We got a glimpse into how the MP for Esher & Walton ‘chillaxes’ at his home in Thames Ditton. Unlike Cameron, who famously devoured his way through box sets of DVDs on a Saturday with Samantha, Raab likes to read. This is because he is educated okay, unlike us plebs here at Raab Watch.
Some cynics on Twitter questioned the careful positioning of the books during the interview on the BBC News channel (29th March 2019), but its quite natural to have books placed in such a precise way. Our only thought is that is must make opening those blinds a little tricky.
But ‘nine books does not a library make’ warned HuffPo. Here at Raab Watch towers we have ten books on our windowsill. Just like Raab, we don’t believe in having shelves either.
So what does Raab’s reading tell us about his political ambitions?
We can tell that Raab is clearly very, very, well educated. He is well read, if not as red as Jeremy Corbyn.
But he’s no fan of fiction. Rather than enjoying the latest Harry Potter, he prefers to read autobiographies of political leaders.
Nixon: A Life by Jonathan Aitken.
Interesting choice! This suggests that Raab may view Nixon (aka Tricky Dicky) as a role model for his own political career. It also suggests that he is admirer of Jonathan Aitken, the disgraced former Tory cabinet minister and jailbird who in 1999 was convicted of perjury.
If Raab is taking political tips from either Nixon, or even worse, Aitken – we have a serious problem!
One reviewer on Amazon states:
Who better than Jonathan Aitken to write a biography of Richard Nixon? Aitken is a British conservative who ended up in jail for lying to cover up his shady dealing.
Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals by Niall Ferguson
Top of the pile, suggesting that Raab has been browsing it just before the interview, is Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals by Niall Ferguson.
A genuinely fascinating text, it looks at alternative histories. Chapters include: Hitler’s Britain: What if German’s had invaded Britain in 1940?
But there are a few chapters we would suggest to Ferguson as an update for the next edition:
Brexit: What is Cameron hadn’t been so daft to call a referendum?
Article 50: What if PM May decided to revoke it?
The book also doesn’t predict whether an MP in his 40s from Esher & Walton in Surrey will ever make it to 10 Downing Street. We really want to know the answer to this.
Historian Niall Ferguson is super bright and is a fellow at Jesus College, Oxford. Raab is marginally less intellectual. He is an MP who doesn’t realise the impotance of Calais and Dover in international trade.
Morrissey once attempted to ‘ban’ Cameron from liking his music. We wonder whether the great historian will do the same to Raab?
Total Racall by Arnold Schwarzenegger
If Virtual History is a bit heavyweight, Total Racall the autobiography of former Republican governor Arnie ‘I’ll Be Back’ Schwarzenegger, may provide some light relief.
The Express newspaper stated:
‘His autobiography is a classic reworking of the American dream: dream hard, work hard, aim high, let no one stand in your way.’
Raab will no doubt seek to copy Arnie’s political success.
He will seek to:
- Kill off his Tory rivals – Johnson and Gove (metaphorically speaking).
- Then ‘terminate’ PM May’s leadership.
- Last, but not least, he move on to ruling the world! (Free from the regulation of EU bureaucrats in Brussels, who he so despises.)
The only problem here is that Raab will need to go to the gym a little more, if he is to match the physique of his action movie hero.