By Dr. Bagba Encha – Political Scientist
Michael Gove – He is a curious mix of qualities predominated by intense blandness. He makes John Major look like a high-living adrenaline junkie playboy. Yet here he is with his hat in the ring for a Conservative Party leadership that it would be a great shock if he were to win. Nobody except Gove will have any idea why he is doing what he is doing. Having him as Prime Minister would be like training cats to be fighter pilots. So why did he join the race?
Gove and one Boris Johnson have been close for some time now, both campaigning to leave the EU during the referendum build-up and forming somewhat a rapport. The problem is Boris did not want to leave the EU, just to be seen as a sort of fighting underdog and increase his popularity among less well off voters in the process for when he does take Tory party leadership. Gove very much wanted a prominent position in Johnson’s future cabinet. Johnson said “Piss off, mate, you’ve got as much personality as a dustbunny on the floor of the resuscitation room in a hospital after a patient has just died.” And Gove got very hurt. There were probably also discussions about the direction Boris would try to take things regarding the EU. Boris was pretending to be a leaver for political points, Gove is stupid enough to believe in it.
So what happened? Michael Gove left his discussions with Boris on metaphorically wobbly legs. He did not know which way was up anymore and took a little trip. You know how sometimes when you trip or misstep you turn it into a little jog to make it look like you had it under control all along? That is what this move is for Gove. His faith in Johnson, that was a hell of a trip, and he had to find some way of making it look like it was not. So here he is as a candidate for Tory party leadership. Out of pride. By accident. Because he trusted Boris.
Of course it is not the first time a politician has put themselves in a position by accident. In recent events, Ed Miliband was only nominated for Labour leadership when Ed Balls, chewing on a rather large bite of sushi, started choking. Ed successfully slapped the offending rice up from Balls’ gullet but it landed squarely on the list of proposed nominees as ‘Ed Miliband’. Roy Hattersley’s first stint in parliament was purely accidental and completely unelected. He liked to bathe in butter and on a walk through Westminster whilst on a sightseeing trip he was so buttery he slipped through cracks in walls and somehow managed to grease the benches of the House of Commons for over thirty years. And let us not forget the Reverend Lord Juniper, MP for Bunko and East Lithlitchester in 1792 who was elected not by people, but by ducks who had learned the art of the ballot.
So, whatever happens when Theresa May definitely becomes Prime Minister, at least there is a somewhat more interesting footnote on the career of Michael Gove now. He won’t just be remembered as the guy who screwed up education.