//Perma-smirking Priti Patel brings the hostile environment in-house | Marina Hyde

Perma-smirking Priti Patel brings the hostile environment in-house | Marina Hyde

It’s the home secretary’s trickiest week since her ‘holiday’ in Israel, but at least she’s visible. Where’s the prime minister?

According to officials from one of her former departments, Priti Patel was given to coming out of her office and inquiring: “Why is everyone so fucking useless?” Very bold. This is a bit like Donald Trump coming out of his office and asking why everyone has spectacularly stupid hair. The perma-smirking Patel has now moved on to the Home Office, where this week she was accused of bullying staff, trying to oust her most senior official, and creating an “atmosphere of fear” within the department. As opposed to outside of it, which is the norm. If nothing else, it’s a failure of management. To get the best out of people who you want to do their worst, you need to create the right working environment. It’s why the offices of S.P.E.C.T.R.E have a great creche, a smoothie bar, and two “I don’t feel like killing” days per annum for every employee.

As for the Home Office, a complex department already regarded as malevolent, it is now in the hands of someone who recently gave an interview in which she repeatedly confused “counter-terrorism” with “terrorism”. This whole “Priti Patel is home secretary” scenario has the flavour of one of those US news stories where some open-carry idiot’s toddler has leant forward in their car seat and pulled a gun out of the backseat pocket. If you’re one of those people who get off on saying “I told you so”, then fine. But really, there are no good outcomes here. One of the more eye-catching Home Office briefings against her this week declared that Patel was “not committed to the rule of law”. Given she’s home secretary, that feels akin to a doctor not being committed to the idea of medicine. Should it not be vaguely disqualifying?

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Read more: theguardian.com