Since the horsemeat scandal broke in the last week, we have seen more and more of Owen Paterson and the more I see of him, the less I feel convinced by him. Paterson’s appearances on television have been wooden to say the least. Next to Jeremy Hunt, Paterson is a politician who seems to exude incompetence from every pore.
I don’t know about you but Paterson looks like a man who shouldn’t be where he is. For all his expensive education, this is a man who doesn’t seem capable of tying his shoelaces let alone be put in charge of a government department. It’s also revealing that he’s now charge of a department, which is second only to the Northern Ireland Office in terms of the least-wanted of ministerial briefs. In fact, Paterson’s previous role was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. No offence to the Northern Irish but the Tories only send the least brightest and the least capable to the Northern Ireland Office. It is the political equivalent of internal exile. If you’re at the NI Office, then it’s likely that you’ve messed up somewhere or you just don’t cut the mustard.
If Paterson was moved from Northern Ireland to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, then it’s unlikely that Cameron sees him as a rising star and his chance of a shot at one of the great ministries of state is remote… which can only be a good thing. Having said that, the rest of the cabinet isn’t full of great talents but Paterson makes them look like intellectual giants.