Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Another Word About Michael Gove

My admiration for the man has, if anything, risen even further after his dignified apology to the House of Commons in a personal statement he made in the past few minutes.

Of course it's a cause for concern that 25 schools were left with the impression they were going to enjoy the post-Labour luxury of refurbishment, at massive cost to the taxpayer, through the astonishingly inefficient Balls Future Schools policy, but after his sincere apology about the inaccuracy of the lists released on Monday, which is ultimately a Civil Service issue for which the education minister is properly taking ministerial responsibility - Labourists take note - Gove's reputation remains intact, if not enhanced.

Compare and contrast the reputations of the screaming Labour benches with their fake anger, wallowing in the deepest of hypocrisy. Compare their behaviour and reach the only conclusion possible: not only are they not fit for government, after the hideous unpleasantness of Tom Watson MP, for example (shrieking baseless accusations and vicious insults directly at Gove), a fair proportion of them aren't fit to be Members of Parliament. That will be crystal clear to any sane person watching the exchanges.

There is one other point that's emerged from this latest parliamentary spat and it concerns Bercow. He seems to think the being "Speaker" means he has to speak all the time. He appears to imagine that not only must he intervene to keep order, he must pass judgment on every point made, especially on the Tory side. He apparently considers his condescending, smug, self-publicising manner is appropriate for the great office of state he's attempting, and failing, to fill. I've seen this odious man in action long enough now to know that he's little more than a catspaw for Labour, no doubt to please his wife. He's got to go before he does any more damage to the proper business of parliament and the reputation of the House of Commons. He's that bad.

So, this procedural storm in a teacup, predictably stirred-up by the malignant, mendacious opposition and, one has to say after his questionable interventions and rulings today, by their tame placeman in the Speaker's chair, Bercow, will soon blow over. But the debris left in its wake will not represent obstacles to Gove's or the coalition's programme of righting Labour wrongs and getting their disastrous, spiralling deficit under control. Far from it. Gove's statement has re-established the principle of ministerial responsibility (I have no doubt he offered his resignation to David Cameron, judging by the depth and sincerity of his apology on behalf of his department) after all those years of abuse by the previous Labour regime. It has also revealed the pettiness and revisionism of a contemptible Labour contingent unable to take any responsibility whatsoever for their role in causing the worst crisis in British public finances for, to quote one of their number, sixty years.

Perhaps that's what Gove was doing: smoking out the dishonest, discredited cabal of ex-ministers and their sweaty-toothed left wing comrades on the backbenches with sincerity. It's possible - he's that clever. However, I prefer to think that he was just doing what he thinks is right - owning-up, taking responsibility and apologising for the error. Insodoing he has left no one in any doubt as to his good faith and decency, and cast massive ones over a large swathe of Labour party members'.

"Good faith and decency"? Thy name is not the oily, weasily Bercow, and certainly not the scrofulous Tom Watson. Thy name is Michael Gove.

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