Coffee House

Michael Gove’s campaigning job

23 April 2014

23 April 2014

Who will go where in the forthcoming reshuffle? Guido suggests that Michael Gove could be in for a move to party chairman, given all his major reforms have either been implemented or blocked by the Lib Dems. Number 10 has certainly told Gove that he will be playing an increasing role in the general election campaign: I understand this was made clear to him in the winter of last year, which would explain why David Cameron was quite so cross about the Education Secretary’s comments to the FT about Etonians.

Cameron recognises that Gove is a smooth media performer who doesn’t wilt under the heat of the studio lights, or under the heat of a grilling from top interviewers. So he’ll be doing plenty more interviews in which he pumps the Conservative message out as clearly and calmly as possible, and taking one for the team when the party is in a bit of a pickle. Which sounds a lot like the job of the party chairman, although I’m told that a formal move to the role isn’t the plan. Grant Shapps looks as though he’s set to stay put, particularly after he really did take one for the team and toughed it out when he was initially blamed for the Treasury’s silly bingo poster.

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Ken Clarke, meanwhile, is as much of a dead cert for a move as can be, with even his friends talking about him leaving his job as though it will definitely happen and will be a good thing. It would also be an excellent place to station a good robust eurosceptic, as part of Clarke’s roving brief involves European reform.

And some ministers have remarked to me that Iain Duncan Smith seems a little less enthusiastic about spending the rest of his life in the DWP, although it may be that he remains Work and Pensions Secretary until 2015, and then moves if the Conservatives remain in government after the general election. Any move would alarm supporters of his Universal Credit reform, who suspect that it has been put on ice as much as possible to placate IDS until it is easier to scrap it.


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Show comments
  • CHRISTOPHER WHITE

    Is there really plan to scrap Universal Credit? I have been a great fan of Isabel but this looks like (grossly erroneous) gossip.
    The piece does point to the incestuous nature of the bubble. All is driven by elections. There is now a very serious problem with how Ukip voters will poll in 2015. Although a Ukip voter I desperately want them to switch to Tories so that there is majority & the improving economy should impel them & some Labour supporters to do so thus ensuring the work of cutting the size of the state goes on.
    However DC has been ludicrously self-indulgent about this. Even if he believed ‘loonies, fruitcakes & closet racists’ he should never have said it & it chimes with Feldman’s alleged remarks. The attitude smacks of the ‘born to rule’ attitude of aristocrats of a century ago.
    The tenure of politicians is more stable than that of football managers but NOT BY MUCH. The disastrous decline of Tory party membership has continued. The gay marriage affair was a mistake. Was there really data that more voters would be gained than lost? It was the straw that impelled many to vote Ukip.
    Does DC think Tory voters are ‘bigots’ like Brown thought Mrs Duffy was a bigot. Does Crosby have the clout to get DC to stay on message? I don’t know. Clearly someone who married a liberal aristocrat like Sam has attitudes miles from those of the standard traditionalist, patriotic voter that sustained the Tory party & her oceanicly overpaid job will not bring reality into No 10.
    Osborne deserves credit for seeing that the debt had to be dealt with & for staying the course. He has been rewarded by a recovery greater than could have been expected. Thus the scions of privileged families can deliver (A VERY OBVIOUS) plan. He too, however, has the easy money of a consumer luxury firm ensuring that he has never faced the realities of most (meritocratic) actors in the economy.

  • CharlietheChump

    More “what if” largely covered elsewhere earlier. Go and find some facts. Then write about them.

  • swatnan

    Tories need that old battleaxe Sayeeda Warsi back at the top not another wet flannel like Gove. And Shapps and Fallon should go. IDS was also a failure at running a Dept. The whole Party heirachy needs a thorough shake up from top to bottom. There is no quality material in the Cabinet any more compared to Cabinets of Thatcher Heath and Macmillan.

  • http://twitter.com/True_Belle True_Belle

    Ah, at least Gove has enthused the chatterers..

  • you_kid

    There’s a reshuffle coming up? Really, a re_shuffle? That means Miller is coming back, and Fox, and Yeo, and Lansley, and Fabricant and MITCHELL??? — and Hunt is going back to where he came from sucking up to you know who is now single?
    Can’t wait.

    • telemachus

      You rightly identify Hunt as a toad
      Only one above Gove in the stack of Tory Cabinet low life
      I should not wonder that Murdoch is orchestrating the current demise of the NHS

      • you_kid

        There is no money to be made in the NHS.
        All that cash is just wasted.

        • SgtVimes

          The US system shows there is plenty of money to be made from privatised health care. Its just that they can’t just shut down the NHS without it causing a riot.

