RISING Conservative starlet and increasingly shrill Brexit campaigner Priti Patel has launched a last-ditch attack on her supposed leader, arguing that the Prime Minister’s ‘luxury lifestyle’ insulates him from the fears of the masses over migration to the UK.
It’s hardly a difficult argument to make given Cameron has form on the uber-posh front, having been pictured eating a hot dog with a knife and fork, cycling to work while a chauffeur drove his briefcase, and being heavily implicated in the Panama papers scandal over his family’s offshore interests.
“It’s shameful that those leading the pro-EU campaign fail to care for those who do not have their advantages,” the MP for Witham told the Telegraph
“Their narrow self-interest fails to pay due regard to the interests of the wider public,” she added.
“For many of those arguing for Remain, the day-to-day consequences of this loss of control are pretty much all gain and no pain: inexpensive domestic help, willing tradesmen and convenient, cheap travel.”
Her intervention highlights a growing Tory divide over Europe, a perennial issue for the party which has come to a bitter, highly personal, climax as the referendum approaches, something of a biblical day of judgment for the grumbling party right.
Cameron has been accused of lying over Turkey’s EU membership ambitions, ‘corroding’ public trust in the body politic, and wantonly issuing ‘apocalyptic’ warnings on how the economy will fare should the Leave camp secure victory.
Those complaints have come largely from the chattering political classes, often seen as on a level footing with Cameron when it comes to wealth and privilege, their differing stances based more on personal views and financial interests than sympathy for the working man.
Patel’s point will likely strike a greater chord among the electorate, especially traditional Labour voters who have felt pushed to the right of the spectrum by the negligence of the status quo in addressing their migration concerns, with UKIP the primarily beneficiaries.
The relatively young MP, from an immigrant family of Gujarati origin herself, is, however, far from the champion of the people she professes to be, with a chequered past that should cast serious doubt on the credibility of her position on Brexit.
A former lobbyist for British American Tobacco she was paid good money to help the multinational promote its public image after revelations that it colluded with despotic regimes in Burma and Nigeria that used child labour to produce cigarettes.
She also worked for the global drinks firm Diageo and has been criticised for promoting the interests of big tobacco and alcohol companies during her time in parliament, repeatedly supporting the relaxing of rules and regulations.
With a traditional Hindu background, etched in the Gujarati’s domination of Uganda, she is vociferously against gay marriage, despite her purported libertarian credentials, and was heavily criticised for a passage in a book she co-authored which read “once they enter the workplace, the British are among the worst idlers in the world”.
Her dire hypocrisy shows that, whatever your opinions may be on Britain’s role in Europe, the argument as it is being played out is essentially a neoliberal one, with the leaders divided merely on how best to profit from governing the country.