While Michael “Oiky” Gove exudes the pretence of collegiate chumminess and gentlemanly engagement even with his darkest foes, the @toryeducation Twitter feed, widely believed to be operated by, or on the authority of, his special advisors Dominic Cummings and Henry de Zoete, maintains its record of clumsily popping up and laying into others – even other Tories – on the slimmest of pretexts.
My advisors? Never! Well, hopefully not, anyway
So while “Oiky” prepares himself for the Tory Party conference in Manchester in a fortnight’s time, and his wife Sarah Vine is paraded before Daily Mail readers as “warm and funny” (no laughter at the back, please), his polecats have made themselves busy going after former minister Tim Loughton, and then pretending that a big boy did it and ran away.
Loughton made an ill-judged remark about Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather, who has decided not to stand at the next General Election (Less kind critics say she would lose her seat anyway, but they said that last time, and the time before that). There was no need for any intervention, but @toryeducation was off: “You babbling muppet, you never had judgement worth a damn” it sniped.
A suggestion that the special advisor’s code of conduct might have been broken was duly disregarded as Dom and Hen relayed coverage of Loughton’s words (from the Maily Telegraph, natch), sarcastically observing that he “displays typical judgement and character”, unlike the practice of, oh I dunno, hiding behind Twitter anonymity and randomly dishing out abuse to anyone who doesn’t like their boss.
And @toryeducation couldn’t leave it there: now watching Loughton’s own Twitter feed, they responded to his observation “Final thought – strange that no-one raised these comments at event on Saturday including Telegraph journo” by telling him it wasn’t his final thought, and relaying an expletive-strewn tirade in a movie clip to show their enduring taste and disdain.
Was that a bit of a giveaway by the Gove polecats? Has someone been going through Loughton’s comments in order to indulge in a little freestyle smearing? The thought is reinforced by Dom and Hen then moving to suggest “We have no party” in response to one unimpressed Tweeter who called them a “disgrace”. Yes, something with the name Tory has no party. Like anyone buys that.
This pretence even extended to @toryeducation agreeing with Tom from Boris Watch, but as he later pointed out, Gove’s polecats are passing themselves off as being Tories. And they’re indulging once again in kicking others in the party, after a former minister finds his comments from Saturday mysteriously raked over and slipped to an obliging press conduit.
One of these days they’ll get caught. And it couldn’t happen to two nastier SOBs.
The confirmation that it is Dominic Cummings is that back in February Tim Loughton asked a question in Parliament specifically about Cummings' behaviour which must have really rankled.
Now Tefal Head can't control himself, he's been personally insulted and can't resist getting his own back. No one else in the DfE's been personally singled out like that by Loughton, so far as I know.
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