The demotion of Michael “Oiky” Gove, while almost universally popular among those in the education profession and with many parents, has been greeted with dismay by true believers in his particular gospel of spin and bullshit. Nowhere has this been seen to better effect than in those papers that have supported him so slavishly, and especially in the ramblings of wife Sarah “Vain” Vine.
Now she's definitely not getting Sam's place
“I should have known something was up when my husband Michael Gove came home after his customary Saturday afternoon trip to Daunt’s book shop with a volume called Chief Whip: The Role, History And Black Arts Of Parliamentary Whipping, by Tim Renton” she observed in her generously-remunerated Daily Mail column today, diplomatically waiting until after the event.
But one does not have to look far to see she isn’t enamoured of the reshuffle: “It’s been a good week for women. More women in the Cabinet, more women in the Church. But will it actually make a real difference, or is it all just tokenism? My theory is that all ordinary women really want is for the people in charge to actually listen to them. Whether those people happen to be male or female is immaterial”.
Yeah, what “ordinary women” really wanted was for her “Oiky” to remain a Really Very Very Important Cabinet Minister, so there! And in this she has the backing of that part of the press for which her husband used to work, and where she now works: as Roy Greenslade has noted, the Sun, Times and Daily Mail have all attacked Young Dave for dumping Gove.
Meanwhile, Sarah has been busy Retweeting those whose messages run from the Ron Hopeful to “You’ll miss him now he’s gone” genres. So she Retweets Paul Goodman at ConHome telling “Gove appointment may also be recognition of need to modernise Whips’ Office and end Black Book culture”. Or, of course, it may be an act of desperation fuelled by the belated realisation that “Oiky” is a liability.
Also getting Retweeted is Julia Hartley-Brewer, warning “Biggest losers in today’s reshuffle? Bright kids at low achieving state schools. Michael Gove was the best thing that ever happened to you”. I love this outpouring of authoritative hindsight, based on the kind of information not available to mere mortals like me and all the other plebs who long ago concluded that this king was stark naked.
But Sarah tells us her real feelings when she unequivocally recommends a Mail rant by Max “Hitler” Hastings, titled “A shabby day’s work that Cameron will live to regret”. Alumni of Charterhouse and University College Oxford are just so knowledgeable when it comes to state education provision. But good of Sarah Vine to tell us what she really thinks: it’s just not fair to Herself Personally Now.
Pity she’s not so fussed about all the teachers her husband has been demonising.