Priti Patel should apologise

Last month a man with a confederate flag threatened to kill an immigration lawyer with a knife. That attack was a direct consequence of Priti Patel’s inflammatory rhetoric.

Mrs Patel has been at the heart of stirring up a culture war. She’s been aggressive in her anti-immigrant, law and order, anti-asylum seeker rhetoric throughout her time as Home Secretary; but recently she turned her sights on “lefty activist lawyers” and other assorted “do gooders”. Essentially blaming these people for a supposed invasion (myth) of dangerous asylum seekers.

None of these things have basis in fact but the fact of the matter is Mrs Patel is a shrewd political operator and knew EXACTLY what she was doing, 110%. And as a result we see threats and violence directed towards lawyers by a mobilised, emboldened, and furious far right.

The far right is there no matter who’s in government, but we see here the very corrosive and toxic result of having people in power who through rhetoric and action legitimise the views and actions of the far right; they get more ambitious and feel accepted

This whole thing really is a far cry from when David Cameron called the likes of UKIP fruitcakes and loonies. The far right has a home in today’s Tory party, in a way they haven’t in a long long time.

This govt really really doesn’t care who gets hurt as long as it divides and rules, any bluster about “one nation” and unity are utter nonsense. This cabinet has done more to divide the country than most governments we’ve had in living memory. They are a disgrace, Priti Patel is a disgrace, and they should all think deeply about the ramifications of what they’ve done, and what they’re unleashing. Far right poison doesn’t easily go back into the bottle.

Mrs Patel should hang her head in shame and issue a full apology for stirring up poison no minister of state should.

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Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.