Time to cancel Gove’s panto gig

Recordings have come to light of Michael Gove making offensive comments during speeches he made to the Cambridge Union while he was a student there in his 20s. The comments are not just racist, sexist, and homophobic, they also cover several other offensiveness bases for good measure, including slurs directed at the royal family, which to be honest is fair enough. He also made jokes about child abuse, making light of the alleged paedophilia of a now deceased Conservative cabinet minister, whose widow was later paid substantial compensation by the Metropolitan police for police searches of her and her husband’s home because of allegations which the police have since accepted were baseless.

Gove also made fun of the economic devastation and job losses being visited upon the north of England and Scotland, referring to “the happy south” stamping over “the cruel, dirty, toothless face of the northerner.” The recordings of the offensive comments were published by the Independent newspaper. They’re probably the only time you’ll ever hear Michael Gove speaking truthfully and with conviction. Gove added that it’s pragmatic not to care what half of the population say because the richer half will keep you in power. That was when he was an honest sociopath instead of a lying sociopath.

These comments are separate from the offensive remarks about Scottish people which Gove made for the short lived car crash of a topical current affairs alleged comedy show for Channel 4 in the 1990s. Gove hasn’t apologised for those comments and he’s refusing to respond to requests for a statement about the offensive so called jokes he made to the Cambridge Union.

Just last week Scottish Conservative MPs and MSPs were up in arms about some offensive tweets made many years ago by the comedian Janey Godley. Those same Scottish Conservatives are now strangely quiet about racist and misogynistic comments from their hero Michael Gove. You’d think that at the very least they’d be trying to get his pantomime gig with BawJaws the Clown cancelled.

There’s no defence for the offensive tweets made many years ago by Janey Godley, however after those tweets surfaced she made a fulsome and sincere apology for any offence that she’d caused.

There’s a clear pattern in what’s called “cancel culture”, which is basically people being called out for sexist, racist, or homophobic remarks they’d made in the past. The toxic fandom of RuPaul’s Drag Race is particularly adept at trawling through the social media accounts of contestants searching for offensive comments made many years previously. In the upcoming series of Drag Race UK one of the contestants has been called out for comments which they made when they were 16. These revelations are invariably followed by a teary apology video on social media in which the person apologises and assures us that they have learned and have grown and are no longer the same person that they were when they made the offensive or problematic remarks. Indeed if you haven’t learned and grown up from the person you were when you were 16 or a callow youth there’s something seriously wrong with you.

That’s essentially what Janey Godley did, and like those contestants on Drag Race, she’s an entertainer,whose public life begins and ends with providing amusing and entertaining content. Not only has Michael Gove never apologised, he is still very much the same person as he was when he made those vile comments. In fact if anything he’s got worse. Gove has merely learned to lie more fluently and glibly.  Far more seriously, Gove isn’t just an entertainer looking to perform in a pantomime in Aberdeen, as a cabinet minister in the British Government he has the power to influence legislation and government policies which affect all our lives. He is a senior figure in a corrupt government which weaponises xenophobia and demonises migrants and asylum seekers.

If, as seems likely given the large Conservative majority, the Conservatives’ Elections Bill is passed by the Commons, Gove will be given oversight of the Electoral Commission and will have the power to rule that campaigning activities he disapproves of are illegal. That’s a damn sight more serious than the pantomime “Oh no he isn’t!” “Oh yes he is!” and He’s behind you!” of a comedian that was getting the collective knickers of the Scottish Conservatives in a twist when it came to Janey Godley.

Likewise the Scottish Conservatives don’t seem overly bothered by the racist and homophobic comments of the serial liar in Downing Street, but when it comes to an independence supporting female comedian all of a sudden they transform into the net curtain twitching defenders of public morality and propriety. Johnson’s offensive comments would fill a script long enough to keep an entire theatre repertory company in business for years, never mind a single panto.

The really shocking thing here is that none of this is surprising. We’ve been shocked and appalled before by the crass contempt of the Conservatives, by their casual racism, naked class prejudice,their overweening entitlement, their corruption, and their hypocritical double standards. The student speeches of Michael Gove, the Spectator journalism of Boris Johnson, the deleted Tweets of Toby Young. It’s almost as if there’s a pattern emerging. It’s a pattern that if the Tories got it made into wallpaper it would cost £850 a roll and they’d expect the taxpayer to pay for it.

On this occasion the Scottish Conservatives will do exactly what they have done on all those previous occasions when the bigotry and prejudices of senior Conservatives has come to light. They’ll keep their heads down until they can find or manufacture an opportunity to castigate their opponents for some sin, real or imagined, and they will be aided and abetted in that by Scotland’s overwhelmingly anti-independence media, which is far more concerned about fending off independence than it is in holding the Conservatives to account.

