Home Secretary Priti Patel’s name pops up in the news circuit regularly; whether she’s gaslighting a minority group, bullying the opposition, screaming the ‘benefits’ of Brexit or devising racist and classist immigration plans. As a chest-thumping fascist using her modest upbringing and brown skin to masquerade as one-of-the-people- Patel is the Tories’ wet dream…
In light of her recent trip to Calais and calling for ‘stronger enforcement measures’ from the French to stop refugees crossing the Channel to Britain, I thought it was an appropriate time to highlight five reasons why Patel is a fascist, racist, insensitive and mean self-hating brown woman.
1.Patel’s Point Based Immigration System (Read: Elitist Fuckery)
Patel has proposed a post-Brexit immigration plan which would award points to immigrants based on their professional achievements. For example, a candidate with a Phd would receive more points than somebody without one. In Patel’s view this would only allow the ‘best and brightest’ to immigrate to Britain, implying that the majority of immigrants have nothing to offer Britain’s social, economic or cultural landscape. Particularly ironic when considering Patel’s own parents migrated from Uganda in the 1960s to set up a newsagents. If her system had been in place at that time, Patel’s parents wouldn’t have been granted citizenship and she wouldn’t be the Home Secretary today. Yet bizarrely, Patel has demonstrated fuck all self-awareness and seeks to limit the scope of opportunities for other immigrant success stories like her own. It resembles a manifestation of deep shame and insecurity of her origin story- if I didn’t loathe her, I would probably feel sorry for her.
Patel also constantly conveniently ignores the fundamental truth that Britain needs immigrants to economically thrive, as demonstrated by the Romanian fruit pickers that were urgently flown to British farms in April.
2.. She’s Racist but plays the Race Card.
In the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests a few weeks ago, Labour MP Florence Eshalomi asked the Home Secretary to speak to the rampant racism and inequality in Britain. Patel’s response was in two parts horrifying and laughable. She effectively shut down Eshalomi’s inquiry by spinning off tales of her encounters with British racism. She recalled the trauma of being called ‘Paki in the playground’ and implied that it is she and not Eshalomi (a black woman), who has been a true victim of racism. For a woman that has continuously attempted to divorce herself from her race, this was a convenient moment to associate herself with brown people. But more importantly, Patel overlooked every racist structural hierarchy when she claimed that she would not take ‘lectures’ from the opposition on ‘racism, sexism, tolerance or social justice’. She self-appointed herself the absolute authority on every sphere of oppression, despite speaking from a position of relative privilege. She undermined Eschalomi and disrespected the BLM protestors by calling them ‘thugs and criminals’. But remember readers: we can’t criticise her because as somebody who has been called ‘Paki’, Patel just gets it.
3. She is a manipulative bully.
Patel has been endlessly accused of bullying and under investigation multiple times. Although these investigations amount to nothing, one thing is clear: the Tory darling is a bully. Most recently, Philip Rutnam, the most senior civil servant resigned in March following a ‘vicious briefing campaign’ led against him by Patel. It has been reported that Patel operates by sucking up to those above her and humiliating those beneath. But these claims fall on deaf ears every time.
4. She doesn’t understand the meaning of ‘unskilled’
If corona has taught us anything, it is that the ‘unskilled’ jobs are fundamental to the functioning our society. The Tories, of all people, should now know that. Particularly after they encouraged us to clap for our carers in a weekly Thursday ritual (rather than paying them, but that’s a different story). But Priti hasn’t got the message. She still considers the job or paramedics and carers to be ‘unskilled’ and will thus be less likely to be grant them British visas. Even the global pandemic, which has revealed our deep reliance on care givers and essential workers, has had no effect on the Home Secretary’s views.
5. She does not care about basic human rights.
Patel’s strategy for handling the refugee crisis in Calais clearly displays her blatant apathy for basic human rights. She recently claimed that she wants to make the crossing across the channel ‘unviable’ which means ‘intercepting and returning the boats back to France’. Patel never makes any reference to refugees explicitly, merely using the term ‘the boats’ to refer to human beings. It’s not clear to me that she understand them to be people worthy of freedom and respect. Nor has she ever outlined her long-term plan to deal with the crisis. The current plan seems to be pouring money into a wholly cruel and unsustainable solution. Nice one, Priti.
Image Credit: Getty Images (edited by Laila Ghaffar)