When MPs and Ministers or ex Ministers write articles in newspapers they rarely do so in a fully balanced or non-political way. Tragically some of them such as Boris Johnson write comments that are deeply outrageous. One wonders if the newspapers that have received the exaggerations and lies should either refuse to publish them, or paste them over with a credibility warning as there is a risk that the paper becomes lacking in credibility along with the writers. I confess that I write a column every week in my local daily paper and I am certain that at times the column is brought into question by readers. However I do try to ensure that what I write does not include absolutely idiotic comments. Clearly this is not the same approach taken by Boris or some of his colleagues. One of these is Priti Patel MP who yesterday wrote a shocking piece in the Financial Times, a newspaper that on 4th November on the Marr show, Arron Banks claimed was anti Brexit. Priti has been the MP for Witham in Essex since 2010, she was the Secretary of State for International Development for 15months until she was forced to resign following her dishonest actions in Israel, prior to that she was the Minister of State for Employment for 14 months and began her Ministerial career as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury for 9 months so she has been an MP for 8 and a half years and a Minister for nearly three and a half years. In all of the 101 months Priti has been an MP she has had a chance to get a good grip of how complex and incoherent Whitehall is. The idea that it is organised in a manner that is in any way consistent with a single set of views and ideas is at best wishful thinking. To believe there is a conspiracy behind the actions of the Government raises the question of how capable the observer is. Priti is clearly an intelligent person who according to Wikipedia attended Watford Grammar School for Girls in Watford, a non-selective comprehensive at the time despite its name, before studying Economics at Keele University, and then pursuing postgraduate studies in British Government and Politics at the University of Essex. Yet Priti wrote this piece beginning with a ridiculous sentence ‘The very fact that the entire machinery of the British government is devoted to re-hashing “ Project Fear” tells you everything you need to know about Theresa May’s proposed withdrawal agreement. It is not Brexit. Whether through weakness or design, it is a thinly disguised attempt to pull the wool over people’s eyes — led by a set of people who are wedded to the idea of staying in the EU.’ Now of course Priti knows what is going on in her party which she has been a member of since before 1995, but the idea that the machinery of our Government is of a single political mind is abject nonsense. Even within the Party it is clear that there is far more conflict than consistency.
There are a number of issues that are included in the rest of the piece that may well be correct and certainly some on the understanding of the Canada deal and WTO terms that certain commentators disagree with. On the theme of the SMEs which Priti claims are “crying out for us to take back control of our laws and trade policy so we can address damaging legislation in areas such as VAT and health and safety assessments.” As a worker for an SME that benefits enormously from trading with the EU, although some members of our company do want us to leave the EU the company as a whole recognises the importance of EU membership and would rather that we remained inside the EU which as Priti pointed out “US, China and India are among the EU’s biggest trading partners” and indeed some 60 nations have free trade deals with the EU so along with the 27 EU members remaining would give us existing deals with nearly half the world. However only time will tell if leaving will benefit us!