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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 14,591

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Ah, Irvine Patnick

I grew up in Sheffield Hallam, and as such Patnick was my MP during my formative years.

My (VERY right-wing) parents had dealings with him as a constituency MP and rated him highly. However, looking at his record as an MP it's difficult to concur.

Conservatism in Sheffield died in Patnick's time as an MP, he was one of the last Sheffield Tories to be booted out. He lost Hallam to the Lib Dems with an 18% swing against him. I think that might have been the biggest anti-tory swing of any constituency that election (and that took some doing even in 1997 when the Tories were decimated).

For some time now there have been no elected officials at any level from the Conservative Party in Sheffield. During Patnick's time they only ever seemed to campaign in the very poshest areas of the constituency, and these days the most you ever see of Sheffield Tories is anonymous bile on Sheffield Forum.

Patnick was not exactly sympathetic to people suffering due to Thatcher's economic polices. Given how badly a northern manufacturing town like Sheffield was affected that was an incredibly bad attitude to take. It should have served as a warning to the current Sheffield Hallam MP, Nick Clegg but sadly he's currently repeating many of the same mistakes made by Irvine Patnick.

Patnick was a government whip during John Major's government when the Tory Party was tearing itself apart over Europe. I remember him mainly as a loyal party man, although right now all anybody is noticing about him on Twitter is his support of Apartheid, the death penalty and opposition to gay rights. He was knighted in 1994 and a Labour MP (John Mann) has already written to the prime minister requesting that he be stripped of his knighthood over his porkies regarding the Hillsborough.

Apparently the press are outside his house right now waiting for an apology that may or may not be forthcoming. Even that scumbag Kelvin Mackenzie has offered an insincere apology, trying to pass the buck onto Patnick.
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