Columns

Society, politics, life

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, former poet laureate

During her years as a columnist at The Independent, Christina 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 went viral, and Christina was invited to speak about multiculturalism on TV and radio and at events around the country.

In columns about nursing, she has broken the taboo that all nurses 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.

In The Guardian, she has written about topics ranging from cancer to poetry, the joys of middle-class drinking and the ethics of banking. Her column about the importance of the arts in education, has had more than 85,000 shares on social media.

Her readers range 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 columns. A fiercely independent thinker, she writes in a clear, distinctive voice.

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 Poet and Playwright

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

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