Hidden depths

I’ve been doing some research, like you do, on the Tory minister Chris Grayling (don’t ask). I was intrigued to see that he’d been pushing the ATOS disability tests, against a tide of expert advance. Then he was savaging the legal aid process, in defiance of many eminent judges. Now he wants to privatise probation, except that the heads of three separate counties have warned him that the results could be disastrous. So Chris is, ready to promote any scheme which will deepen national misery, although the cries of protest he arouses usually mean that he has to back down or dilute the measures he’s been promoting with such zeal. Then I saw on his website that he was Conservative MP of the Year, and wondered who’d decided that. Tory MPs, maybe? Or some rabid clique in the shires, for whom Cameron is a milky liberal?

Actually, no. It was awarded by the Patchwork Foundation, in recognition of MPs representing and working with deprived and minority communities. So, well done for that, even if it doesn’t do anything to mitigate his taste for damaging legislation.