Tag Archives: Gove

Let’s not accuse Gove of Housing corruption prematurely

Michael Gove: he has taken a lot of money from property developers and now he is Housing Secretary. But we should not shout “corruption” until there is actual evidence of it.

This Site is all in favour of accusing Tory ministers of corruption when they do something wrong.

But we need to give them a chance to actually commit an offence before we start criticising them.

Michael Gove is a deeply dodgy character for many reasons – some of which have been discussed in detail on This Site.

And it is true that in the run-up to the announcement that he would become the new Housing Secretary in Boris Johnson’s Cabinet reshuffle, he took £120,000 in donations from property developers. That amounts to 87 per cent of the donations he has taken in 2021 so far.

Some people have claimed that this creates a conflict of interest, and it certainly does make it possible.

However:

Gove’s first act in his new job has been to suspend work on controversial planning reforms that were accused of giving “too much power to developers”.

Try as I might, I can’t fit that into any narrative that puts him at their beck and call.

Of course, suspension is not rejection, and if he reinstates the scheme, or comes up with one that offers more opportunities for the businesspeople to make cash, then he will deserve all the brickbats we can throw at him.

So let’s reserve judgement for now.

And hope that Gove gets the message.

It is this: we’re watching you, Michael.

Source: Michael Gove: UK Housing Secretary Took £120k From Property Developers

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Michael Gove: sexist, racist, homophobic and divisive – from his own lips

Michael Gove: One wonders how Chelsea FC and its fans feel about having this racist, sexist, homophobic hater of the North as a fellow supporter.

It shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, he did think rape was funny.

Michael Gove apologised for his comments about Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom…

… but it turns out he has been making similar comments in public since at least 1987, according to The Independent.

The newspaper has listed sexist, racist and homophobic comments from 1987 and 1993 – all of which should have disqualified him from ever being considered a suitable candidate for a Parliamentary seat.

He was elected into Parliament in 2005. Presumably some Tory sponsor thought he had lived down his words after 12 years. Little did they know what would happen 12 years later… or, indeed, now.

And what has happened now?

Well, we’ve found out what he said all those years ago. Probably the most offensive part – to the most people – is the classist statements (below):

Yes – it’s worse than the sexism and racism because the North will hate being pigeonholed so offensively and the South will hate being assumed to hate the North.

At the very least, it’s not good for sales.

The real question about this scandal is what Boris Johnson will do about it.

Gove is currently Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, which doesn’t mean a lot. But he’s tipped to become either Foreign or Home Secretary in a mooted Cabinet reshuffle.

If Johnson goes through with the alleged plan to give Gove a more high-profile job, after these revelations came to light, he’ll upset millions of people…

… and show that he couldn’t care less about the feelings of the “happy” South (ha ha) or the “cruel, dirty, toothless” North. Electoral suicide.

Source: Revealed: Michael Gove’s sexist jibes, racist jokes and homophobic slurs | The Independent

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Guilt-shaming Gove should know: people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones

Michael Gove: that’s a Chelsea FC scarf he’s wearing. His love of that team led him to fly to Portugal where he had close contact with people who had Covid-19. He didn’t follow the rules that we must; he put himself on an elite ‘daily testing’ scheme instead, potentially endangering his work colleagues. And now he’s threatening to deny people who don’t have the vaccine access to events like the one he attended. What a barefaced hypocrite.

It’s a classic ‘nudge’ strategy: you want somebody to do something, you make them feel guilty about it.

So Michael Gove probably thought it was perfectly reasonable to say people who don’t want the Covid-19 vaccine are selfish; that they are endangering the rest of us.

Trouble is, he‘s the selfish Tory minister who refused to self-isolate after the Covid-19 app on his phone pinged him for close contact with infected people when he flew off to Portugal to watch the Champions League final. Instead, he availed himself of a ‘daily test’ regime available only to a select few.

So he added another stick to poke the non-vaxxers into the vaccination centres: anybody turning down the vaccine may be barred from events he described as requiring a certain level of safety.

Like football matches?

His argument doesn’t work. His own history makes this another “one rule for Tory ministers, a different rule for everybody else” situation.

