Scraps from the Big Book of Stupid News with a starring role for Raab…

Johnson with the ringed sleeve of his puppet-master, as shared on Twitter by Otto English

Here are a few scraps torn from the Big Book of Stupid News. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will be excited to learn that he warrants a double mention.

First up here he is chatting to Julia Hartley-Brewer on Talk Radio. Now there’s a right-wing rom-com no one wants to see.

Sultry old Hartley-Brewer, baiter of the left on Twitter, yesterday asked square-jawed leading man Raab about taking the knee as used for the Black Lives Matter protests.

Raab was dismissive of the gesture, preferring one of his own called Taking The Foot And Putting It In The Mouth.

Here’s what he said – as in formed into actual words that actually fell from his mouth: “On this taking the knee thing, I don’t know maybe it’s got a broader history, it seems to be taken from the Game of Thrones, feels to me like a symbol of subjugation and subordination.”

Game of Thrones – did he just say that? Yup. Raab appeared to have no idea that the American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick popularised the gesture after taking the knee during the national anthem as a protest against police brutality and racism. Or that Martin Luther King knelt too in the 1960s when possibly not auditioning for Game of Thrones.

And yet, his studied vagueness – “I don’t know maybe it’s got a broader history…” – suggests either pure ignorance or just not having the slightest interest in the matter.

Over on Sky News, Raab blathered to Kay Burley about why the government wants to spend a million quid on a Union Jack paint-job for the plane Boris Johnson occasionally uses. His reasons were nearly as convincing as his grasp of cultural history; or anything really.

Theresa May once conducted a fatal experiment. She came up with the brilliant wheeze of making Boris Johnson foreign secretary so the world could see him for an incompetent bumbler. That worked so well that she departed and left us with the incompetent bumbler.

During his chaotic spell as secretary for abroad, Johnson reportedly used to moan about having to use a boring old grey plane. That’s why we’re pimping up an official jet in another Johnson vanity project (will it be called the Boris jet? almost certainly).

The next torn scrap features Johnson, but it’s Dominic Cummings we are trying to spot here. Downing Street released footage of Johnson having a Zoom call with staff at Charing Cross Hospital. Almost out of shot behind the big TV screen you can see the rolled-up white shirt sleeve clearly belonging to Cummings, within string-pulling distance even for a Zoom.

This photo was spotted by Otto English and shared on Twitter. English is a must-follow if you like Twitter. His bio may surprise you: “Semi-professional irritant. Born Andrew Scott. Definitely not Moriarty. Freelance writer…”

Here to end is Alan Sugar with a page all to himself after his appearance on the Jeremy Vine Show on Channel 5. Sorry – Lord Alan Sugar, as these things matter; to Alan Sugar.

Sugar explained to Vine why it’s safe for the UK to follow the US in coming out of lockdown.

“Who’s dead? I’m not. I’m still alive. So’s everybody else I know.”

Who’s dead? The latest figures suggest that 42,288 people are dead but that’s all right because none of them are Lord Alan Sugar or any of his pals.

Just take a step back and admire the brass in those tonsils.

Footnote added July 4: Otto English is called Andrew Scott but is not Andrew Scott the actor. I don’t say here that he is, but it is left dangling there…

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