David Cameron has said that he is going before the 2020 General Election, so the race is on to succeed him. Over the last year the stars of the three main contenders; George Osborne, Theresa May and Boris Johnson have waned considerably, to the point that many are looking at the alternatives. And in the current cabinet Michael Gove is perhaps the brightest star.
Let’s see why:
- Not a toff. The Conservative Party these days is relentlessly middle class and has a low toff quotient, but Cameron, Osborne and Johnson are the main toffs in the cabinet. Gove was born in Edinburgh and at four months old, he was adopted by a Labour supporting family in Aberdeen, where he was brought up.
- Prodigiously bright. Won a scholarship to Robert Gordon’s College, was president of the Oxford Union and is a successful journalist, broadcaster and author.
- Not a social democrat, like some in the cabinet. He is a Conservative. Gove was chairman of Policy Exchange, a Conservative think tank and helped to establish the magazine Standpoint, to which he occasionally contributes.
- Socially very liberal and politically the closest you will get to a libertarian in our cabinet. He believes that government should leave people alone and just provide the services they cannot provide for themselves. He utterly abhors inequality of opportunity and is evangelic about social mobility. More so than any Labour politician.
- Eurosceptic. He wants to look after the interests of Great Britain first and abhors the idea of a socialist superstate.
- The first politician since Thatcher who relishes taking on vested interests and the establishment when they are a problem to good government. This takes both bravery and intellect.
- Focuses on being an excellent manager and providing good governance, unlike many politicians. Every job he has had in government he has done brilliantly. Labour trashed our education system, the lefty progressives had taken over and it was spiraling into mediocrity. Gove didn’t just stop this, he reversed it, engineering the greatest improvements in several decades. This really was remarkable.
- The audience at a NUT (the teachers’ union) conference were told that Gove had “lost the confidence of the teaching profession”. This is one of the highest accolades a politician can ever receive.
- Clarity of thought. He looked at our prison system and realised that it wasn’t fit for purpose. Instead of playing at the edges, like many managers, he looked at the fundamentals. What is a prison system for. Then he came up with the most sensible reforms since WW2.
- Michael Portillo, who knows a lot about such things, said in June 2012 that Gove could be a serious contender in a future race for the Conservative leadership.
In fact it is a pity we haven’t developed human cloning yet, because a government with a Michael Gove in charge of every department would be formidably effective at running the country well. So why isn’t he up there as one of the front running candidates for Cameron’s job? There are four main downsides:
- He doesn’t want the job, as you can see from this quote: “I’m constitutionally incapable of it. There’s a special extra quality you need that is indefinable, and I know I don’t have it. There’s an equanimity, an impermeability and a courage that you need. There are some things in life you know it’s better not to try”. This is a great pity for all of us.
- He is a supporter of the vile, racist, militarist, genocidal, apartheid political creed that is Zionism. But then the Zionists own the Conservative Party these days. Margaret Thatcher must be spinning in her grave.
- Gove is a foreign policy interventionist and supports all our disastrous adventures in the Middle East.
- He is not a political animal, like Osborne. He is not always maneuvering for tactical advantages. He just gets on with being an excellent manager.
So there you have it, Gove really would be an excellent choice, easily as good as the three front runners and when it comes to good governance he is a star.