And if the vaccine is so fantastically good, then the people refusing it will be the only ones likely to die if they catch Covid-19. Everybody else will be protected – right?

Right?

The alternative is that there really is a covert reason for making us all have these injections.

Are the conspiracy theorists right?

What are these Tories pumping into us?

So now Gove has gone from making us feel guilty if we haven’t had the jab to making us all worry that the injection is secretly an attack against us.

And what does it mean?

It means if I hadn’t already had my jabs, I’d be seriously considering turning them down. I don’t go out much anyway.

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Johnson and Sunak shamed into self-isolation in U-turn over ‘Covid Javid’

How humiliating for Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak that they have to follow the rules for the plebs and self-isolate after being in contact with Health Secretary and Covid case Sajid Javid.

It says everything about the UK’s pitiful protections that Javid hasn’t been in post for more than a month yet, and already he has contracted the virus. He’s out of the picture for the moment because he’s getting treatment.

But both Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson are also having to take action, because they have been in contact with Javid during the incubation period.

Johnson has already had the virus. What does it say about the body’s natural immunity, let alone the various vaccines that we’re all having pumped into us, when the prime minister is still having to isolate himself – despite having developed the former and received the latter – for fear of spreading the infection?

Worse still is the fact that both Johnson and Sunak wanted to take the Michael Gove route and opt into a privileged scheme whereby they could keep working but would be tested for the virus on a daily basis.

Nobody had ever heard of this scheme before Gove went to Portugal to watch the Champions League final and mixed with people who had Covid-19.

On being told about the contact, he promptly announced that he wouldn’t be self-isolating like a member of the common crowd – and that is how we learned about the daily test regime for the elite.

He was given hell for it and rightly so.

It can hardly be surprising, then, that after Downing Street announced that they would be on the same scheme – and the same criticisms started – Johnson and Sunak gave up and accepted the inevitable.

They only did it because they were caught.

Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth [said] it was unfair politicians appeared to have access to “VIP testing” to avoid self-isolation, while Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey asked if it was only available to the “privileged few”.

The u-turn means that Michael Gove should now have to answer some uncomfortable questions, especially after Johnson said it was “far more important that everybody sticks to the same rules”.

Gove didn’t!

And neither Johnson nor Sunak were going to.

So it seems Johnson didn’t make the change because of any principles, but because of shame.

Source: Covid-19: PM and chancellor self-isolate after rapid U-turn – BBC News

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Fact-checker: Gove LIED about government contract with his cronies at Public First

Sneaky little critter: Tory liar Michael Gove.

Vox Political vindicated again: This Site stated that the government’s £560,000 contracts with Public First were unlawful and the government was lying about the High Court’s decision, back in June.

Now we have the finding of fact-checker Full Fact to support that conclusion.

As Dorset Eye (and you really should be reading Dorset Eye) wrote:

“During an appearance on Sky News, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove was asked about a recent ruling at the High Court on the government’s decision to award a £560,000 contract to marketing agency Public First during the pandemic. The agency is run by former colleagues of both Mr Gove and Dominic Cummings, the former chief adviser to the Prime Minister.

“In the interview, Mr Gove claimed that “the court found that there was no actual bias in the decision that was taken by others to award this contract […] there was no breach of the ministerial code.”

“That’s wrong. Michael Gove was moving the goalposts in talking about actual bias. The court was asked to determine whether the award of the contract was unlawful because of apparent bias.

“The judge held that the decision making process which led to the award of the contract did give rise to apparent bias, and so was unlawful.”

Tory liars like Gove are sneaky little critters and you have to watch out for these little deceptions.

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Why should Sarah Vine have privacy when she made it her business to deny it to others?

Poor Sarah Vine! After marrying the odious Michael Gove and spending years enjoying the Tory limelight, now that she and he are splitting, she wants to be left alone!

Normally, This Writer might be inclined to support such a request. After all, I said Boris Johnson’s wedding to… whatsername… shouldn’t get huge media coverage because it was only the wedding of a public servant to his long-term fiancee, and that sort of thing happens all the time. A divorce should get similar treatment.

