The public stand with Priti Patel
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BY SURAJ SHARMA
‘Let’s Get Brexit Done!’ was the lead slogan from the 2019 General Election campaign but alongside this the Conservatives ran on a powerful agenda of change. To level up our communities, on law and order and for fixing our immigration system.
A challenging undertaking but who did the People’s Prime Minister turn to and task to help build a better Britain? Well, the People’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel and she set to work immediately working relentlessly around the clock. Priti has delivered a new and fair points based immigration system where for the first time in British history we will have a scheme that will look at who you are and not where you come from. The recruitment drive for 20,000 new police officers is well underway and she has passed into legislation the Terrorist Offenders Act which will end the early release of those convicted of terror related offences. Not a bad return in such as short space of time.
Of course not everyone has been equally delighted at the revolutionary rate of change. Not least those who ran the lethargic Home Office. The Home Office has not covered itself in glory in recent years and is perceived as one of the most incompetent departments of government. The student visa and Windrush scandals being the most prominent. Philip Rutnam, the former permanent secretary who presided over both has left behind a catalogue of disasters. When in the Transport department Rutnam oversaw the west coast rail franchise fiasco. He was also in charge when HS2 was budgeted at £56bn in 2015, the real cost is of course double. On Windrush Rutnam’s bunglings and mis-briefings and then going AWOL in the height of the scandal led to the downfall of Amber Rudd.
If Rutnam was in the private sector his incompetence would have stalled his career long ago, he would never have been allowed such responsibility again. What happens in the UK Civil Service? He received a Knighthood… This culture of rewarding failure is symptomatic of everything that is wrong in Whitehall.
Priti Patel is results orientated and carries with her a fiery determination to fulfil the promise given to the British people. When she encountered the wall of uselessness that stood before our government’s objectives something had to give. Cue the venomous, virulent and underhand briefings to the press against her to the delight of those on the left of politics, whose attacks, peppered with misogyny and racism betray something a lot more sinister.
With Bercow the allegations or bullying were widespread and well documented. How did Labour react? They nominated him for a peerage. With Priti, a British Indian woman who fought for Brexit and who doesn’t subscribe to Labour’s aspirations for all ethnic minorities be trapped in a perpetual state of victimhood, they call on her to resign. It’s a good thing that Labour voices are now largely irrelevant.
For those that know Priti, she has an unyielding focus but she has always displayed kindness and compassion to those that work with her. Allegations of bullying are simply laughable to those that know and who have worked with her. Being held to account and being asked to do one’s job, one which carries almost twice the salary of the PM is reasonable, it is undoubtedly not bullying. If Priti Patel’s firm hand was required to force a change in this complacency and mediocracy that has infected the civil service, then that sounds like the required medicine to build a new Britain.
I am heartened by the response shown by the people since this witch-hunt began. The people are on Priti’s side, primarily because they know she stands on theirs.
For me I’ve had enough of stagnation, good on Priti for not kicking the can down the road, putting a stake in the ground and getting the job done.
We cried out for Brexit to allow us to control our borders and now Priti has laid down the parameters for this to happen. So, if the ditherers can’t keep up, I would say this is a prime opportunity for the dead wood in the civil service to make an exit. I would like to see which private enterprise would take them on – I would have Priti at the helm of an enterprise any day – she has proved she has the nous to make changes and to take on the naysayers.
Brexit needs people like Priti Patel, who will see it through and make bold moves, or we’ll be slowed down by a sluggish Remainer machine and miss the prized opportunities we have to get out into the world and build a better Britain…
Suraj Sharma is the MD for Respublica and Conservative Councillor for Chislehurst. Follow him on twitter: @Suraj_Sharma