It is harder for liberal critics to impute racism, or undue severity, to a Home Secretary who herself belongs to an ethnic minority.
He may move out of Number Ten altogether for work and into the Cabinet Office at 70 Whitehall.
It froze up during Brexit stasis, thawed when Boris Johnson won his majority – and is closing down again as the coronavirus advances.
Let’s say that Patel did, on occasion, shout – or lose her temper. Should that really be deemed unacceptable?
Her critics have accused her of being “inept” and “demanding”. Could their ultimate problem be that the Home Secretary is female?
Was news of the former released to drive Philip Rutnam’s resignation and statement down the news agenda? You might say that – we couldn’t possibly comment.
If Downing Street doesn’t grip the campaign against Patel by allies of her Permanent Secretary and others, it may spiral out of control.