Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Quote of the Day

Michael Gove reflects:

“It’s naturally a wrench to be moved from a job I love… Demotion, emotion, locomotion, whatever I’m engaged in today, I’m pushing forward the government’s agenda.”

Monday, June 16, 2014

Is Dom Cummings #Winning?

The last tweet from the once prolific parody @SteveHiltonGuru account, four days ago, was a generous response to former Gove SpAd and social media connoisseur Dom Cummings:

An appointment made even more unlikely by Cummings piling into No.10 in the Times this morning, not least calling the PM’s chief of staff Ed Llewellyn “a classic third-rate suck-up-kick-down sycophant presiding over a shambolic court”. Who else has been the author of some similarly colourful criticism of Llewellyn over the years?

What a remarkable coincidence. Hashtag winning…

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Gove: I Am Not at War With May

Michael Gove was in a conciliatory mood this morning after receiving an ear-bashing from the PM over his very public falling out with Theresa May. Doorstepped and asked if he is at war with the Home Secretary, he said:

“Certainly not, Theresa May is doing a fantastic job. There’s a lot going on. No, absolutely not. She’s doing a very fine job.”

The dispute is splashed across the papers this morning. The Guardian reports that Dave rounded on the Education Secretary in a meeting at No. 10 yesterday when he admitted being the source for the Times story earlier this week. May’s retaliation came after she got wind of Gove’s lunch with the editor. The Mail takes a look at the relationship between May’s SpAd, Fiona Cunningham, and the Home Office spook who Gove has criticised, Charles Farr. Ben Brogan reports Cunningham came close to being fired for tweeting out May’s letter to Gove yesterday. It’s all smiles from Gove this morning…

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

TORY WARS: May v Gove – Everything You Need to Know

Following the escalation last night of tensions first reported by Guido back in April, the Cabinet has this morning descended into open warfare over extremism in schools. Theresa May has written to Michael Gove to publicly question DfE’s handling of the Trojan Horse Islamic schools takeover plot. In a terse letter the Home Secretary asks:

“Is it true that Birmingham city council was warned about these allegations in 2008? Is it true that the Department for Education was warned in 2010? If so, why did nobody act?”

It is clear to me that we will need to take clear action to improve the quality of staffing and governance if we are to prevent extremism in schools. The publication of a code of practice for supplementary schools was an agreed Extremism Task Force commitment and we agreed at the conclusion of the ETF’s work that the code should be voluntary.

However, since the publication of the ETF report in December there have been serious allegations of extremism in some Birmingham schools and accusations about the inability of local and central government to tackle the problem effectively.

In this context, I am not convinced that a voluntary code is sufficient and I believe it would be sensible to include the option of developing a mandatory code in your consultation document.”

A source close to the Education Secretary tells Guido in response:

“Michael Gove thinks Theresa May is a superb Home Secretary. We will continue to work well with the Home Office and other government departments to combat extremism in all its forms. Ofsted will publish their findings next week and Peter Clarke will publish his report in July.”

Clarke is the anti-terror chief brought in by Gove to investigate links between the radical Islamist individuals allegedly involved in the plot, an appointment approved by No. 10. Gove supporters are publicly trying to cool tensions with May, while laying the blame at the door of Charles Farr, the Home Office Security and Counter Terrorism chief who they accuse of ignoring extremism until it becomes violent. Farr is a close ally of the Home Secretary, and even closer to her Special Adviser

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mirror Marries Mrs Gove to Jeremy Vine

The Mirror's story on Michael Gove's wife

Monday, December 2, 2013

Twigg Adviser to Spin for Free Schools

Labour’s education policy has been a mess since 2010, not least because of union puppets like Lisa Nandy constantly undermining Stephen Twigg. In the clearest signal yet of what the old Shadow Education Secretary really thought about academies and free schools, we must look to the career of his spinner Alex Bigham.

Instead of sticking around to work for Tristram Hunt for another eighteen months of writing dreary press releases about the perils of free schools, Blairite Bigham is off to education charity ARK Schools. And what do they do? 

