Owen Paterson’s star is most definitely in the ascendancy at present.
The Shropshire MP proved once again today that he is not afraid to voice his opinions on the issues that really chime with the British public.
Mr Paterson has never pursued a high media profile, but his appointment as Environment Secretary has dramatically increased scrutiny of his every word.
Such a spotlight sends some politicians scuttling off to sit on the most nondescript fence they can find. But not the MP for North Shropshire.
Today he claimed genetically modified food should be grown and sold widely in Britain, and branded consumer opposition to the controversial technology as ‘a complete nonsense’.
And on the even more thorny issue of the European Union, he is equally unequivocal. We should give the public a referendum sooner rather than later, and would be better off out of it.
“We’d do a lot better if we made a lot more laws locally in our own Parliament,” he argues.
Mr Paterson’s claim that we need to wrestle control of our country back will echo loudly with those who are clamouring for David Cameron to give the British people a chance to have their say in a no-nonsense ‘in or out?’ ballot.
The Prime Minister’s only hope of outright victory at the next general election is not to dramatically lurch back to the far right of British politics, but to tackle this EU issue head-on, and quickly.
His current dillying and dallying appears driven by a desire not to upset his Liberal Democrat coalition partners. But it is doing neither him, nor the country, any favours.
Owen Paterson is proving to be a decisive, forthright, and determined member of the cabinet. A clear voice of common sense in an increasingly woolly Government.