This is what you get when a political party cannot be held to account by the electorate. Scotland hasn’t voted for a Conservative Government since the 1950s, but the Tories still enjoy power and privilege. Now they’re pauchling the electoral system to make it even harder to remove them from Westminster. The only way to cancel this panto is with Scottish independence.

This is your reminder that the purpose of this blog is to promote Scottish independence. If the comment you want to make will not assist with that goal then don’t post it. If you want to mouth off about how much you dislike the SNP leadership there are other forums where you can do that. You’re not welcome to do it here.

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45 comments on “Time to cancel Gove’s panto gig

  1. juliegegan says:

    Absolutely spot on. What has been happening to Janey Godley has been subjected to on social media is utterly appalling.She has apologised more than once for offensive tweets yet the Teflon Tories are never held to account.

  2. Capella says:

    What a powerful statement about cancel culture and the intolerance that has gripped much of public life in the UK. The Tories cynically trawl through a comedian’s former tweets to find something, anything, that can be presented as bad taste. I haven’t actually seen what JG is alleged to have tweeted apart from one which is borderline IMO. But I can see how she might have thought it funny. Her heartfelt apology should be enough.

    God help Billy Connolly or Frankie Boyle should these people go through their back catalogue. Bernard Manning was great favourite of the Tories, I believe.

    But, as you point out, Michael Gove is not a comedian treading the boards for a living. He is a politician with power to make millions of people’s lives miserable. That’s no laughing matter.

    • Alec Lomax says:

      I don’t recall Billy Connolly making ‘jokes’ about black people.

      • Capella says:

        Neither do I. But he sure made jokes about “people” some of whom may now fit into one of the protected characteristic category. Ricky Fulton’s football-manager-hires-a-Catholic sketch. Ditto Monty Python and almost the entire script of “Life of Brian” – see the “Loretta” sketch etc etc.

  3. dakk says:

    Watched clip of Gove’s Cambridge Union speech.

    Can now see why he has risen to such exalted heights in the UK state.

    British values writ large.

  4. Thomas Dunlop says:

    When are we going to get around to cancelling the whole of Westminster show?

  5. scottish skier says:

    Why is this called ‘sectarianism’?


    John McGinn: Chelsea launch probe over sectarian abuse of Scotland star

    From a read around, it was this language:

    ‘You f***ing Fenian b*****d. McGinn you dirty c**t. F*** off. You f***ing w****r. We are the people. F*** off.’

    It was clearly anti-Irish/Scottish racist abuse by English/British fans.

    It’s naff all to do with religion, but about English/British racism towards ethnic minorities in the UK such as the Scots and Irish. We get it just like the Polish and Romanians do.

    It’s the same as calling people of black African extraction ‘fuzzy wuzzies’ or ‘picaninnies with watermelon smiles’.

    We should all, the national included, stop letting the Brits hide behind e.g. ‘sectarian’ and ‘loyalist paramilitaries’. It’s ‘British/English Racist’ and ‘British Terrorist’.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Many times I’ve said if Scottish people were all black Westminster would be forced by the world to adhere to racism laws but because we’re mostly white they believe that makes their racism OK

      Well, they do it with the French the Germans the Greeks the Belgians the Italians the Romanians the Irish and everybody else they can think of that they consider less exceptional than themselves , the bunch of English white faced racist inferior clowns that they are , No No No I’m not being racist, heaven forfend, that’s only batting some banter back and forth to fellow white folks in England, surely that’s allowed? I do hope no one took offence, if they did I offer endless apologies until tomorrow when I do it again

      Always remember they are the defenders of the, well whatever their minds can think up to insult and anger just about everybody, and if they didn’t fundamentally believe themselves superior to the rest of the human race they’d never engage in it in the first place

      When you’re bred to believe that superiority is your birthright whether merit exists or not then you’re a monster, and by perpetuating that belief you successfully create a nation of monsters who don’t and will never know they’re monsters, it’s all just normal nature to a monster

    • robert harrison says:

      To the English thats not rascism thats banter same with johnson saying gays are tanktop bum boys muslims who wear the burka are bank robbers and letterboxs which johnson tryed to justify in Westminster instead of apologising for those bigoted remarks and lets not forget the English bigots who use Twitter to spew anti Scottish hate with comments like f off you jock cunts and other offensive remarks oh no all thats instantly dissmissed as banter in English society.

