Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Priti Patel; the plastic Eurosceptic and paper tiger

Amongst some UKIP circles Priti Patel, the Conservative Party's rising star is spoken about with awe and fantastical admiration inspired by outright ignorance. Up until now I've just accepted it. As far as I'm concerned she is a plastic Eurosceptic and nothing more than a paper tiger.
Many consider her as some sort of Eurosceptic hero, a champion of right wing politics. She isn't. Making token comments and populist soundbytes, as we surely should be learning about Daniel Hannan MEP does not make you a genuine article. It just makes you someone who is not only playing the game but playing the people.
An article from The Daily Telegraph has her headlining the notion of a new breed of Eurosceptic Tory MPs. Conservative Home also has her highlighted in a blog post about 'a new Eurosceptic group'. A post on Ian Dale's blog states 'many believe her to be 'emerging as the most effective Eurosceptic voice of the Parliamentary class of 2010.'
Perhaps some people perceive her as a 'Eurosceptic voice' as she headed the press office of the now defunct Referendum Party but her Eurosceptic credentials end there. Just as heading a press office for the Referendum Party doesn't make you a Eurosceptic answering the phones in whorehouse doesn't make you a pimp.
A basic look at her voting record in parliament shows her to be anything but Eurosceptic. In fact, the popular website theyworkforyou.com sums up her voting record for EU issues as 'voted very strongly for stronger EU integration'. A closer look at exactly what she's voted for provides a more detailed case.
Another description Priti Patel MP is given is a 'rebel', an MP who speaks her mind and isn't afraid to stand up to her own party. Again, this is a misnomer. She has time and time again sided with exactly what her party has told her to side with. The website Public Whip rates her as having rebelled just once out of 400 times. Hardly a candidate for a James Dean movie.
In my opinion the only difference between Daniel Hannan, another plastic Eurosceptic, and Priti Patel is that at least Hannan does it with a bit of class.