  • Radford_NG

    Some 60 yrs. ago in town schools,in Victorian buildings with the black-board at the front,with ragged arsed boys from the wrong side of the road,children got a better education then they do today in new schools costing the tax payer millions-whether council,free,or academies & whether pre or post Gove.

    Children started as age 5 unable to read,write or figure:that is what they were sent to school to learn.Only secondary pupils at Grammar or Technical schools wore uniforms or did home-work.But today’s pupils seem less learned in the basics.

    Gove seems to have a fantasy based on upper-middle-class-prep.schools sending pupils to Eaton or Westminster.

    • telemachus

      In Victorian days Disraeli valued teachers and said so

      • Tony_E

        In Disraeli’s day, the state didn’t run education.

        Disraeli was a novelist, a man of writing – his affinity to education would have come from the experience of his own.

        And someone should remind Ed Miliband that he was also the UK’s first Jewish PM. But if he’d studied any serious history in his school days, he’d have known that.

      • kyalami

        In modern times, Gove values teachers and says so.

    • Tony_E

      1960’s teaching philosophy, (based on the practice at Summerhill), was pervasive in to the teacher training colleges for years. The decision to force all teachers to have the same qualification was simply a trick to weed out any free thinkers (rather than simply recruit on degree results, experience and interview). The damage was done years ago, not by Gove or this government.

      What Gove is trying to do is eradicate the last of the ‘Non Discipline’ teaching establishments by giving parents the choice to steer their children towards more disciplined and ordered school environments. Schools where pupils don’t argue with teachers, where no violence is tolerated and teachers have real power to punish, where the curriculum is not dumbed down into wishy washy ‘skills’ but is rigorous, academic and contains a real mix of essential skills and knowledge.

  • AnotherDave

    In other news, UKIP’s PEB is now on YouTube.

    http://youtu.be/aARKlOOypaQ

    • telemachus

      More racist footage
      This time threatening us with 3 million foreigners invading our land
      3 million
      Who is this Farage?

      • you_kid

        We do not know but most of his mates appear to love wind farm subisidies as an added perk due to not so ample allowances in Bruxelles.

      • Colonel Mustard

        You are out of step with Lieborg central:-

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/23/attacking-ukip-racist-campaign-counter-productive-immigration

        The article essentially confirms the existence of a sneering leftist elite.

        • you_kid

          26 million people are after MY job?
          What qualifications do they have to do MY line of work?
          Are they all Bank Governors or even worse, can they kick backside in a crap football team?

          • Tony_E

            When the west opted for globalisation of Capital and goods, they did so on a risk calculation that trade would eventually level up economies in the new world and the old.

            That would be a painful process as the wages of the west would have to meet those of the East in the middle. But by keeping the goods flowing cheaply from the developed world they could keep the cost of living suppressed while it happened – and then as the world became much more interdependent the chances of long term peace and stability would follow.

            But they failed to foresee that migration would drive a coach and horses through that plan by decimating western Labour values prematurely – bringing the competition into our houses before the equalisation had been even close to completed.

            They also fell for AGW – and the ‘cost of living crisis’ is simply a product of these two phenomena, and the EU/ UN drive towards single world administration.

            • you_kid

              Correct, a Star Trek Economy – money is not required with energy abundance.
              A theory of course.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Excuse

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Me

        • Hexhamgeezer

          While

          • Hexhamgeezer

            I make

            • Hexhamgeezer

              A little

              • Hexhamgeezer

                Room

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  For

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  The

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  Troll

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  Below

                • telemachus

                  Now do the same with every post and see how ridiculous you appear

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  look

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  out

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  below)

                • telemachus

                  Hex has gone mad

  • Brigadier Mustard

    There comes a time in the life of all political bloggers when promotion beckons.
    Isabel and Fraser have been kind enough to allow me temporary elevation pending endorsement of my peers.
    If you approve then please vote for me so that my elevation may achieve permanence.

    • Adam Carter

      Congratulations Brigadier.
      Two more promotions should get you a knighthood. (Do Lieutenant Generals get knighted automatically, or do they have to wait a bit?)
      May your comments continue to be as wise as before.

      • telemachus

        God help us
        More revanchism and Makhnovism

        • glurk

          burying yourself in buzz words as usual I see my love?

      • Colonel Mustard

        Beware! False flag!

    • Colonel Mustard

      Not me.

      • Kitty MLB

        Good Heavens.

        • telemachus

          Besotted

          • Colonel Mustard

            You hate it when you can’t control what people think so you must snap at their heels like an annoying little dog.

            Yap! Yap! Yap! telemachus the Lieborg terrier. Yap! Yap! Yap!

    • Kaine

      Congratulations! I thought you sounded much more coherent and reasonable than usual. Well done sir!

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Unfortunately, summary execution isn’t possible on the innerwebs, as would be the typical treatment of military imposters.

