I'm not going to diss Gove ever again

Published:

I promise to stop taking the mick out of Michael Gove. It's not clever and it's not funny. I'm not going to diss him in this column again. Ever.

Maybe he is a visionary, a modern Matthew Arnold. I must look for the positives. I’ve still got that Olympics high. All those lovely role models like Mo and Jesso and Wiggo and Nicola! They’ll surely inspire a generation of fat tots to morph into slender Olympians. I’m suddenly a believer in legacies, promises and even Big Societies – in the new patriotism. 

Let’s go! Let’s harness this high and cancel wars and bombs and deficits and build hospitals and fabulous state schools with whizzo sport facilities? Can’t we seize the moment, while Britain is still an Isle of Wonder?

Surely no-one could kill this sunburst mood? It would take real talent, a world-class clot, to take the bloom off this high.

Enter The Gove! For it is he. Up he pops again, like one of those fairground Smurfs. He has some new wheezes. Let’s cut the sports budget! Let’s flog state school playing fields! Eh? Our pupils need only “suitable outdoor space”! What’s “suitable”? Bigger – like public schools? Probably not. Smaller. Probably yes.

But ... but... Dave Mania needs to run amok in large fields. Ditto Decibelle, who needs a several prairies. Is this wheeze going across the curriculum? I used to teach English to 30 nutters in a matchbox. Gove should try it

The prime minister pops up. Two hours sport a week? Too much? Cut it! Otherwise those multi-culti comps could end up doing “Indian dancing”. Eh? The one good thing at the closing ceremony! I’m all for any kind of dancing. Jive. Tea. Break. Whatever.

Dave drones on. State schools, says he, have got to start doing more competitive sport. Gove concurs. Well, we’ve always done it. Sport has always been central. I’m all for more – five hours a week. Endorphins race, behaviour improves and the IQ zooms up. One lap round the north playground and my 10th year were ready to grapple with Plato and Heidegger and my more advanced musings.

It’s not going to happen. The moment seems lost and the legacy doomed. Positivity in free fall, cynicism in the ascendant, I revise any goodwill for the Gove. What’s this? He’s now arsing around grade boundaries? And ruining lives. C is now a D. And he’s an A*. A gold medal Olympic twerp.


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