Writing about Michael Gove’s impertinent candidacy to lead the country, philosopher Dr Sean Walsh
claims “Michael Gove’s endorsement of Theresa May’s Brexit Deal and his consistent support for her leadership undermines his credibility as a candidate to successfully lead the country out of the European Union”.
Dr Walsh reminds us “Sarah Vine (Mrs Gove) recently wrote a piece which might as well have been called “My husband is useless so please make him PM to get him out of the house”. I hope she will not be too inconvenienced if we politely decline the request”.
“Gove’s leadership pitch seems to be that we should leave the EU immediately by the end of 2020 facilitated by a deal that secured the Conservatives 9% of the vote in the European Elections. You’d be forgiven for concluding that even Gerald Ratner was savvier than that. Most of us were under the impression that Mrs May’s “deal” was dead and buried but Mr Gove would beg to differ, seeing in it a Lazarus-like potential for resuscitation; and in himself a sort of Jesus of Nazareth ability to bring that about.
“Gove is one of those who would force us into a straitjacket by telling us that we should think of the Remain Treaty as being the first step in a journey towards freedom. They claim that it allows us to step out of the political institutions of the EU while remaining in its economic mechanisms. This is nonsense. The economic and political structures of the Union are comingled to such a purity that no process of political distillation would serve to separate them.
“This is the level of ambition that Gove has for this country, he would have us as a prisoner before the EU’s parole board with himself as the legal representation arguing, perversely, that his client should remain banged up. Or, at best, be transferred to an open prison.
“We are often reminded (usually by those “close to” him) that Michael Gove is an intelligent man. So, does he really believe that May’s deal is in any way consistent with leaving the EU? It may be that he doesn’t. In which case we’re in an interesting situation. If you’re lying to me and I know you’re lying to me and you know I know you’re lying to me, then we have a “knowing suspension of belief”. On the other hand, if you’re lying to me and I know that you’re lying to me, but you think I don’t know that you’re lying to me then at some point we’re going to fall out.
“Gove’s candidacy is in any case a sort of impertinence. This is the man who in an Ealing comedy of manners, in 2016 gifted us the technocracy of the May administration. What was most offensive about his assassination of his friend, Boris Johnson, at that point wasn’t so much that it was ruthless as that it was inept. I’m sure that an updated and social media adaptation of Machiavelli’s The Prince would not have him stabbing himself in the back in front of the nearest bank of TV cameras.
“Open prison is not good enough. We need somebody with the ambition to bust us out of it”.