      • telemachus

        Summary education for the original would be too good a fate

        • Colonel Mustard

          Summary education? A fate worse than death? That might explain your odd ideas about Gove and how our children should be brainwashed rather than taught.

          It also shows that you are far more besotted with the Colonel than Kitty.

    • you_kid

      Top down subversion? Why not.

  • Kitty MLB

    Oh good heavens, Michael Gove must stay, he is truly excellent
    in this department, and i would not trust others to not create
    Havoc and wreck his good work. I Should imagine some
    backbenchers who can connect with the grassroots should
    be adequate for an election campaign. Mind you, if their
    heart is in it. Shapps is atrocious, and so is Clarke.

    • telemachus

      Gove is the most dangerous man to the health and well being of our children
      The sooner he is stopped from applying his educational social Darwinism to the siting of schools using my money the better
      I can think of no better fate for him than being sentenced to chair the Tories

      • Kitty MLB

        Honestly Telemachus, there is clearly something rattling around in your attic ( and its not bats) Our children are far better off with someone who has their best interest at heart, to want the best for them
        as a productive member of society instead of a future benefits claimant .
        And as for beautiful but statuesque Tristram…why ?

  • kyalami

    Gove needs to stay put, to ensure there is no rowing back by the department of Education.

    • davidraynes

      Absolutely. If Cameron moves him now, the Guardianistas will have won. Britain just cannot afford that.

      One grandchild (10) has just learned multiplication tables because of Gove. under a headmistress previously, implacably & absolutely, opposed to teaching them,.

      If Gove’s work is nearly done, he should stay to ensure no back sliding and be given more policy presentation for the election from where he is.

      Shapps does need support..

      • telemachus

        I would like to hear your grandchild’s teachers views on Gove
        He lambasts criticises and demotivates

        • Barakzai

          We all know lefty teachers’ views. It’s ‘Everybody Out and Gove must go’.

          Next.

          • telemachus

            Why you must ask
            Teachers like any other workforce require praise reward and motivation
            If your ultimate employer fills the airways with how bad his employees are how would you expect them to react

            • Colonel Mustard

              The rabble of the NUT demonstrate how bad they are every time they take to the streets.

        • davidraynes

          Gove has done a lot of things imperfectly because he is a man in a hurry. Such is the electoral cycle.

          Many teachers are upset with him because by nature they are not good at change, but change was necessary.

          Good teachers are valued

          Too many are time serving and not up to the challenges. The tree needed a shake up, all institutions not subject to market forces do from time to time..

          • telemachus

            Then he should root out the bad apples
            He should not spend his time criticising a whole profession
            The best way to improve a workforce is to,praise and motivate

            • Colonel Mustard

              Don’t confuse your Lieborg propaganda about Gove with reality. It is the nutjobs of NUT who have set him up as a demon figure for purely ideological ends. They want to continue to brainwash our children with leftist bilge.

              • telemachus

                I, like all reasonable folk, have a visceral hatred of this man who arrogated onto himself the ability to destroy the education of children with non engaged mothers in poor areas by plonking a free school next door and waits for their school to wither

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You are not reasonable. You are a dogmatic, doctrinaire ideologue and bigot.

                • kyalami

                  On the contrary he has praised teachers frequently. This can be seen by simply googling his speeches. By the way, had it occurred to you that the “non engaged mothers in poor areas” could send their children to the FREE (and presumably better) school in your hypothesis?

                • telemachus

                  Precisely
                  However non engaged mothers and families are just that
                  Those at the bottom of the heap need directed education not to be left to rot in a failing school

            • kyalami

              If the best way to encourage people is to praise and motivate, what are you doing here?

        • Colonel Mustard

          Yap! Yap! Yap!

      • Kaine

        Just checking, do you approve of the Man from the Ministry over-ruling a head teacher in principle or just in this particular case?

        • davidraynes

          I approve of a man (or woman) trying desperately to change the culture of the Guardianistas who tend to run the teaching profession.

          Teaching was stuck in a rut of non performance, not meeting the needs of most pupils or parents. Non competitive on the world stage in which the UK must compete. Expectations of many pupils being far too low.

          I want empowered & imaginative Head Teachers to be able to get rid of the rubbish and able to reward the best.

          I want the status of teaching as a profession to improve. I want teaching no longer to be a safe hiding place for the socially inadequate and those who just cannot hack it in a competitive world.

          • Kaine

            You’ve not answered my question. Do you approve of the Secretary of State being able to directly intervene to compel a head teacher to change how they teach the children under their care? Because you seem to be all for centralised control when the controller is someone you like.

            In addition, your frankly insulting comments about the teaching profession are part of the problem. If you and the rest of the Blue Mob refuse to treat teaching as a profession, like law or medicine, how on earth are you going to get enthusiastic, driven people to go into it?

