Cooeee everyone, look who's back
The account attacked anyone criticising Gove and his pals. Margaret Hodge? “Lying hypocrite”. Chris Patten? “Absolutely useless in every job he’s had”. BBC reports? “Appalling”. Tristram Hunt? “Credibility already shot”. Robert Peston? “Remember when you thought the Euro was brilliant?” Hannah Richardson? “Fire her now”. Zelo Street, and Tom Barry at Boris Watch? “Wastrels … too much slacking. Pull your socks up”.
Anyone not get that? “Someone fire Hannah Richardson NOW ... how about a story on HYPOCRITE HODGE ... stop wasting taxpayers’ money on Twitter [my favourite] ... hypocrisy from Hunt and Hodge ... you’re an even crapper hack than you think we think you are … are you lying or just reading the wrong figures? INTEGRITY HODGE, GET SOME”. Still Cummings denied any part in it. But he was fooling no-one.
So it came to pass that Toby Helm, then at the Observer, and one of @toryeducation’s favourite targets, told readers “Michael Gove's Department for Education has taken steps to stop the Twitter feed @toryeducation - to which his own advisers have contributed - from issuing any more abuse against political opponents, critics and journalists”.
There was more. “Two weeks ago, the Observer named two of Gove's special advisers, Dominic Cummings and Henry de Zoete, as contributors to the anonymous account. Dissemination of party political material and personal attacks are both sackable offences under the code for special advisers. Cummings and De Zoete have refused to deny that they have contributed to the feed, saying merely that they are ‘not @toryeducation’”.
OH WHAT A GIVEAWAY
Then, a year after Helm’s article, Cummings was grassed up by his own side. Amid a row over free school meals, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog introduced their “Gove v Clegg Proxy War” post “Dominic Cummings, the ex-Gove adviser formerly known as @ToryEducation”. So it was Dom after all.
Cummings is not, it seems, subject to the controlling hand of his current boss right now, and restored to health following his brush with Covid-19. And by complete coincidence you understand, the Twitter fakery is firing up again. As Private Eye magazine might have put it, I wonder if the two are in any way related? I think we should be told.