There can be no sadder sight in journalism than those who have been deliberately spinning and talking up politicians who do not otherwise merit their position keeping up the pretence, even after that politician has been removed from office. Thus it has been with the thoroughly deserved demotion last week of Michael “Oiky” Gove, and the desperate wailing of pundits in its wake.
Yes, "Oiky", you're sacked. Off you go
This refusal to confront reality – that Gove’s flagship Free Schools policy had gone over a billion notes over budget, that some of them had been forcibly closed down, with others courting a variety of controversy over location, probity, organisation and standards, together with his alienation of the teaching profession and many parents - is most noticeable within the Northcliffe House bunker.
Yes, at the Daily Mail, Gove is still not unadjacent to some kind of earthbound deity. Pundits are rallying round to his wife Sarah “Vain” Vine, who has taken “Oiky’s” defenestration particularly badly – only yesterday she was happily Retweeting another supportive article on the subject – with one message, that Young Dave was wrong. Typical of the supporters is Amanda Bloody Platell.
“My fellow columnist Sarah Vine’s tweet after her husband Michael Gove was demoted from Education Secretary to Chief Whip bears repeating. ‘Biggest losers in today’s reshuffle?’ she asked. ‘Bright kids at low-achieving state schools.’ Indeed. For the PM to put his own future before that of children is despicable; to boot out one of our greatest education reformers is unforgivable” she whined.
And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. One, as noted, Ms Platell takes the spin that Gove is some kind of “great reformer”, which he was not. And two, the author of that Tweet was not Ms Vine, but LBC host Julia Hartley-Brewer. Thus the lousy quality of Daily Mail journalism summed up in one. But support is at hand from Simon “Enoch was right” Heffer.
Award-winning journalistic accuracy in action
The Hefferlump tells that “the greatest damage has not been done to Mr Gove — who will surely rise again — but to generations of children who will now not benefit from his radicalism as Education Secretary ... What is so depressing is how Mr Gove’s demotion perfectly symbolises the short-termism that characterises David Cameron’s whole approach to politics”.
He goes on (unfortunately) “For the Prime Minister ... nothing matters but the re-election of one David Cameron”. Rather than handing Labour a majority so that the Mail’s clueless pundits can moan even more loudly, you mean? Gove pissed all over his colleagues, he wouldn’t keep his SpAds in line, he presided over the spraying of taxpayer funds up the wall, and the public hated the sight of him.
Amanda Platell and Simon Heffer think that’s A Very Good Thing. Er, hello?