Gove is clearly aware of this and possessing a fair amount of ambition he has made some efforts to ameliorate this reaction. He lost the glasses earlier this year and his clothes have got sharper since his journalist days. He explains in article this morning “thus you have the paradox, which I exemplify, of the individual who is both plain and vain, a man who tries to dress smartly because of an anxiety to minimise the unhappy aesthetic impact of one’s appearance.”
What Michael should understand is that the collective urge to happy-slap him isn’t strictly to do with his looks. It is the sheer swottyness of him, exemplified in the article, that brings out the latent playground bully in us all.
UPDATE : His speech is a measured dissection of the Brownies problems.
As Dave said live “Let me outline the action that a Conservative government would take. As we have seen, some of the increase in population size results from natural change – birth rates, death rates. Here our policy should be obvious… “
Microphone switched on, Julie cracked: “Extermination.”
A Sky News spokesman said: “A comment was made in the studio during David Cameron’s speech that was broadcast in error. The comment was not intended for broadcast. The off-the-cuff remark was regrettable.” She is shortly off to work with Trevor MacDonald on the re-launched News at Ten…
It is hard to see why they are getting so excited since they should already know it is owned by Ashcroft and a quick perusal of the Electoral Commission website shows £19,819.60 given in the last twelve months. In the year before more than £50,000 worth of flights were registered as reported by The Times in May 2006. So the only reason Guido hasn’t been digging into it is because it is not news…
(Incidentally Dave flew BA to Berlin last week.)
Lord Hoyle was paid a “counsultancy” fee by lobbyist Michael Wood, of Whitehall Advisers, a firm specialising in the murky world of lobbying for arms deals. The firm boasts in publicity of their ability to influence MoD purchases and that they have played a role in £10 billion of UK equipment procurement.
The undeclared payment is the subject of evolving explanations by Hoyle. He originally admitted to the Guardian
Lord Hoyle accepts he was asked to arrange the lobbyist’s introduction “to say hello to the new minister”. He told the Guardian that Lord Drayson was asked to come for a drink. Mr Wood was already there. He says he told the minister: “Mike Wood of Whitehall Advisers would like to meet you.”
At the meeting, which Lord Drayson, the Minister for Arms Procurement, appears to have correctly and formally noted, Mike Wood made his pitch for his firms clients.
So we have an undeclared, under-the-counter payment to a peer to introduce a lobbyist pimping on behalf of arms dealers to the Minister, Lord Drayson, in charge of buying arms – who himself bought his way into the legislature. Remember the 1997 promise of New Labour to be “whiter than white”…
UPDATE : As a co-conspirator points out in the comments, Tory MP Gerald Howarth obtained a parliamentary pass for Mike Wood. Why? He does enjoy a lot of defence related junkets…
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Dan Hodges on Team Miliband:
“‘Poisonous’, was the picture painted by one former senior advisor. ‘Dysfunctional,’ said one shadow cabinet member. ‘A bunch of medieval courtiers, not an office,’ said another. The most positive description I could get was ‘It’s a work in progress. They’re learning. Slowly. But they are learning.’”