Michael Gove is a spoof. Now it all makes sense

No wonder the Department for Education fell for a satirical article

Share

After last week's news about the spoof article that appeared on the Department for Education website, I look forward to a series of announcements revealing that everything Michael Gove has said since attaining office has been the work of computer-hacking satirists.

The prank article originally appeared on undergroundmgzn.com, and reported that the Education Secretary "today announced new plans to single-handedly teach every child in the UK...." Somehow, the piece was uploaded to the DfE website and stayed there for a month, despite the site's security experts being warned that it was the work of jokers and not Mr Gove. (How could they tell?)

Security experts warned that hackers "could have displayed a lot worse" having gained access to a government website, but they are wrong: there is nothing worse than a giant grinning photograph of Michael Gove. However, the fact that the hoax went unnoticed for so long makes me wonder what other alleged Gove statements might be hanging around, besmirching his reputation as a sensible man. That thing he said about making 17-year-olds read Middlemarch must have been a stitch-up, right? And that time when he complained about children reading fewer than 50 books a year, while his government's policies were causing crippling cuts to libraries? Surely some childish spoof!

On the other hand, maybe Gove really is busy setting up a giant classroom in an aircraft hangar, which would explain why other ministers have had to take over his job of insulting teachers. Last week, it was Vince Cable, who decided, while addressing a manufacturing conference, to announce that teachers "know absolutely nothing about the world of work". Colleagues later tried to play it down, but his wording displayed such distinctive Govian overtones that his speech can only have been written by the same computer algorithm that came up with the undergroundmgzn piece.

Next, apparently, Ofsted fell victim to the stunt, with its report on a school in Camden appearing to complain that its teachers are "too casual" and fail to "dress in a business-like fashion". This, it seemed to imply, explained the poor behaviour of some students, "mostly boys": "answering back … jostling and excessive boisterousness [and] some unacceptable language at break time". Of course, real Ofsted inspectors would know that dressing smartly does not prevent bad behaviour, because they have seen Prime Minister's Questions, where the boys wear suits and ties yet still act like children who require special measures.

It strikes me that the Department for Education ought to find these hackers before they are well and truly shown up. Perhaps they should start in the government's "teach everyone to code in an hour" initiative. We know that it can't be that department's director, because she admitted last month that she has no idea how to code. Unless, of course, she has fallen victim to the Random Stupid Statement Generating Programme....

twitter.com/@katyguest36912

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: SAGE Bookkeeper & PA to Directors

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Neo-Nazis march in London  

I'm taking my Jewish kids to a vile neo-Nazi rally in London this weekend because I want them to learn about free speech

Richard Ferrer
A police officer carries a casualty to safety  

Tunisia attack proves that we cannot stop terrorists carrying out operations against Britons in Muslim countries

Robert Verkaik
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map