For senior Tories on both sides of the debate over Britain’s membership of the EU, the past week has been all about enduring the pain and uncertainty that is inevitably the largest part of subjecting one’s self to the inquisition not only of a persistent interviewer, but also that of a studio audience. Thus it was that Young Dave, and then Michael “Oiky” Gove, agreed to a grilling on Sky News (“first for breaking wind”).
Michael Gove not being part of the élite
Cameron had been ridiculed by some in the audience. It had not been an easy gig; it never is for the politician who has been taking the most difficult decisions for the past six years. How would Gove manage? Simples. He would pretend not only that he wasn’t part of it all, but also that the EU was responsible for every bad thing he could think of - especially those things that nobody had blamed it for in the past.
Dave, he asserted, had been “scaremongering” (this from one of the leading lights in a campaign that is trying to frighten voters by pretending Turkey is about to join the EU, which it is not). His opponents were guilty of a “depressing litany of projections about world war three and global Brexit recession”, but he inserted the word “global” himself, and it was his pal Bozza who conjured up the “World War Three” line.
But “Oiky’s” most blatant whopper was to rail against “the élites”. He was, by definition, not part of such things. Except that he was. Gove complains about bureaucratic largesse, but he is one of its greatest exponents. He whines about foreigners bossing us about, but that is what is motivating him. And the evidence is not hard to find.
His wife Sarah Vine recently fondly recalled their wedding day: “Sixty or so of our good friends gamely schlepped to the South of France for a knees-up. There was George Osborne chatting to, of all people, feminist author Caitlin Moran, and Ed Vaizey, now the longest-serving-ever culture minister, delivering his brilliant best man speech … And Samantha Cameron, radiant and pregnant with her first child; she and David laughing on the coach back from the church”. Gove is part of the élite.
He pictures Brussels as some bloated capital of freeloading bureaucrats, but the European Commission has far fewer employees than, say, Birmingham City Council, let alone the tens of thousands supporting the Westminster Government. And there have been few able to match Gove for sponging off the public tab: an unrepentant Gove had to pay back several thousands of pounds in over-claimed MP’s expenses.
And the ultimate Gove charade is to whine about “unelected” foreigners telling us what to do, when his career was built on serving, er, an unelected foreigner whose life has been dedicated to manipulating Governments - Rupert Murdoch. Should Gove continue to echo His Master’s Voice, there will be a nice little earner for him in later life.
There was little more for him to do in order to complete his fraudulent exposition than to claim the EU destroyed jobs - not even Mrs T tried that one - and that it had finished off his father’s business in Aberdeen, rather than the decades of over-fishing that took place before Britain joined what was the EEC in 1973.
Michael Gove is a fraud. And he’s not particularly good at it, either.