Doing the studio rounds this morning, and in the process showing just how shallow the Tory talent pool really is, Priti Patel, who for some reason has been appointed Home Secretary, has wasted no time in laying down the law on gatherings of more than six people, in the process dropping so many Gs that Jim Laker would have approved.
She continued in the same vein on Sky News. “I’m rarely at home but if I saw somethink that I thought was inappropriate then, quite frankly, I would call the police. It’s not dobbin’ in neighbours, it’s all about us takin’ personal responsibility”. Then she started to go wrong, beginning with Covid-19 testing, or the clear lack of it.
“Mobile testing is goin’ in, capacity is goin’ into local areas where lockdowns have been undertaken and are takin’ place … I think it is wrong to say tests are not available, new book-in slots are bein’ made available every single day, mobile testin’ units are bein’ made available … And on top of that home-testin’ kits are bein’ issued across the country but specifically in local lockdown areas”. That’s not what Matt Hancock says. He says testing shortages are real, and will continue for several weeks.
But Ms Patel’s main problem is her consistency and credibility. On the one hand, she wants everyone else to respect and obey the law, while she and her fellow Tory MPs get to vote for legislation which one of their number admitted last week would break it. So Brandon “barrow boy” Lewis had admitted the Polecat Enabling Act, more prosaically called the Internal Market Bill, would involve breaking the law. What say Ms Patel?
But there is no prospect of “unfettered access in goods and services” across the whole of the United Kingdom being threatened, compromised, curtailed, abridged or even influenced by any outside bodies, as the Government claims. This is all about trying to bluff the EU into concessions - which are not about to be given - by using the Irish Republic as leverage. Because it might hurt them more than it will hurt us.
So Priti Patel will have no problem with anyone who dobs her in over her support for lawbreaking, a potential criminal conspiracy. Just how serious a situation the Tories’ bill would create, if passed into law, has been laid out by Michael Dougan, Professor of European Law at Liverpool University (thread HERE).
The Home Secretary is demanding action is taken against herself. I am not makin’ this up.