Failed Tory MP Chris Patten was appointed Governor of Hong Kong as a consolation prize by a grateful John Major where he oversaw the handover of the British crown colony to the Republic of China. Then as another consolation prize was appointed as UK member of the European Commission, (Think that other failed MP Neil Kinnock). He left that post without excelling himself after just one term and was appointed Chancellor of the University of Oxford University.
Since 1998 he has been appointed a Companion of Honour by The Queen and chaired the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland which dismembered the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the most effective anti-terrorist police force in europe and renamed the remains as the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Then in 2005 he was appointed by Cadbury as a non-executive director before it was swallowed by the American company Kraft Foods.
I can remember Chris Patten’s woeful face staring out of the front pages, close to tears as he lost his parliamentary seat and became an ex-MP. Then the same tearful face overdoing the emotion as the UK handed over Hong Kong to the Chinese and he uttered his deep sense of personal loss over the whole affair.
Then standing next to the BBC’s Director General George Entwistle with the same woeful face saying that it was one of the saddest evenings in his public life to see his appointee, fall on his sword after The Saville affair and the Lord McAlpine affair happening within the two months of his appointment.
I trust that he is aware that the Director General was appointed by him and that after the last BBC fiasco namely the Hutton affair, both the Director General AND the Chairman did the honourable thing by resigning.
It has since emerged that Christopher Patten had been aware of the subject of the Newsnight programme even though his DG had not. Patten also has known history of a 40 years old grudge match with Lord McAlpine harking back to Margaret Thatcher’s years. No-one would think that Patten with his long history of undistinguished but cushioned failures would be either the right person for the required task of cleansing out this augean stables let alone believe him capable of it. Has Lord Fat Pang heard of the ‘Truemanism’ “The Buck Stops Here”?
If he does go it’s too late for him to be appointed Archbishop of Canterbury and in any case he is a prominent Roman Catholic but there must be some post that he could oversee during its demise. May I humbly suggest the European Union!