Columns

Christina Patterson is one of the best columnists around – best in the sense of most wide-ranging in her sympathies, most independent-minded in her judgements and most eloquent in her expressions. When we read her, we feel enriched as well as informed. Andrew Motion

Christina has established a reputation for treading where others fear to tread. In a column about “the limits of multiculturalism”, for example, she argued that it was important to be clear about the things a multicultural society could accommodate, and the things it couldn’t. The column triggered a massive response, and Christina was invited to speak about multiculturalism on TV and radio and at events around the country. She was accused of Islamophobia, and, by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, of one of “the top 10 anti-Semitic slurs of 2010”, but praised by Fiyaz Mughal, the director of the inter-faith forum, Faith Matters, for her “energy and vision”.

In columns about nursing, she has broken the taboo that all nurse are “angels”, and has had hundreds of emails and letters from readers thanking her for saying the things they haven’t felt able to say. In columns about immigration, she has said what many left-leaning liberal journalists often don’t say: that the white working classes in this country have good reason to feel fed up. She has also written about the casual racism  - the “prejudice and pursuit of cool” – that still runs through almost every aspect of British society, from the bottom to the top.

She has built up a loyal, and wide-ranging, readership, from bankers and businessmen to poets, writers, policy makers and politicians. She has been invited by politicians across the party political spectrum to talk about issues arising from her column, and to take part in seminars at the House of Commons. A fiercely independent thinker, she writes in a clear, distinctive voice which readers say makes them feel she’s speaking directly to them.

 

People say:

Christina Patterson's columns are always fresh, brave and intelligently argued. She offers a clear and important voice in British journalism.Carol Ann Duffy
You are a wonderful writer - compassionate, but nimble and witty. You make readers feel things, which is rare. Allison Pearson, novelist and journalist
I continue to find your columns near-miraculous. Ali Smith, novelist
Couldn't resist checking out your oeuvre. Excellent. On-the-button, provocative, and brave. Geoffrey Evans, Professor and Fellow in Politics, Nuffield College, Oxford
You are adored up here, amongst the northern bricks. You speak for the thousands of us whose voice is never heard. Tony Harland, businessman and manager
Your skill at addressing key issues, with your unique mix of common sense, intelligence, wit and elegance, means you're the one journalist I re-read. Chris Bates, research director
I find your pieces in the Indy so refreshing, entertaining, insightful and with a message that's lightly and humorously delivered. You don't hit people over the head with your indignation. You seduce them with wise wit. Chris Coldham, retired civil servant
Christina Patterson is an utter prick, but it's not because she's a goy Reuben Bard-Rosenberg, on a blog called The Third Estate

A blog written about Christina's work by i reader, Ben Ellis entitled Writing Style: A Tribute to Christina Patterson