Connoisseurs of the golden age of package holidays will remember them all too well - the reps able to rabbit all the way from Alicante Airport to Benidorm and back, making little sense as they did so. Rooms, pools and bars would be “fully available”, hotels would be “absolutely” safe and secure, hygiene standards would be fine and “it’s right that this has been put in place”. Rictus smile, useless dealing with real trouble, that was the resort rep.
The good news is that more and more of us have figured out how to do holidays without them. The bad news is that someone answering to that description is now Home Secretary: Priti Patel would not have been out of place at the front of the transfer coach, uniform immaculately cleaned and pressed, verbal autopilot engaged, and rabbiting her way past Sant Joan d’Alacant, El Campello and Villajoyosa.
So it was that in the aftermath of a terror-related incident yesterday in Streatham, where a suspected assailant was shot dead by Police, that the questions began to be asked of the Government. Why was Sudesh Amman out on the streets so soon after his conviction on terror-related offences in November 2018? He had pledged allegiance to Islamic State. He wanted to carry out acid attacks. He had a fascination with deploying a knife.
What say Ms Patel? “Well, there is a Police investigation, rightly so, taking place right now … this offender clearly has some history in relation to counter-terrorism offences and it’s right that the Police are now investigating that, and all of that … post the Fishmongers Hall attack I announced a package of measures aimed at counter-terrorism and counter-terrorism offenders and that we would basically double their sentences”. There was more.
“More support for counter-terrorism probation officers and more support for the victims of counter-terrorism, and quite rightly, that was two weeks ago … we’ll be bringing forward a counter-terrorism bill in our first hundred days, and we’ll absolutely do that. Tomorrow we will be announcing some fundamental changes in addition to what we’ve already said that we will do to deal with counter-terrorism and counter-terrorism offenders”. Eh?
Was she finished? Heck no, there was another 25km of the N332 to go. “Well I think fundamentally this is very much about the system, and we’ve spoken about this, and this is why I’ve brought forward these measures just two weeks ago when it came to counter-terrorism offences, TACT offenders as we know them as”. Aarghh! No! Enough!
Just a stream of verbal diarrhoea, incomprehensible claptrap, wilfully exceeding the Sainsbury rabbit quota, Priti Patel not only made no sense, she had invented a new category of crime: counter-terrorism. She’s going to have anyone involved in counter-terrorism banged up. Their sentences will be doubled. And if not there will be trouble!
In Priti Patel, we have a Home Secretary who appears to prioritise hot air over concise and accurate replies. The fog of verbiage deceives the interviewer, or more to the point, uses up time so that the chances of being put on the spot are reduced accordingly.
At which point the coach has arrived at the first stop on the Platja Llevant, and no-one aboard cares what was said. They can get in the pool, then go and get smashed.
Good solution to the problem of out-of-work resort reps, mind. Look on the bright side.
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