Saturday, 31 July 2021
Who does Priti Patel think has been the Home Secretary since 24th July 2019? Covid-19 meant that there was no reshuffle last year. Therefore, and in a crowded field, Patel remains the most improbable Home Secretary in living memory. She is one of several curious hangovers from the different political universe that preceded the 2019 General Election.
Patel was sacked from her previous Cabinet position from treason, and she once told a stunned Question Time audience that a wrongful execution "would send the right signal", but Boris Johnson oddly imagined that he owed the Right a favour. In reality, of course, they had had to support him against Jeremy Hunt, and they were going to have to support him against Jeremy Corbyn, or indeed against any Leader of the Labour Party.
Its candidate rarely wins and usually comes last, but the Left is always on the ballot paper when Labour has a Leadership Election. Whereas the Right last made it onto the ballot paper for Leader of the Conservative Party as long ago as 2005, when David Davis lost by more than two to one. In 2019, that party's parliamentary composition and its electoral base changed so dramatically that such a candidacy ought now to be unimaginable.
With Brexit done, at least officially, and despite considerable favourable coverage, popup Rightist parties and candidates were lucky to take two per cent of the vote this year. Patel should be one of several people who would soon be closing the door behind them as they left politics altogether. Nobody needs them, so nobody should want them. Even Steve Baker and Johnny Mercer are sick of being embarrassed by Patel's East African Asian dislike of black men.
And nobody, but nobody, messes with the England football team, who, being of their generation, are Black Lives Matter to a man. That generation has been disenfranchised, in the ordinary sense, by Labour's regression to the Far Right position that it has occupied for most of the lifetimes of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling and Tyrone Mings. But with them on your team, then who needs the Labour Party? They are already far more powerful than, mercifully, KKKeir Stürmer could ever dream of being.