Only help to set up and run free schools across the country, of course. They even proudly display a glowing testimonial from Bigham’s old enemy Michael Gove on their website. Another one sees the light…

Monday, November 11, 2013

Katz Steals Another Pinky Inky for Newsnight

Face-for-radio Chris Cook is leaving the Pink’un to become policy editor at Newsnight. Regular readers will remember Chris from his fair and balanced reporting of a certain Pearson-owned exam board, as well his long, long, long vendetta against Michael Gove, after working for his predecessor in the Tory education brief David Willetts. Seriously though, Guido and Chris settled differences over many beers not long ago in some trendy media hangout we both happened to be in. He wishes him the best of luck. The ‘semi-Tory’ is jumping just as the FT flirts with switching back to Labour…

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tory Education SpAds Move On

Henry de Zoete becomes the second Gove SpAd to quit in as many months. With Observer front page veteran Dom Cummings off to open a new free school, now James Forsyth reports de Zoete is leaving to give a successor time to settle in before 2015. Guido hears Toby Helm is being lined up to replace him…

Monday, September 9, 2013

Gove’s Bark-alaureate

Who knows what we are going to learn from Sarah Vine’s new Mail column that is starting this week, but already Michael Gove’s wife has revealed a fascinating fact about the Education Secretary. Mainly that he looks identical to their pet Bichon Frise. Leaving aside the pets and owners cliché, this one is uncanny…

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Gove Borrows Union Bashing Speech From Himself

Guido has been at Michael Gove’s speech laying into the unions this morning. All good stuff comparing Miliband to Kinnock and the unions to the Militant Tendency.

“The contrast with Neil Kinnock, who originally faced down the Militant Tendency over entryism, is striking and not at all flattering to Ed Miliband. While Kinnock moved bravely and remorselessly to eradicate Militant’s influence and Militant-sponsored MPs from Labour, Miliband has done nothing to stop the takeover of his own party. The sad truth is that charming, intelligent, eloquent, thoughtful, generous and chivalrous as Ed Miliband may be, in this critical test of leadership he has been uncertain, irresolute, weak. To the question of who governs Labour, his answer would appear to be, increasingly, the unions.”

One thing struck Guido more than anything else however, it almost felt like he had heard this speech before. For a reason. Worth taking a look at Gove’s speech making a very similar comparison back in March 2010.

“This is just the tip of iceberg of a new Militant Tendency in the next generation of Labour MPs. Labour’s re-unionisation has put them in bed with the past at a time when it is crucial that this country wakes up to the future. The last thing we need a political system where genuine participation in democracy is out-muscled by union power.”

And there’s more. Here is Gove today on Tony Blair:

“Tony Blair once argued that the Labour Party should not be the political arm of the trade union movement but the political movement of the British nation as a whole. That’s what One Nation politics means.”

Here is Gove on Tony Blair three years ago:

“Tony Blair wanted the Labour Party to be the political arm not of the trade union movement but of the British people as a whole. But now Labour has become once more the party of division – them and us, partisans and enemies, strikers and bosses.”

Today Gove talked of a “cadre” of Unite candidates:

“Unite wasn’t going to leave anything to chance. It would – like left wing entryist organisations – create its own cadre – or vanguard – of loyal activists.”

Three years ago?

“A new cadre of politicians have been installed, parachuted into fighting parliamentary seats on the strength of their links with the big unions, those who increasingly wield muscle within Labour.”

Points well made of course, then again he’s had plenty of practice.

Elsewhere, Gove brought his speech to a conclusion by asking “what would Tony Blair do?” Cue the first question being on intervention on Syria. Gove praised Hague again and again, insisting “I don’t know, I’m not on the national security council. My brief is education and generally domestic matters.” Encouraging words though on Pilgrims to finish up: “we shouldn’t have taxpayer subsidising union activity when that activity is often not in the public interest”. Something surely everyone can agree on…


Seen Elsewhere

A Bold Plan to Reform Welfare | Ruth Porter
Clinton’s Busty Mistress Nicknamed ‘Energizer’ | Mail
Photo Analysis of Miliband’s Obama Visit | Buzzfeed
Dave Shouldn’t Have Moved Gove | Michael Howard
Bercow’s Nightmare | Alex Wickham
Miliband Abandons Britain to Meet Obama | Sun
Tequila-Quaffing Chat Show Plonker Clegg | Quentin Letts
Pragmatists v Romantics | Rachel Sylvester
I’m Sorry | Colin Brazier
Blair Was a Gradualist Prime Minister | Janan Ganesh
Why Blair Will Worry Ed | Steve Richards


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Owen Paterson lifts the lid on the Green Blob:

“I received more death threats in a few months at Defra than I ever did as secretary of state for Northern Ireland.”



Flight Watch says:

Russia Today is a cauldron of bullsh*t. The only people that take it seriously are deluded conspiracy theorists. Other RT journos have resigned citing the same reasons.

It’s about as believable as Press TV, KCNA of North Korea or the Daily Mirror.


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