However:

Also:

And this:

There’s the hypocrisy we see here:

And finally, there’s the very ugly hypocrisy of this:

Given the way Vine has pursued public figures – my understanding is that Meghan is only the latest and highest-visibility in a series – and has tried to influence public opinion about them, it would be unfair to allow her the kind of relief she denied to them.

To me, it seems only fair that even the slightest details of her divorce are entirely appropriate for discussion on every possible public forum.

Doesn’t it seem that way to you?

Source: Michael Gove and Sarah Vine separating and ‘finalising divorce’ – BBC News

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Tory MPs have been using private emails to covertly conduct government business for YEARS

Boris Johnson: who knows how much government business the prime minister has corruptly carried out over his own personal email account, in order to hide it from your scrutiny? And before anybody says they expect honesty from the PM, let’s all remember that we all knew what he is before he won the 2019 general election.

Why is everybody making such a fuss about Matt Hancock carrying out government business on the sly via his private email account now? Tory ministers have been doing this habitually since 2011.

There can only be one reason for it, too – and that is to avoid proper and lawful scrutiny of activities that they know are not acceptable behaviour for government ministers.

Michael Gove was caught using private emails to communicate with Department for Education personnel, all the way back in 2011.

Financial Times journalist Chris Cook established that Gove and some of his special advisers (or Spads) had been using private email accounts to conduct business which appeared to many (eventually including the Information Commissioner) to be Government business. It was suggested that this had been done to avoid potential disclosure of the emails through FOI.

Did Gove receive any punishment for this? No.

Liam Fox’s personal email account was hacked by Russians in 2019 when, as International Trade Secretary, he was responsible for negotiating a trade deal with the United States.

The hackers lifted 450 pages of classified information from the account, prompting Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party to ask why Fox had been using an unsecured personal email address to carry out government business.

Has there ever been an answer to this question? No.

There have been attempts to justify the use of private emails – Tory MP Tom Tugendhat claimed in 2016 that he had received private advice from GCHQ, the government communications centre in Cheltenham, that a Gmail account would be more secure against hacking than the government’s own system.

It’s possible that he was telling the truth – after all, it has been claimed that GCHQ routinely monitors MPs’ private email accounts in any event. Alarmingly, it seems the US National Security Agency is also privy to any information gathered during these sweeps. Why?

And now we have information showing that Matt Hancock, Lord Bethell, Helen Whately and PM Boris Johnson himself have all misused their personal email accounts in order to hide business they have done as members of the government from lawful scrutiny.

You may have heard misinformation claiming that ministers are allowed to conduct some business by private email, depending on the seriousness of the matters concerned and the level of security to be applied.

This Writer heard a mealy-mouthed Tory apologist making such claims on Radio 4’s PM on June 28. They are not true.

Cabinet Office guidance clearly states that “The originator or recipient of a
communication should consider whether the information contained in it is substantive discussions or decisions generated in the course of conducting Government business and, if so, take steps to ensure the relevant information is accessible (e.g. by copying it to a government email address)”.

There is no opt-out. Any and all emails in which government business is carried out must at least be copied into the government’s email system and any failure to do so is a breach of the rules.

Sadly, the guidance note does not describe any sanctions that could be used against government ministers or officers for misuse of private email accounts to carry out government business in secret. This is a common omission that makes the rules themselves a dead letter; worthless.

In other words, while it is entirely possible that Hancock, Johnson and all the others have been corruptly hiding dirty Tory deals for more than a decade, there isn’t a damned thing that can be done to stop them.

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One rule for them: Gove ‘pinged’ by Covid track&trace – but won’t have to self-isolate

Michael Gove: he didn’t have to self-isolate after coming into contact with Covid while watching Chelsea in the Champions League final – because he is an over-privileged Tory politician and considers himself to be above the rules that apply to the rest of us.

Once again, a Tory government minister is being allowed to ignore the rules that apply to the rest of us – because he can.

Michael Gove went to Portugal to watch the final of the Champions League – itself a thing that only people with a certain amount of money and the privilege that goes with it can do.

While he was there, he came into contact with someone who has (or at least had) Covid-19 – and was alerted to the fact by the Covid “track and trace” app on his mobile phone.

But not for him the inconvenience of having to self-isolate for weeks at a time! Oh no! He’s far too entitled for that!

