Daily catch-up: Michael Gove, a perpetually interesting politician, attacks the ‘undeserving rich’

Plus David Cameron on getting things done, and a reassuring name for a hairdresser

Click to follow
The Independent Online

1. I thought this hairdresser was an urban myth, but now, thanks to Sam Jeffers, I can add it to my collection of Genuine Shop Names.

2. The Chief Whip gave an interesting speech last month in which he claimed that the Conservative-led Government “has made our country fairer and stronger, more progressive and more secure”. Last night in his speech to launch a new campaign group, the Good Right, Michael Gove launched another audacious raid on the moral language of the left, saying that the “undeserving rich” ought to pay more in tax.

As so often with Gove’s speeches, it is a good read, although it is spoiled by partisan rubbish about Labour causing the recession:

“The irresponsible behaviour of unaccountable big banks, combined with the reckless borrowing of unaccountable big government and the weaknesses of unresponsive big bureaucracy pitched this country into the deepest recession since the war.”

But I suppose there is an election on. John Raffles also noticed an unexpected reference to dementia:

“If you regard dementia as a friend’s departure from our world rather than an opportunity to bring them closer to your heart, then you miss the essence of compassion.”

Raffles bristled at this, but then re-read it and found he was impressed. “When did you last hear a politician dare to offer what amounts to moral advice?”

Damian Thompson says: “Michael Gove is the reason I shall be voting Tory.” And The Spectator also has an interesting article by Emily Hill about the many teachers who secretly admire the former Education Secretary: “Because of him, children are expected to work at a higher level.”

3. Meanwhile, if you are puzzled by Ed Miliband’s kitchens, it was all the fault of Sarah Vine, Gove’s wife, who wrote in the Daily Mail yesterday about a picture of Ed and Justine in what purported to be their kitchen. Jenni Russell, a former friend of the Milibands, then helpfully said that their real kitchen is “lovely” and the pictures showed the “functional kitchenette by [the] sitting room for tea and quick snacks”.

4. David Cameron has an interview in the Financial Times (registration) in which he speaks of the “buggeration factor” of trying to force policy through the system. He recognises this as a problem with which Tony Blair wrestled and thinks he can learn a lot from the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, headed by Sir Michael Barber in Blair’s second term (Sir Michael’s latest book, How to Run a Government, will be previewed in this weekend’s Independent on Sunday).

But Cameron also thinks that the level of “general buggeration” increased in the New Labour years, with Freedom of Information, the growth of judicial review and the spread of consultation before legislation, and aims to speed up all those systems if he himself wins a second term.

5. “And what would humans be without love?” “Rare.” Stephanie Boland and Stephen Bush choose their favourite Terry Pratchett quotations.

6. And finally, thanks to Moose Allain for this:

“Why are French snails faster?”

“Less cargo.”

Comments