Friday 1 July 2016

The 'Genius' that is Gove

Now hang on a minute here.  Gove is no genius.  Apt commentary on Gove comes in a brilliant 2012 Stephen Collins cartoon in the Grauniad, of which this is a detail:

Stephen Collins /

It doesn't end well.  

Remember that in the Westminster bubble, 'Nudge' is considered a work of profound political philosophy: and for being an afficianado of said inane book George Osborne was considered wise beyond his years.  The bar for genius in that parish is set very low.

(All the talk seems to be of how Gove stabbed Boris in the back.  Might it not be that he put a gun to his head ..?)

I love reading the Labourites prosing on about how the Tory Party is in meltdown and that now is a time for capitalising on this (instead of what they are actually doing, viz mass self-immolation).  Nope: the Tory Party, a very serious power-minded entity, is seriously about the business of Choosing A New Leader, a post which naturally attracts the toughest and most ambitious in the termite-nest.  Might it be bloody?  Yes.  Will it be protracted?  Not particularly.  Will it end with everyone dead on the floor?  Assuredly not.

Will the party re-unite to win the next election?  Most probably.  Because if it's done adroitly, (a) Tory deserters to UKIP will come back into the fold - quite quickly, in fact;  and either (b) Labour will insist on opposing Brexit and be finally wiped out by UKIP or (c) Labour will do whatever it takes to win back its UKIP defectors, in which case ...


UPDATE: in the comments, our good friend Kev asks:  Do we allow cartoonists to influence which leaders we choose? 

What a great essay title!  Beware, you may get the essay ...


James Higham said...

Shaping up for another all in brawl within two weeks.

Blue Eyes said...

I don't think Gove did this with any expectation of winning; he just wanted Bozza out of the way. He can now safely bow out late on Tuesday, leaving the way clear for Theresa.

Nice thing on Newsnight last night about May and Gove. May's worst thing was that clip from 2002 ("the nasty party"). Gove's piece was full of silliness.

No need to ballot the members.

AndrewZ said...

There are three reasons why the political class likes “Nudge” so much. Firstly, it gives them a pretext to meddle in every single aspect of our lives. Secondly, it gives them an excuse to ignore the difficult but important stuff in favour of vague lifestyle-and-wellbeing policies with no objective measures of success. Thirdly, it assures them that society is naturally divided into wise rulers who know what’s best for everybody and the ignorant masses who need to be guided by their betters. It’s basically New Age Feudalism and it has been so successful because it tells the powerful what they want to hear.

dustybloke said...

"The bar for genius in that parish is set very low."

So low, in fact, that after you stubbed your toe on it, you would search in vain for what had caused the accident.

dustybloke said...

Whenever I hear "nudge" I recall the clips of Benny Hill and the little bald Irishman, the latter being smacked on the back of the head by his omniscient master.

Benny was, in fact, playing the part of the five cans in a six pack type of boss, so it's really part of Westminster folklore

Electro-Kevin said...

So. Do we allow cartoonists to influence which leaders we choose ?

At this time I go for a selfie. Gove or Leadsom in photo-bomb - kudos.

(Gone off May - as authentic a Brexiteer as a Rembrandt in a car boot sale)

Steven_L said...

It's getting boring again already, hopefully something interesting will happen next week, like SDLP mark II breaking away from labour or something.

andrew said...

Chances are Belgium invades Wales next thursday
Of course we all know the are a Russian sockpuppet.

Nick Drew said...

Do we allow cartoonists to influence which leaders we choose ?

Wow, Kev, there's a question! There may be an essay coming in reply..!

Electro-Kevin said...

Not a cartoon of yours ???

Electro-Kevin said...

Leadsom is getting a lot of support in the newspaper reader's comments. I heard her take appart three Remainers on R4 Woman's Hour - despite the opposition being very loud.

Nick Drew said...

