The Daily Mail has gone full Dacre as it thunders “CRACKDOWN ON CRIME … Minister’s crime pledge in the Mail … GPS and alcohol tags for offenders … New search powers to beat knife plague … PRITI: I’LL MAKE YOBS CLEAN THE STREETS”. And to that I call bullshit. Our Benidorm holiday rep Home Secretary will do no such thing.
That this is purely for Mail readers’ consumption is clear from the outset: more of the same failed policies, but with added hot air. Ms Patel tells them “We will step up our efforts to go after drug gangs that exploit the young and vulnerable. We have already closed more than 1,100 county lines, there have been more than 6,300 arrests and millions of pounds and lots of drugs have been seized”. The same failed policy on illegal drugs, then.
She can “close” as many county lines as she likes: until the trade in illegal drugs is taken away from organised criminality - and she hasn’t got a Scooby Doo how to even start on that - the cops will do no more than scratch the surface. Hardly anywhere in the UK is off the drug supply network. She has changed nothing, and she will change nothing.
But she is backing the cops: “We’ll make sure that every community in the country has a named police contact - someone who knows your neighbourhood and can act on the challenges your community faces … The significance of this cannot be underestimated - I know that Mail readers want to know who their local bobby on the beat is and who they can turn to when affected by crime”. She knows what Mail readers want to hear, more like.
What she and the Mail have not made plain is that, One, the Tories cut tens of thousands of officers from Police forces up and down the county, and the recent recruitment drive won’t repair the damage any time soon, and Two, as Sky News reported last week, the Police Federation has announced that it no longer has confidence in her.
Still, there’s still the idea of “getting tough” on burglars, all that street cleaning, and making the community feel safer, right? Well, the Secret Barrister has something to say about that. “Boris Johnson ‘gets tough’ on burglars. The burglary I prosecuted this week was from 2018. The trial is Summer 2022. All because [Boris Johnson] and his colleagues defunded the criminal justice system. There’s never been a better time to be a criminal”.
And that’s the ones the cops catch - don’t forget those reductions in Police numbers that won’t be restored for years to come, if at all. But there will always be a phalanx of journalists ready and willing to go in to bat for Ms Patel, won’t there? Well, if another of her whizzo wheezes makes it to the statute book, maybe not.
As Press Gazette reported, “Journalists could be treated like spies for reporting on matters of public interest under planned reforms to the UK’s Official Secrets Act … The move has caused alarm at a time when press freedom is seen as being under attack in the UK”.
Priti Patel, like Bozo, cares about only one person. And that person is Herself.
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