Outlook’s Priti bleak in blue on blue fight
Boris lost a by-election faster than any PM in 111 years
The only fun to be had from this miserable political landscape is finding out which gang of Tory clever clogs is cleverest. Battle lines are drawn in what promises to be the most delicious bout of blue on blue infighting ever seen.
Where each side stands depends on where they sit. The reckless No Deal brigade have plonked their bums round the Cabinet table while Theresa May’s Cabinet of No to No Deal are on the Commons benches vacated by the other lot.
The No Dealers are masterminded by that scruffy urchin Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s chief adviser and Vote Leave veteran, who wears shirts so creased even the creases have creases. Benedict Cumberbatch played him as very clever indeed.
The Cabinet in exile is led by former Chancellor Phil Hammond, who might be dull but is also bright.
Johnson did not seem all that clever in his first full week, losing a by-election faster than any new PM in 111 years. And only Diane Abbott’s appointment as Home Secretary would have
been more gobsmacking than Priti Patel getting the job.
Priti is pretty silly on immigration. She bangs on about getting the best brains to come here using an Australian points-based system.
Which has merit, except this is not about merit but Brexit.
Australia is big with a small population and Britain is small with a big one so our needs are different, a discrepancy Ms Patel doesn’t seem clever enough to notice.
Migrants score points for professional and personal characteristics, including age and education, which creates a bias against the unskilled labour Britain requires. We have plenty of foreign football managers but not enough fruit pickers.
HGV drivers are bizarrely classified as unskilled. But surely it takes skill to drive a 44-ton lorry.
Ms Patel thinks only “brilliant scientists, academics and biochemists... and those with the highest skills and greatest talents” should be here.
Care workers are also classed as unskilled. But 104,000 of them from the EU and a further 120,000 from elsewhere look after the elderly and vulnerable. With one in 10 care jobs unfilled, the Patel system could spell catastrophe for our ageing population.
In Australia it takes skill to build up points. There’s also a bumper 30 marks for being aged between 25 and 33, but many care workers are older.
We need more not fewer. The number of people aged over 85 will double from 1.6 million to 3.2 million in 25 years. In 50 years it will treble.
As one immigration insider told me: “Brilliant biochemists might be clever. But they’re not going to wipe granny’s bottom.”
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