The Curmudgeon


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gove Gibbers On

The guff that keeps on goving has taken time out from imposing his Murdoch leader-writer's moral perspective on the country's schoolchildren in order to lecture journalists on their lack of assertiveness. Apparently the controversy over whether or not gay-bashing is an appropriate subject for the national curriculum has got Gove in a bit of a lather over freedom of speech. Gove is worried that the Leveson inquiry, by having the temerity to investigate various alleged wrongdoings by the Murdoch press among others, is emanating a chilly atmosphere around the warm cuddly sofa of free speech which is the Conservative Party's natural habitat. "There are laws against the interception of messages," gibbered Gove. "There are laws against bribery. There are laws which prevent journalists - like any other profession - going rogue." Self-evidently, this means that everything's all right: "Those laws should be vigorously upheld and vigorously policed", and the Leveson inquiry should be ashamed of itself for asking why they weren't.

Gove, who likes to keep his ministerial emails private, gibbered further that journalists have not been sufficiently forthright in making the case for press freedom: "We have nothing to gain and everything to lose from fettering the press, which has helped keep us honest in the past and ensured that the standards of debate are higher in this country than in other jurisdictions." Well, this no doubt is why Gove's colleague Jeremy C Hunt was ready to hand over to Murdoch even more of the country's media than he owns already. The poor chap simply wanted to be kept honest and to ensure that our standards of debate remain higher than those of the wogs.

Finally, Gove made a quick but doubtless sincere genuflection in the direction of Murdoch's Sunday Sun, which is to rise from the News of the World's grave like bowel gas from the drowned corpse of decency, or whatever. Perhaps Gove has heard some uncomfortable hints about his day job; after the way in which the Daveybloke dagger disposed of our former defence minister, Adam Werritty, nobody of Gove's calibre can be free of a slight dorsal itch. "I want to concentrate on the big picture," Gove said; and the big picture is, of course, a jolly handy thing to concentrate on. It doesn't matter so much if a bit gets chopped off or the details are wrong or the focus is a bit blurry, which can be quite an important consideration if one has the misfortune to be Michael Gove.

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Unnatural Acts


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