honestly say I have never seen such a dearth of talent in one set of public figures.
Most are so out of their depth Priti Patel should have sent a flotilla of coastguard lifeboats to Westminster. If only she could work out how to.
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Some Tory lackeys claimed Johnson had assembled a Team of all the Talents, an analysis almost as sad and embarrassing as Billie Piper’s flashbacks to walking down the aisle with Laurence Fox. Indeed, watching the headline cast of characters felt like a trip down Comedy Lane.
There was Frank Spencer (Gavin Williamson) and the Hi-de-Hi! holiday camp manager (Dominic Raab) being sacked, while a former I’m A Celebrity contestant (Nadine Dorries) and serial parody clip on Have I Got News For You (Liz Truss) were promoted.
Williamson is probably Britain’s most catastrophic minister, surpassing even Chris Grayling (who once handed a ferry contract to a firm with no ferries) for gold standard incompetence.
The best anyone has ever said of the former chief whip was “he knows where the bodies are buried”, but we soon came to realise they meant he’s so dense he’s only just realised what a graveyard is.
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All you need to know about reptilian Raab is that he once labelled British workers “the worst idlers in the world” yet as UK Foreign Secretary chose to lay on a beach in Crete as Kabul fell.
His replacement Truss, who became a viral social media joke when she told the Tory conference “we import two-thirds of our cheese and THAT is a DISGRACE” is being hailed a genius for her post-Brexit trade deals.
However civil servants gave her the nickname “Ctrl C + Ctrl V” because all she did was copy and paste the deals already in place with the EU.
Making Dorries Culture Secretary is as random as putting Kerry Katona in charge of the Treasury. An even more dumber philistine than Sarah Palin, she once said it was “time for a charismatic figure like Tommy Robinson to be running the country”. And she got Culture.
Former Tory minister Anna Soubry summed up Dorries’ appointment as “final confirmation that we have the worst Prime Minister and government ever”.
But worse than that, we have the most cynical element. This reshuffle was deliberately announced on the same afternoon MPs debated the despicable move to take more than £1,000pa from millions of people on Universal Credit.
A move the United Nations has deemed “unconscionable” as it breaches international human rights law and “is likely to trigger an explosion of poverty”.
Yet the comical assembling of a Cabinet of None of the Talents was being hailed by Tories as the team that will deliver on Johnson’s pledge to “level-up” the country.
Sadly the tears that will soon be running down the faces of Britain’s poorest people will not be ones of laughter.