Michael Gove likes to make mischief. Every so often he stokes London’s liberal elite into fits of righteous indignation. If he does this out of pure joy, then his latest caper will not have disappointed.
This afternoon the education secretary gave a speech to private school headmasters in which he made an important point about the quality of children’s education:
‘I suspect that all of us who are parents would be delighted if our children were learning to love George Eliot, write their own computer programmes, daring to take themselves out of their comfort zone and aspiring to be faster, higher or stronger.’
But Gove couldn’t resist teasing his pious critics:
‘Unless, of course, we write for Guardian Education. Because it is natural for parents to want their children to be happy, fulfilled and successful.’
Cue outrage at King’s Place. The Guardian’s political editor, Patrick Wintour, mounted a high horse: ‘I know it is hilarious for Gove to claim Guardian liberal types are not aspirational for their kids, but maybe it is just childish & smug.’ He was swiftly followed by his counterpart at the Observer, Toby Helm (who has had some spicy set-tos with certain figures at the Department for Education in the recent past). Helm said: ‘Is Michael Gove really suggesting Guardian/Observer types are not ambitious for their children?! If so he shouldn’t.’ And the paper’s website moaned about ‘Mr Snooty’ soon after.
Hook, line and sinker. Wind-up artistry of the first degree. What, I wonder, was clever Mr Gove like to teach?Tags: Education, Education reform, Guardian, Michael Gove, Parenting