AH, but for the innocent days of 2017 when tens of thousands of people were gleefully diverted by the drama of live flight tracking Priti Patel's plane as it returned from Nairobi, waiting hopefully for her to be sacked on arrival back in the UK.

Then international development secretary, Patel had found herself in hot water following a series of meetings with Israeli politicians while she was ostensibly on a family holiday. Oh no, the lady was promoted to home secretary, during which tenure she was found guilty of bullying civil servants and thus breaking the ministerial code.

Boris Johnson's government took the attitude that the ministerial code was there for breaking, after all, but, in a gallery of rogues, Patel's mugshot really stood out. She was, after all, the woman who brought us militant anti-refugee rhetoric, hostile immigration policies and the potentially illegal Rwanda deportation scheme.

What a gal. Let's also not forget that while other countries were welcoming Ukrainian refugees with open arms, Patel's Home Office instead caused distressing chaos for people attempt to flee to safety by failing to waive visas or even make them easy to access. One might think the country has peaked as far as dreadful home secretary appointments go but it turns out no.

Here comes Suella Braverman, or what happens when Priti Patel is fed after midnight. It's a long time since I've watched the movie so I just Googled to remind myself of the specifics of a poorly husbanded mogwai. The internet offers the explanation that gremlins have "fangs, claws, and, possibly, a higher intellect."

Well, possibly, but it's not saying much.

The Gremlin Braverman, a ferocious, untameable thing running amok through compassion and basic human dignity. There are no raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens among Braverman's favourite things. Her "obsession", she told a fringe event at the Conservative party conference this week, is to see people claiming asylum deported on a plane leaving for Rwanda.

"I would love to be here claiming victory," she said of the lawyers challenging the scheme in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. "I would love to be having a front page of The Telegraph with a plane taking off to Rwanda. That’s my dream."

Boris Johnson did not counter the UK's participation in the European Court, nor did Priti Patel. But Braverman is next level. She was rebuked this week by Downing Street after calling for the UK to leave the European Convention on Human Rights, against government policy and making an already chaotic Truss administration look even more indisciplined.

Nigel Farage tweeted his support: "I am 100 percent behind @SuellaBraverman on this." That might be what she wants but it's certainly not what she needs.

Keeping to her theme, Braverman also spoke against the threat of political correctness and expressed her "delight" at "annoying the left". Girl really needs to get out more. In her conference speech, the home secretary pledged that anyone entering the country through non-government sanctioned routes would be deported, as would anyone who had first reached a safe country before arriving on British shores.

She praised Patel for laying a solid foundation on which she might build a temple of torture. Sorry, immigration system. You'd think this would be an easy win for Labour, a chance for them to come out swinging, but no, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves took enough confidence from Labour's landslide polling to this week to chastise the Conservatives for using their 13 years in government to be too weak on immigration and for not deporting enough people.

It beggars belief that a Labour MP would be calling for more deportations. Does this speak to what Reeves believes is the public mood? She's wrong, if so. The outpouring of disgust at Braverman's comments show a public more progressive than politicians give us credit for.

While Sir Keir Starmer's feted conference speech left him battling against standing ovations, his lines on immigration policy contained the dreaded words "points-based system". There was deserved pushback against this when Boris Johnston suggested it, and there should be equal scrutiny of any such system, whether it comes from the left or right.

The Tories are playing to a small, morally panicked crowd who thrive on anti-immigrant and anti-immigration rhetoric, not a majority who balk at the notion of hostile policies that are nothing but cruelty crystallised.

Time was, these were the sorts of hard right-wing views those holding them had to keep discrete, veiled. But we're not in Kingston Falls anymore, Billy. Now those on the right are emboldened to say the quiet parts out loud. Such policies and opinions need to fit within the limits of public respectability, the confines of what will be accepted in civil society.

Those boundaries, though, are becoming every more elastic.

Tory chairman Jake Berry was chuntering the quiet part out loud on Sunday in a way perfectly illustrative of the current Conservative approach to all things, which seems to be: make the most of what you've got, or just try harder.

In response to the question of increasing energy bills he suggested householders might "cut their consumption" or make lemonade from lemons by "going out there and getting that new job" with a higher salary. New job? Perhaps he might like to take his own advice.

With an economy in turmoil it would be more prudent for the government to look at how immigration might be used to properly and humanely bolster productivity, not as merely a front in the culture war.

Martin Luther King also famously had a dream. His was that his "little children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character." It's probably unfair to compare the two, Braverman and King. As it currently stands, Braverman's dream seems far more likely to come true.

Braverman is not doing much to bolster confidence in the content of her character. She's not doing much to bolster any sense that she respects the electorate, nor that she possesses any empathy for those in need.

Her words - that she has a dream of cruel deportations, sending vulnerable people to uncertain fates; that she is obsessed by it – are the words of someone who fails to understand the gravity of her office or have any insight into the real-world implications of what she wants to see.

Yes, she was playing to a particular crowd but it's an astonishing short-sightedness to fail to realise her words would have reach beyond a small room of party faithful. Braverman, then, has not escalated the level of intelligence in the role of home secretary at the same rate as she's escalated the level of cruelty.

Free of logic, free of empathy, free of intelligence. I can't be the only one with a dream of voting these people out.

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