Dick of the Year: Michael Gove
This is a nomination for Bright Green Dick of the Year by Carl Packman. Voting will open tomorrow.
Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education.
Last year when the Tories were the privileged opposition, blaming the incumbent Labour government for everything but Noah’s Flood, Michael Gove – then Shadow Children, Schools and Families Secretary – did the unspeakable; he admitted owing a debt of intellectual gratitude to Tony Blair for his education policies.
To express this, Gove aimed to roll out for all schools what Blair had only done for failing ones – turn them into academies – but I’ll reserve comment on this for another time. Even anti-Tories like myself were intrigued to see someone like Gove – who presented himself as an independent mind and one with strong convictions – in action, to remind ourselves what real statesmanship looked like. Oh were we wrong.
Reflecting on the few months that Gove has been Secretary of State for Education, it’s hard to think of anything other than U-turns. He miraculously found money for school sports partnerships after heavy criticism, retreated on the “cultural vandalism” of axing free books for children, and has finally woken up to the reality that under his watch some schools will face real-term cuts.
The extent to his dickery recently reached its pinnacle; in a Telegraph article defending the last seven months of government reforms, Gove embraced use of the term “Maoist” to describe the coalition, saying: “Like Chairman Mao, we’ve embarked on a Long March to reform our education system.” It’s face-palm inducing moments such as this which make Gove the perfect candidate for dick of the year 2010.