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PLATELL’S PEOPLE: I know Dominic Raab. I believed in him. But now he has to go… 

There are times in the world of politics when you find it impossible to defend someone you believed in, someone you thought could make it to the top, even perhaps become Prime Minister.

That time has come for me, with Dominic Raab.

The first time I met Dom, as he prefers to be called, was a few years ago. I found him articulate, polite, handsome (and he knew it) but perhaps a little too confident.

There are times in the world of politics when you find it impossible to defend someone you believed in. That time has come for me, with Dominic Raab

I liked him though and, being in the media, gave him tips on television appearances. I pointed out that he sweated too much under the TV lights and suggested make-up products he could use — advice he rather too eagerly accepted.

Fast forward to today and the Foreign Secretary has good reason to sweat after his cack-handed and callous mishandling of the Afghanistan crisis. Even as an admirer of Dom, I can no longer in all conscience defend him.

As our troops might say, he was missing in action.

There have been days of obfuscation over why he did not return from his luxury family holiday in Crete while Kabul fell. Then muddying of the waters over the crucial phone call he was asked to make, but didn’t. (As the Mail revealed yesterday, no one at all made the call that could have helped rescue Afghan translators who served us so loyally.)

On top of this were the claims from his office that he was working flat out in Crete when he was actually flat out on a sunbed, topping up his tan while those to whom we owe safe passage were abandoned.

It says something about the man that Foreign Office colleagues accused him of ‘appalling negligence’, saying he had ‘completely checked out’ of his job a year ago, and read just a fifth of his daily red boxes.

Is he so arrogant that he thinks the job of Foreign Secretary is beneath him?

Much as it pains me to say it, do the decent thing, Dom. Take a deep breath — and walk the plank. Pictured, Amanda Platell

Much as it pains me to say it, do the decent thing, Dom. Take a deep breath — and walk the plank. Pictured, Amanda Platell

I used to think he was a decent, principled Conservative who could rise to the top. Now he’s at the bottom of the political heap with Labour rightly baying for his blood.

My advice would be: ‘Quit now, Dom.’ You had a duty to protect all those who fought side-by-side with our troops in Afghanistan, those for whom this newspaper has campaigned for years. And you failed.

Life will be worse for you if you stay — the suffering and possible torture and death of each translator caught by the Taliban will haunt you as you peruse your happy holiday snaps in Crete.

Much as it pains me to say it, do the decent thing, Dom. Take a deep breath — and walk the plank.

Of the 20,000 Afghan refugees to be welcomed into the UK, women and girls will be first. Jolly good, as the Taliban could stop their education, ensnare them in burkas and force some to become jihadi brides. But shouldn’t the chivalrous code of the Titanic disaster be temporarily changed to: translators, women and children first?

Changing trousers

Oh dear, someone has to tell him his saggy old trews passed their sell-by date a decade ago — just like the show

Oh dear, someone has to tell him his saggy old trews passed their sell-by date a decade ago — just like the show

Explaining why he’d revamped Changing Rooms, which drew a risible 1.3 million viewers, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, 56, said he’d made a ‘significant investment in leather trousers and would like to get a bit more wear out of them’. 

Oh dear, someone has to tell him his saggy old trews passed their sell-by date a decade ago — just like the show.

Having just signed a £73 million deal with Netflix for the Knives Out movies, on top of his £117 million Bond fortune, Daniel Craig says he won’t leave his money to his two daughters as inherited wealth is ‘quite distasteful’. 

He adds that if you die a rich person, you’ve failed. Surely not as distasteful as a very average actor with just one pouting expression being able to amass a fortune of nearly £200 million in the first place. 

A U.S. court has granted Johnny Depp the right to sue his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel for branding him a ‘wife beater’, as his career is sunk and his film, Minamata, isn’t released. 

She, meanwhile, is counter-suing him for lost income. What a horrible self-inflicted mess. 

The sad truth is the real victims here are his former long-term partner Vanessa Paradis, whom he left for Heard, and their two children. 

I am Ted . . . No, I am Ted

I can only admire the efforts of Helen Macdonald, owner of Geronimo — the most famous alpaca in the world — to do everything she can to save him from Defra’s bullet.

Her latest ploy was to place four decoy alpacas in the adjoining paddock so when the time came, they would all be Geronimo — as in the movie Spartacus.

An inspiring idea for all us animal lovers.

My beloved cat Ted has a dastardly condition and the needle is looming.

Any scruffy, fat, white and ginger moggies who could pose as Teddy would be gratefully received.

Calling my local NHS surgery recently, they asked me who my GP was. My response was to laugh, as I haven’t seen the same doctor twice in decades.

I was responding to a request for a cervical smear, even though I haven’t needed one since I had cancer 20 years ago.

New figures reveal GPs now get an average of £100,000 a year, though we can never get to see them, they have no idea of our medical history and they Zoom half of their appointments.

Meanwhile, the frontline NHS nurses who have dealt with Covid get a third of their pay.

Doesn’t it make you sick?

Kate’s just great

Two discoveries as I stood in for my Mail colleague Andrew Pierce on Good Morning Britain this week, with Kate Garraway co-presenting.

First, how ghastly it is getting up at 4.30am.

Second, that Kate not only does this in the mornings, but then goes straight from the GMB studios to Smooth radio to present a three-hour show. And afterwards returns to the kids and her still desperately ill husband Derek, who is finally home after months in hospital with Covid.

Yet she took it all in her stride, smiling as she told me it was Derek’s birthday last weekend and that the family celebrated and he gave her a kiss.

My admiration for Kate’s professionalism as a presenter is strong enough, but for her as a loving wife and mother it knows no bounds.

 What a sad sight, Madge   

With the singer in that floppy hat and granny dress, Ahlamalik looked more like Madonna’s carer than her boyfriend

With the singer in that floppy hat and granny dress, Ahlamalik looked more like Madonna’s carer than her boyfriend

I don’t wish to dash any woman’s right to take a much younger lover, but unsolicited, unedited and unflattering pictures of Madonna, 63, walking hand-in-hand with dancer Ahlamalik Williams, 27, as they holidayed in Italy must give even the superstar pause for thought.

With the singer in that floppy hat and granny dress, Ahlamalik looked more like Madonna’s carer than her boyfriend.

How galling to learn that MPs recalled to Parliament to debate the fall of Afghanistan can claim the cost of Covid tests for themselves and their families returning from foreign trips, while the rest of us have to pay hundreds of pounds in tests for a week away.

Nicole kidding

Nicole Kidman says her biggest regret in life is that she didn’t have more children

Nicole Kidman says her biggest regret in life is that she didn’t have more children

Despite having two adopted kids with her estranged ex Tom Cruise, and two with husband Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman says her biggest regret in life is that she didn’t have more children. 

She says she wanted ten, but ‘wasn’t given that choice’ by Hollywood as her career dashed her dreams. Forgive me, but that really does sound like Big Little Lies.

Playing an eccentric loner befriending a porker in the movie Pig, Nicolas Cage gets rave reviews. Surely we’ve been here before with the 1995 movie Babe. 

I cannot go a month without watching it as it swells the heart so much. Starring a pig that learns to herd sheep, it’s that little porker’s final triumph in a sheepdog competition that really brings home the emotional bacon. 


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