Instead, he is taking part in a “pilot scheme” that nobody has ever heard of before now, in which he will instead undergo daily Covid tests.

Presumably he will still be in contact with his government and Cabinet colleagues – potentially exposing them to whichever variant of the virus he may have caught as well.

I’m partly inclined to say, good luck to the lot of them and they’ll only have themselves to blame if they all end up with the Delta variant (or whichever version is in vogue at the moment).

But he’ll probably get off scot free; it will be a false alarm and some Tory head-wagger will lecture us about what a wonderful step forward this “pilot scheme” is – for privilege people like him.

Richard Madeley put his finger on the heart of this matter when he asked that corrupt Tory liar Robert Jenrick about the incident on Good Morning Britain:

“One rule for you and one for us” indeed. And you’ll have noticed that Jenrick sees nothing wrong with that at all.

Source: Covid: Michael Gove alerted by NHS Test and Trace after Champions League trip – BBC News

Gove rebuked for fiddling the figures on post-Brexit trade

The UK Statistics Authority has delivered an official reprimand to Michael Gove and his Cabinet Office for faking the figures on post-Brexit trade.

The Road Haulage Association published the results of a survey in February, showing that the volume of exports to the EU fell by more than two-thirds (68 per cent) in January, immediately after the UK finally severed its membership of the European Union.

Gove’s Cabinet Office then pretended that the RHA was wrong, stating that “inbound and outbound flows (across all UK ports) were close to normal, at 95% outbound and 96% inbound, in spite of the impact of Covid lockdowns on trade.”

The UKSA’s reprimand pointed out that the Cabinet Office’s response contained “claims based on unpublished data, and as such these figures cannot be verified”.

Worse still, it referred only to “flows” of lorries, and not to the amount of freight they were carrying.

It is entirely possible that the number of lorries going out to the EU was almost as high from January 1 onwards as they had been before.

But the claim that exports had dropped by two-thirds is also likely to be true if most of those lorries were empty – and they were.

Gove has been caught trying to mislead the public over this important issue. By rights he should resign. But does anybody think he will?

Source: UK Statistics Authority rebukes Gove over Brexit figures | Brexit | The Guardian

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Since Brexit the UK has lost 68% of exports to its biggest market – because Gove ignored the experts

Michael Gove says the UK has had enough of experts: it seems his Chelsea scarf has cut off the supply of blood to his brain.

Now we know why senior Tories have been quietly telling us we’ll have to wait a number of years before seeing the benefit (ha ha) of Brexit.

I notice that the number of years mentioned seems to vary between five and 50. That also tells us much.

But it is our memories that we should be consulting. We were told that Brexit would take us out of the shadow of the EU and into the “sunlit uplands” of independence (even though we were never dependent on the European Union, when the UK was a member).

That was the happy fantasy; this is the bitter fact:

The volume of exports going through British ports to the EU fell by a staggering 68% last month compared with January last year, mostly as a result of problems caused by Brexit.

It’s a drop of two-thirds – a disastrous amount for any country. For the fifth-richest in the world, it signals a precipitous fall to a place much lower in the international wealth rankings.

And there must be no passing of blame. Responsibility lies firmly with Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, it seems – who ignored repeated warnings from the Road Haulage Association.

In a letter to Gove dated 1 February, the RHA’s chief executive, Richard Burnett, also told the minister he and his officials had repeatedly warned over several months of problems and called for measures to lessen difficulties – but had been largely ignored.

In addition to the 68% fall-off in exports, about 65%-75% of vehicles that had come over from the EU were going back empty because there were no goods for them to return with, due to hold-ups on the UK side, and because some UK companies had either temporarily or permanently halted exports to the EU.

“I find it deeply frustrating and annoying that ministers have chosen not to listen to the industry and experts,” he said.

Ah, well. We all know Michael Gove’s views about experts.

Yes indeed. Mr Gove said the people of the UK had had enough of experts getting it wrong all the time.

Unfortunately for him, it seems the experts – and, yes, they do come from an organisation that can be reduced to an acronym – were right and he was wrong.

I wonder how many billions of pounds he has cost his fellow UK citizens?

Source: Fury at Gove as exports to EU slashed by 68% since Brexit | Brexit | The Guardian

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