            • Colonel Mustard

              Maybe if the members of the NUT behaved like professionals instead of Labour party activists, rabble rousers and something left over from a 1960s student protest movement they might earn respect instead of demanding it.

              The whole country is insulted by teachers who put politics above the needs of the children in their care. The only mob involved is not Blue but Red.

              • Mynydd

                As I understand it the NUT and other unions have asked Mr Gove to sit around the table and resolve the problem in respect to; pay, terms and conditions, working hours and pensions. This seems to me a professional way of working.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “Activists at the union’s annual conference in Brighton spoke out in favour of an emergency plan to strike in the week beginning Monday, June 23, with further action in the autumn, unless “significant” progress is made in talks designed to resolve a long-running dispute.”

                  http://www.teachers.org.uk/files/michael-gove-letter-25-march.pdf

                  Hardly seems like the letter of a “demented Dalek” which the oh so “professional” NUT have publicly branded Gove.

                  As usual Lieborg mythology bears little or no resemblance to reality. The movement is founded on the power of propaganda as Lieborg’s little helper telemachus openly admits. By threatening strike action whilst talks are ongoing simply because their demands have so far not been met the Labour activists at the heart of the NUT can discredit Gove’s position and thereby the Coalition government which is all this dispute is really about.

                  Placards displaying “Gove out!” and chants of the same again show the essential negativity and ideo-political aspirations of the activists as well as the usual intimidatory stance of most leftists.

                • Alexandrovich

                  What, nothing about teaching the kids to read and write?

              • Kaine

                As I always say on the subject of strikes over pay and conditions, if your belief is that the job of the profession is so important that, like the police, their going on strike endangers the public good, then a binding arbitration system should be set up.

                It’s fascinating that the only time conservatives ever talk about solidarity is when they want someone else to make a sacrifice.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  What fascinates you klansman does not interest me in the slightest. Nothing in my comment suggests that strikes should be precluded. It is the motivation for them that matters.

                  I made no mention of solidarity or sacrifice.

                • Kaine

                  Quote, “The whole country is insulted by teachers who put politics ahead of the needs of the children in their care.”

                  So you are saying that teachers should put other people’s children ahead of their own concerns about pay, working conditions and pensions. You are urging sacrifice.

                  I am glad you have affirmed your commitment to the right to strike darling.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “So you are saying that teachers should put other people’s children ahead of their own concerns about pay, working conditions and pensions. You are urging sacrifice.”

                  No. You are saying that.

              • allymax bruce

                Yes, the Trade-Unions are being led up the garden path; they are being told by The Labour Party that they are the root&branch of the militant Labour Party, while all the time The Labour Party are making policy to close down the Trade-Unions altogether! The Communist Workers party must not have any Rights that the Marxist Party don’t want them to have. The Trade-Unions are stupid, blind, and confused; trusting the devil you know, as opposed to not trusting the devil you don’t know, is still the devil!

            • davidraynes

              I expect the SoS to set expectations of the system otherwise there is little point to the post’s existence. .

              I do treat teaching as a profession.

              In my view the biggest obstacle to it having even higher esteem in the public mind, is the behavior and standards of some of the members, over several years.

              • Colonel Mustard

                Don’t get into an extended argument with him. He is an extreme leftist bigot with a closed mind that he represents as evidence that all dissenting arguments have failed to persuade him (as if!). His tactics will be to ignore what you write and respond with a series of “So you . . . ?” questions contrived to show how clever he is and to make you appear to be in the wrong. All of them are fallacious, as though New Labour never intervened in education centrally.

                We used to refer to his type as “barrack room lawyers”.

                • Kaine

                  Your continued obsession with me is flattering darling. X

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Don’t confuse intense dislike with obsession, klansman. This is not about you but the commentator you were trying to hook with your special brand of trolling.

                • Kaine

                  You don’t seem to understand what a troll is deary, which considering you know of the existence of Urban Dictionary shows a quite wilful ignorance on your part.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  I know what a troll is, thanks.

              • Kaine

                Don’t you think there’s an element of chicken and egg here though? If a profession isn’t held in high esteem, then it will not attract a higher calibre of people, which will undermine it further etc etc.

                For example, early years education is perhaps the most important area we need to focus upon to improve attainment. Being a primary school teacher should be an incredibly high status role, and intensely competitive. However it is seen largely as a job for women with school aged children, as exemplified by the fact only 14% of primary school classroom teachers are men. At a dinner table with a solicitor, a GP, a university professor and a primary school teacher are we in any doubt as to who society grants the least status to?

    • Liberty

      As the writer said, Gove’s reforms are in place and only need following through. He has good guys in place to do that.

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