Editor’s newsletter: Dominic Raab is a product of Westminster’s ‘one rule for us’ culture

Dominic Raab has been forced to quit as Rishi Sunak's deputy (Image: Getty)Dominic Raab has been forced to quit as Rishi Sunak's deputy (Image: Getty)
Dominic Raab has been forced to quit as Rishi Sunak's deputy (Image: Getty) | POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Politicians need to understand that the rules apply to them too - and why you should support your local record shop

One of several common threads running from the Boris Johnson administration into the current one led by Rishi Sunak is a notion that the rules of everyday life can be conveniently overlooked or dodged by government ministers. Whether it’s the booze-fuelled parties during lockdown, or family members benefitting from decisions made in the Budget, they clearly see themselves as somehow separate - elevated - from the rest of us.

And this extends to how they run their departments, as we’ve seen this past week with Dominic Raab. Now he way well have high standards and work ridiculously long hours as he claims, but the inquiry into allegations of bullying by the former deputy prime minister and justice secretary found him to be “intimidating” and “unreasonably and persistently aggressive”. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The fallout has already progressed along predictable party political, left/right and culture war lines, with some defending his behaviour as what’s required in government, while others have attacked both his lack of contrition and the prime minister for not sacking him earlier.

No matter what your impression is of the contents of the 48-page report, the simple fact is that bullying in any walk of life is not acceptable, and it’s ridiculous and far-fetched to suggest, as Raab did in his resignation statement, that this will have a “chilling effect” on the British people. Yes, workplaces should have room for open and honest debate, but that should never cross the line as Raab has - whether he likes to admit it or not.

Support your local record shop

One of life’s pleasures for music fans is flicking through the racks of a record shop, on the hunt for that piece of vinyl that will complete the collection (scoff: a record collection is of course never complete).

In years gone by, most towns had independent record shops that did a decent trade in both music and tickets. While many of these have closed in the age of streaming, and most specialist outlets are now confined to the bigger cities, the vinyl revival has undoubtedly sparked a mini-resurgence as people seek out the tangible thrill you can’t replicate with Spotify.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But we shouldn’t take this for granted. It’s a tough business when you’re competing with the likes of Amazon, so if you’re lucky enough to have a favourite record shop, get down and support it today for Record Store Day 2023. You can find one near you with our interactive search tool and here’s the list of special releases.

🏪 From record shops to food shops, I recommend this week’s ‘In praise of…’ column from our new travel editor Katrina Conaglen, who conjures up the unique sights, smells and sounds of foreign supermarkets:

Under the blinding fluorescent lights of these theoretically functional spaces, you’re ideally placed to learn about the whims of where you are. The concept of the region’s cuisine hasn’t been put through a tourist-filter and sold back to you - this is a far better indication of how the locals eat, where their priorities lie. A voyage to a foreign supermarket can turn even the least observant traveller into an amateur anthropologist - and you can get dinner out of it, too.

📺 In this week's episode of our Screen Babble podcast, Alex Moreland reviews The Diplomat, Kelly Crichton recommends The Hunt for Raoul Moat, and Steven Ross remembers Freaks and Geeks - and check out the Weekend Watch mini-episode for more inspiration.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Have an enjoyable weekend - and remember there’s an emergency alert planned for all UK mobile phones on Sunday, so don’t panic.

This is an abridged version of our NationalWorld Today newsletter - you can sign up for free to read the full version.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.