With the best will in the world and summoning up all remaining reserves of compassion, empathy, forgiveness and basic humanity, it is impossible to like anything about Michael Gove.
Any redeeming qualities this Secretary of State for Education might once have manifested now languish in the ruins of his credibility, venal dishonesty, incompetence and abject failure. The latest shambles brought about by the right dishonourable member for Surrey Heath revolves around an alleged plot to infiltrate Birmingham schools with warped ideology and barking mad extremist dogma. Upset at the prospect of an alternative warped ideology and a different extremist dogma, Gove leapt into action a mere four years after the initial and so far unverified plot was reported to him and sent in Ofsted to make things better. Unlike Gove and Ofsted`s chief inquisitor Sir Michael Wilshaw, people with an actual working knowledge of education including teachers, governors, parents and students have gone beyond raising a quizzical eyebrow at schools going from being outstanding to the threat of closure in a matter of months to belly laughing with tears mixed with fear and incredulity at just how crude and politically desperate Gove and Ofsted have become.
The hilarious and very public handbag fight between Gove and Home Secretary Theresa May has absolutely nothing to do with the education of children and young people or terrorism or extremism or national security or faith or hope or charity. It is about naked ambition as to who will inherit David Cameron`s toxic crown. The Home Secretary after royally screwing up on the deportation of terrorist suspects, go home vans and attempting to stick the stiletto heel into the police wishes to step into the shoes of the last woman to lead the Conservative Party by pretending to be as idiotic as Tory men. Students currently waiting for their GCSE results might need extra lessons in justice and feminism to educate them into how well that went.
Gove, on the other hand, having failed at his own bid to inherit an empire of dirt, is doing the dirty work of the innumerate, illiterate imbecile Osborne presumably because this is his only hope of future employment. Making his ambitious move for glory by criticising the number of Eton old boys making Conservative policy, he was on the receiving end of an almighty gonading from Cameron and then retreated to a sitting position behind the speakers` chair in the hope that nobody would notice him. This was probably a wise move as Mr Speaker had previously reprimanded Gove for shouting, heckling and being disruptive in the chamber of the House of Commons. Gove now demands that classrooms be orderly and free from distractions and instead of leading from the front, Gove continues to shout abuse from behind the speakers` chair.
It is obvious that Michael Gove is not just a complete waste of space but also a complete waste of valuable oxygen and regular readers of this blog might have picked up a suspicion that were I fortunate enough to meet the current Secretary of State for Education, some sort of incident involving the police would be the sad but inevitable result. Ignore his inexplicable decision to write a new introduction to the Bible, forget his request to buy the Queen a new boat, disregard his attempt to erase Mary Seacole from history and all that nonsense about killing Mockingbirds. Mathematicians should turn a blind statistical eye to his stated aim of making every school above average and historians should realise that Oh What a Lovely War and Blackadder are just communist propaganda suggesting that war, slaughter and barbarity are in some way less than honourable, just and profoundly British. Slavery and oppression are what made the Empire great and reciting log tables in Latin will make the Empire great again.
God knows (other deities are available but not in British schools) children have had to suffer some spectacularly dreadful education ministers over the past few decades. Margaret Thatcher, Shirley Williams, the Kenneths Baker and Clarke and the woeful Gillian Shephard and then the disastrous David Blunkett, Charles Clarke, the rather odd Ruth Kelly and the sinister Ed Balls. Estelle Morris bucked the trend by being honest enough to resign after making a promise to children and parents that she did not deliver. Can you imagine any of these individuals teaching in a classroom or, God and any other deities forbid, being the head teacher of an actual school? Set aside from this bunch of failures we now are blessed with Michael Gove. Rather than continue with a malicious and clearly politically motivated attack on this champion of teachers, children and schools, I ask you to waste six and bit minutes of your existence on some information:
Yo dudes, big up to da bluds over at goveversusreality.com. Dats like well wicked innit.
Some people have the temerity to suggest that Michael Gove should actually resign and other more shrill terrorists are demanding that he should be dismissed from public office due to his extremist views. That is, of course, utter nonsense. For the damage he has done to children and their education and for the clear and present danger he continues to present, Michael Gove should face arrest and charges of criminal damage and appear before a court of law with the power to impose a custodial sentence.
That sentence should be no less than three terms in a Year 6 classroom reciting Maya Angelou in front of the entire class. He might then discover that saying sorry does not necessarily make everything better.
To end the lesson, here is the homework you need to memorise. There will be a test: