Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ofsted Jihad: Wimpy Wilshaw U-Turns on Inspections Claim

Sir Michael Wilshaw appeared to go nuclear on Newsnight by claiming that he had called for unannounced inspections two years ago only for these to be rejected by Gove:

“I called for it and it’s been rolled back, but we need to do it now for some schools”. 

Now the Ofsted Chief-Inspector has had his balls put in a vice and is singing a very different tune. The Department of Education confirm:

“The Secretary of State and the Chief Inspector have today discussed the issue of no-notice inspections. The Chief Inspector confirmed that the Education Secretary did not ask Ofsted to halt its plans for no-notice inspections in 2012.”

Gove appears to be slotting enemies one by one today as he attempts to reaffirm his authority after his own humiliating climb down earlier in the week.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Gove/May Terror Row – Revealed By Guido – Escalates

Back in April, Guido revealed in the Sun that Gove and May were at war over over who is toughest on terror, as the extremists in schools scandal grew:

‘Supporters of Michael Gove are scathing about Theresa May, suggesting the Home Office is failing to “nip extremism in the bud” and that it only cares about terrorists “once they’re buying the actual fertiliser”.’

A friend of Theresa hit back:

“The Department for Education failed to notice alleged extremists running state schools on their watch. Theresa is very hot on tackling all forms of extremism – which is why she changed the present strategy.”

Today they go further. Speaking to the Times, who a month later have put the row on their frontpage, a Home Office source says:

‘Why is the Department for Education wanting to blame other people for information that they had in 2010? Lord knows what else they have overlooked on the subject of protection of kids in state schools. It scares me.’

Interested spectators familiar with the situation, point out to Guido that No.10 approved Gove bringing in anti-terror chief Peter Clarke to tackle radical Islamists. A clear signal of how seriously this is being taken. And a clear signal of whose side the leadership is on…

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Friends of Gove: “Dom is #Winning”
Cummings Threatens Downing Street With More Leaks

Do we get the impression that the Secretary of State for Education might not be taking his peace accord with the LibDems entirely seriously?

Exhibit A) The joint Times this morning with David Laws, written at the insistence of Clegg:

“…you might expect the two of us to be crouched under our desks like the last survivors in a Bruce Willis movie, only popping out occasionally to blast each other with shotguns.But the reality of politics — even coalition politics — is a lot more prosaic than some like to suggest.”

Guido is guessing Gove got to choose the by-line picture too.

Exhibit B) Openly laughing about it when doorstepped by Sky’s Darren McCaffery:

Chortle, chortle. Bye.

Exhibit C) Friends of Mr Gove gloat to Guido “Dom is winning.” Cummings is still blogging, rather menacingly today:

“I blew this up because I want people in No. 10 to realise that every time between now and next May that they interfere in the DfE with some stupid gimmick, the story might go badly wrong because someone will leak something. I want Cameron to grit his teeth and say ‘Cleggy, I know you need your gimmicks, and you can have them, but why don’t you go and play somewhere else, if you go near the DfE again, it will probably just go tits up.”

Cummings version of yesterday’s events is well worth a read. If only for his shredding of Craig Oliver…

Clegg has picked a fight with a relentless fanatic with nothing to lose. He’s not going to win this.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

WATCH: Michael Gove’s Wham Rap

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Gove Outrider Attacks Osborne’s Budget

Henry de Zoete, the former DfE SpAd who was Michael Gove’s media man, has founded and runs an energy switching campaign called The Big Deal. It’s pretty clever – essentially a mass lobby organisation for lower energy prices. Interestingly Osborne had barely sat down by the time The Big Deal had sent out a press release “respond[-ing] sceptically” to the Chancellor’s Budget announcement that he would freeze the Carbon Floor Price, saying it “won’t help consumers” because of the Big Six and their nefarious ways. Gove wasn’t on the frontbench today, but lurked behind the Speaker’s chair instead…

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tory Wars: Boris, Gove, Osborne and… Fallon?

20140313-090219.jpg

James Forsyth’s Speccie column this week is getting a lot of follow up in today’s papers, he reports on a blue on blue between Boris and Gove over the Education Secretary apparently telling Rupert Murdoch he sees Osborne as the next Tory leader. One minister is quoted as saying:

“Michael is licensed to sink his teeth into Boris’s ankles in a way that neither the boss nor George can.”

Another Tory adds:

“It’s like Blair-Brown with them. A journalist calls them up and says: “They’re saying this about you.” They respond with some ridiculously over-the-top-quote.”

