Proving that it is easier to play to the gallery than to actually do the day job, Priti Patel, who has inexplicably been appointed Home Secretary, has had a brilliant idea. Well, there was a brilliant flash of some kind; perhaps it was a short circuit. The idea played very well with our free and fearless press, and her fellow Tory MPs, until the thought entered that the idea had the capacity to come back and bite them in a very tender place indeed.
There was more. “She said the Government would look at the nationwide implementation of proposals by Tory London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, who aims to blitz coke use in the capital. If elected, he would require firms with 250-plus staff to sign a drug-testing charter. Results would be published regularly to identify firms with most users. Ms Patel told The Sun: ‘I back any techniques that will reduce drug crime’”.
But then, to no surprise, the mood music changes. “THE ‘county lines’ gangs are a scourge Home Secretary Priti Patel is right to target. But forcing firms to drug-test staff is not a policy Tories should champion … It’s not just the extra burden and cost it loads on businesses, without any proof it would cut middle-class cocaine use. It’s that it’s another sinister assault on ordinary people’s freedoms”. Get that back-pedalling moving!
The mood then darkens. “This disturbing authoritarianism is the trademark of left-wing regimes. It is shocking to see Tories advocate it”. Should this surprise anyone? After all, the Sun article is headlined “END OF THE LINE”, it defaults to talking about cocaine, and seems to know an awful lot about sniffing the stuff. It is not hard to figure out why.
Nor are Ms Patel’s Parliamentary colleagues (the Tories are the only party with more than 250 MPs) going to take kindly to such an idea. Former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s past use of snow is well known, as are the occasions he turned up for PMQs looking just a little out of it. And then there is Michael “Oiky” Gove.
The man who would succeed alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is on record confessing to a past relationship with Charlie. He is unlikely to be alone in this endeavour. Bozo himself has admitted taking the stuff. Well, sort of.
All this shows is that Shaun Bailey is an appallingly bad choice as the Tories’ candidate for the London Mayoralty. Expect Ms Patel to bin this one. And sooner rather than later.