Andy Richardson: 'Home Secretary Priti Patel has ridden the storm by being the Prit that Sticks'

A tougher lockdown, higher taxes, a Prime Minister and a Health Secretary facing court for running a jobs-for-the-boys Government and a Home Secretary who ‘unintentionally’ bullied staff – phewee, it’s a good job we’re not in the middle of a global pandemic or staring down the barrel of a catastrophic recession where trust in politicians is lower than a Texan oil well.

Still, let’s start the week by looking on the bright side – that is, the side of scientists not politicians. Immunisations will start next month and by the end of March all aged 18 and over will be dosed up on vax. Great. BoZo expects normal life to resume by Easter, for which we might more sensibly read much later – immunising tens of millions of people would be a tough ask for a competent Government, let alone BoZo and his merry band of cronies.

Until then, we can hunker down and enjoy the salacious headlines that focus on the sort of behaviour that would be the undoing of normal folk. Home Secretary Priti Patel has ridden the storm by being the Prit that Sticks. Her favourite phrase for staff, apparently, was ‘they’re flippin’ useless’, which she’d shout. Except she didn’t use the word flippin’. BoZo had a report into her behaviour in April but imagined we’d all forget, so decided not to share. Far from backing down, the not-really-apologetic Home Secretary is making officials work weekends and undergo performance reviews. She’s unintentionally giving them tough love, after the enquiry into her behaviour was denied the opportunity to interview the man who blew the whistle and is suing for constructive dismissal. In unrelated news, reports that Priti hairsprays her smirk to keep it in place are untrue. And in other unrelated news, Orc leaders have declared that Sauron’s attempt to kill and enslave Middle Earth was also unintentional. Which is one Lord of the Rings reference too many.

Has anyone seen the Liberal Democrats? It’s not so long ago that they were sat around the Cabinet table, putting up the student loans they promised to protect. New leader Ed Davey has been conspicuous by his absence during Lockdown 2 and the SNP has become the UK’s third party. Not that BoZo sees it that way. The pesky independence seekers are, as he tells us, a disaster. Funny then, that both the Welsh and Scottish devolved administrations have a better record on Covid than BoZo. Both have been more decisive and more effective.

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