With all this attention on Boris, Gove and Osborne, Mandrake at the Telegraph reckons one minister is slipping under the radar. Michael Fallon is holding an “open session” for Tory MPs in the ministerial conference room:

“This is the sort of thing only the PM or somebody who wants to be the PM would do. I’ve been hearing an awful lot lately about how great Michael is and how rubbish everyone else is.”

Will all due respect to Mandrake, surely this is more likely to do with Fallon wanting the Tory chairman job…

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Gove v Clegg Proxy War
Free School Meals a “Rubbish Gimmick”, Part of Deal with Dave

Dominic Cummings, the ex-Gove adviser formerly known as @ToryEducation, has piled into Clegg’s unravelling free school meals policy on the World at One. He confirms it was part of a deal between Cameron and Clegg involving the Tory conference marriage tax break, that Gove told them it was “rubbish” and that DfE were only told about it an hour before it was announced:

“Clegg’s team tried to persuade us to do it in 2013. We refused. So Clegg said to Cameron in secret before party conferences, ‘you give me this and I’ll give you your marriage tax announcement for Tory conference, Gove refuses to do it so you’ll have to force him.’ The DfE wasn’t told until about an hour or so before the announcement. No policy work was done in advance. Officials in DfE were unanimous that it was a bad gimmick and introduced in a way that makes it hard to avoid implementation chaos. Officials were obviously right. 

It was a back of the fag packet number by Clegg’s spin doctors. We told them it was rubbish. It is based on a supposed DfE underspend that did not exist and they were told it did not exist. Because Clegg only thinks about politics – and starts every meeting saying ‘I haven’t been able to read the policy papers but let’s talk about the politics’ – he assumed that our opposition was because it was a Clegg idea but it wasn’t. Our opposition was because it is a dumb idea badly executed that shows why politicians should have less power over schools, and although I had many disagreements with Whitehall officials and the methods of the civil service, this is very firmly the fault of Clegg.”

Not like Dom to sit on the fence about something…

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WATCH: Bercow Flips Out

Something seemed to be troubling the Speaker at PMQs today. He boiled over during one exchange, completely losing it with Michael Gove. And to think the Education Secretary’s better half Sarah Vine was so nice about Sally in the Mail this morning…

Via @liarpoliticians

Friday, January 31, 2014

Probably Not at the Helm

Whoever made this chart of government special advisers for public affairs agency MWWPR is either having some fun or has landed the SpAd movement scoop of the year. Finally an explanation for all those random Observer splashes, Toby was after their jobs…

Monday, January 6, 2014

SKETCH: Play Up, Play Up and Play the Game

With his lopsided grin, easy manner and tousled hair Tristram ‘Hereditary’ Hunt, did his duty impeccably, providing public school leadership to his dogged, working class party this afternoon in the Commons. He treated the sortie with the casual grace of a subaltern in vicarage garden, and ignored the terrible casualties around him.

Disdaining the enemy’s firepower, he went elegantly over the top to launch his deadly question – how many Free Schools had been approved against official advice?

The answer: “None.” Bang, one leg taken off.

Undeterred, he threw himself forward. “Was Al Madinah school approved against official advice?” The same answer took his other leg off.

Lying there in the mud but full of pluck, he waved his troops forward. Labour MPs threw themselves into the raking machinegun fire one after the other and met the same fate. Same question, same answer.

These young class warriors in the Battle of Education. Magnificently unprepared for life. You can’t help but admire their lionlike behaviour, whatever the donkey qualities of their generals.

But what arrogant, out-of-touch elite is sending them out equipped like this? What incompetent strategist has conceived their anti-Free Schools campaign – motivated by sheer loathing of the enemy and unconcerned with massive educational casualties among their own people?

Back behind the lines, as the guns pound on: Ed Balls pours himself a brandy and broods on the destruction of his enemies.


Seen Elsewhere

UKIP Mosque Confusion | The Week
Let’s Ban the Word Internet | Padraig Reidy
Are the Broadcasters Ready For the Election? | Specccie
Moral Bankruptcy of the BBC | David Keighley
UKIP’s ‘Starsky and Hutch’ | Total Politics
Innocent Sun Journo Just Doing Her Job | Sun
Boris Sent Up North | Times
The Only Way to Mend the EU | Leo McKinstry
Northern Labour Tearing Party Apart | David Aaronovitch
Osborne is Son of Brown | Peter Oborne
Uber Needs to Mind Its Manners | CapX


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Tony Blair threatens Ed:

“If you had a strong political lead that was combining the politics of aspiration with the politics of compassion, I still think that’s where you could get a substantial majority…  If I ever do an interview on [the state of the Labour Party], it will have to be at length…”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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