When it comes to renown politicians of Indian lineage, Priti Patel probably doesn’t come to mind for most Americans. While the likes of Ambassador Nikki Haley and Governor Bobby Jindal are familiar to most Yanks who follow politics, don’t be shocked if MP Patel eventually becomes PM Patel.
The daughter of lower caste Indian parents, they were part of the Great Indian Diaspora in search of a better life. Emigrating to the former British protectorate of Uganda, the family soon found themselves booted from the East ASfrican nation by then-dictator General Idi Amin Dada in his purging all those from the sub-continent.
The British press notes that despite her family leaving both India and Uganda under less-than ideal circumstances, the current Secretary of State for International Development was raised with strong conservative values.
To best illustrate her rock solid conservative street cred, hard-core liberal Aditya Chakrabortty of the equally hard-core liberal newspaper The Guardian attempted to insult Patel, but very possibly paying her the ultimate compliment. Chakrabortty characterized her as “an out-and-out rightwinger” who has no desire to “claim the centre ground” in politics.
Described as a “Thatcherite,” Patel once made a point of honoring The Iron Lady in a speech to Parliament;
I was proud to grow up during the Thatcher years and to see at first hand the inspirational way in which she introduced powerful changes to improve our country. As a young girl in the 1970s, and the daughter of immigrants, I was fully aware of the disastrous state this country was in. Our economy, society and politics lay crippled after decades of decline. We had become the sick man of Europe and we were seen as weak across the world. Hope, aspiration and entrepreneurship were being suppressed by the instruments of the state—militant trade unions and vested interests that stood opposed to change and reform.
Margaret Thatcher was different. She broke away from politicians who thought the status quo was the norm, and an option, and that we should just go along with the managed decline of our country. As my father always said, she ushered in a new era of hope and optimism, and she was a strength for our country.
If her being an out-and-out conservative who openly proclaims Baroness Thatcher as a heroine and role model, to be even more of a burr in the saddle of liberals, Patel is also a quite vocal proponent of both the Brexit and in Britain reinstating the death penalty.
— Priti Patel (@patel4witham) November 13, 2016
— DFID (@DFID_UK) April 13, 2017