This is set to be Leadsom (great name!) vs May (not a bad name either)

wonderfully, the lefties will all be saying - how come the Nasties get an all-woman selection !?!?!?! hahahah

(rather worryingly, AL has a bit of chequered past in the finance sector which will come back to haunt her - and was the perpetrator of an amazing howler at DECC on a basic energy matter: but nobody's perfect, eh?)

dearieme said...

Allow me to be an utter reactionary, stereotypist, running dog; if I had no other evidence I'd support the woman who has had children over the other. Children have a way of forcefully making you confront realities.

The other thing to say is that compared to the Labour Party's, this field looks rather strong. It would look stronger still with Boris in it, and I say that as someone who wouldn't vote for him as leader if I had a vote.

dearieme said...

P.S I do hope that Farage, Boris, and Gove end up with some sort of decorations for their success with Leave. No, not Grand Order of the Double Cross. And not Viscounts: too easy to turn into Bad Language. I think it might be time to bring back 'Jarl'.

Anonymous said...

dearieme - that's my worry, too, re childless May. Look what Merkel did to Germany in order to be loved by the global elite. Leadsom sounds good but she's not exactly a familiar face.

Sir Boris sounds good, like a lecherous pantomime villain. Baron Farage of Brexit?

dearieme said...

Baron Boris of Bumptious.

Electro-Kevin said...

Well I liked your joke, Dearieme.

Anonymous said...

What a week! Fits the aphorism "a week is a long time in politics".

So this week coming,

* Corbyn still clings on saved by the duty of care of his minders who don't wish that nasty Tom Watson to spell out the reality to him.

* Gove eliminated either Tuesday or Thursday. Outside bet it will be Wednesday if Boris can get that sniper in time.

* May may - and then again may not.

* UKIP tell sitting Conservative MP's that unless they get behind the programme, they can expect a challenge for their seats in the next election.

* Major UKIP supporters start funding Brexit supporting Conservative MP's so they know there will be no backsliding.

* The Nats announce Indyref3 in case Indyref2 doesn't work.

Nick Drew said...

that's a pretty fair Grid, anon

(Boris will be wishing he'd had you on the team)

Blue Eyes said...

Ok just watched Gove and Leadsom. Neither should be PM. I like both, a lot, but Gove is an ideologue: not going to hack it with the inevitable compromises and coalition-building which serious government requires. Leadsom is great, but not ready to be PM.

Theresa May PM
Liam Fox Foreign Sec
Leadsom Business Sec
Javid Chancellor
Gove Roving Without Portfolio
Osborne Heathite Carping In The Background
Cameron Global Trade Ambassador

Steven_L said...

Gove would give Corbyn good chance of becoming PM, he's too weird. It looks like the two most important leaders in the UK are both going to be childless women. It hasn't done Nicola Sturgeon any harm, she's more popular than ever up here these days.

andrew said...


You left out who would run the brexit dept.

I would suggest Mr Johnson.

Blue Eyes said...

Why? He has shown that he has no interest in detail or strategy. He might get Hollande and Merkel laugh, but that may not be ideal.

andrew said...

The joy of seeing the uxbridge member actually having to take responsibility and finish a job - particularly where his bluster and humour simply - and literally - will not be understood.

He promised single market access without freedom of movement as if it was just a triviality to achieve, lets see him actually deliver it.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Yes, that's what the country needs right now, a fucking good giggle. Boris is a dilettante who can't keep his trousers on. Very amusing and all that but he shouldn't be within a hundred miles of grown up negotiating.

As always in politics it is all about least worst options rather than a good choice. May is a remainiac; the BBC love her. Why? Because she will make sure Brexit never happens. Gove is a contemptible little shit no one would trust to sit the right way round on the lavatory. I cannot conceive of a question to which the answer is Stephen Crabb or Liam Fox.

So that leaves Leadsom. Here's hoping. Do we know enough about her? No. But I know plenty enough about Theresa May to know for certain it shouldn't be her.