      • scottish skier says:

        Yes, it is institutional racism. Scottish nationality / national identity is a protected characteristic under the equality act:



        Refers to the protected characteristic of race. It refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.

        Whether it’s attacks on Poles, Romanians… or Scots, it is racism. However, the British media tends to not treat anti-Scottish attacks as racism (anti-English attacks of course are) because ‘we’re all British so it can’t really be’. Instead it’s ‘sectarianism’ even though those concerned have never been near a church in their lives.

        Except we’re not all British. Some in Scotland identify as that, but most of us don’t. I’m an Irish national that national identifies as Scottish + a bit Irish. I’m of a different people to the Brits.

  6. Iain Taylor says:

    I’m surprised to learn that Michael Gove was caught making homophobic statements. Very surprised indeed. But then, wasn’t Cardinal O’Brien an award-winning homophobe too.

  7. yesindyref2 says:

    Certainly not. It took a lot of years to get him into high office after he was compromised and recruited at Oxford. Why waste such an important asset in place?

  8. grizebard says:

    “Recordings have come to light” all of a sudden, eh? Someone in the Tory cabal is evidently wanting the greasy-pole climber to slip back down again. After all, when Gove says he’s “got your back”, he’s merely lining up his next target. I wonder who could possibly be thinking they might be next..?

  9. scottish skier says:


    Bombshell recordings of the top Tory at three Cambridge Union debates – one in 1987 when he was a student, and two more in 1993 when he was a journalist – appear to show him making a string of crude comments that would be considered highly offensive today.

    In one tape he could be heard hailing Margaret Thatcher’s “new empire”, where “the happy south stamps over the cruel, dirty, toothless face of the northerner”.

    In another he could be heard saying gay people “thrive primarily on short-term relations”.

    He could be heard adding: “Those of us who’ve spent hours in New York bath houses will realise that in one night you can pack in 15 loving relationships and 300 one night stands and still be none the worse for wear.”

    In a third clip he could be heard making a racist jibe, saying: “It may be moral to keep an empire because the fuzzy-wuzzies can’t look after themselves.

    ‘Considered highly offensive today’. Hmm, those comments were just as offensive at the time as they are now.

    In the past, racism, homophobia might have been more common, but that didn’t make it ok. Winston Churchill was racist while many people at the time were not and found racism revolting. We can’t forgive people for being racist simply because it was ‘back in the day’.

    It’s not as if racism / homophobia is a recent invention; ask the Nazis.

    The ‘no Jewish’ / ‘no blacks no dogs no Irish’ signs were not innocent and just ‘from a different time when people saw things differently’. No, those that put them up knew exactly what they were doing, and those that could not get a room knew all too well how ugly racism was.

    Racism, homophobia etc are as old as the hills. It’s never been acceptable; it’s just people got away with it in the past because there were not international human rights laws. It’s why the Tories don’t like these and want replace them a Boris / Gove ‘Racist White English bill of rights’.

    Anyway, vote Tory and you endorse these kind of deeply offensive beliefs.

  10. Welsh_Sion says:

    Was he on the white powders when he said all this?

    No justification, naturally – makes it even worse if anything.

    And yes, we Cymry have been (and are) regularly butts of anti-Welsh sentiment – over centuries, in fact. Just like our Scottish cousins (and so many other nationalities) considered inferior by the white English Establishment.

  11. Welsh_Sion says:

    Off topic – but I can imagine Sarwar and Co spitting feathers over this:

    Welsh Gov and Plaid Cymru in formal talks on ‘co-operation agreement’

    14 Sep 2021 3 minutes Read


    The Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru are in talks to thrash out a possible co-operation agreement.

    They have issued a joint statement which says with the pandemic, the climate emergency, the consequences of Brexit, and the threat to devolution it’s “more important than ever that political parties work together”.

    It confirms that they have had “initial discussions” on working together “around a number of defined policy priorities”.



    Interestingly enough, dam Price only returned from paternity leave today, and us members of PC have received an email from the man himself which reads in part like this,

    “This week I have returned with renewed vigour and enthusiasm, and I am ready to lead the party through the next period in our history.

    I look forward to the new season to plan and implement our new strategy for a new Wales.”

    – I’m sure the timings are not coincedental.

    “There are more things in heaven and earth and at the Senedd
    Than are dreamed off in our mere mortals’ philosophy.”

    (c) WS (THIS one – not that English git from Stratford on Avon)
    All Rights Reserved

  12. scottish skier says:

    This is what I thought. Seems to be a unionist press attempt to turn something which is probably a non-story into a story. Obviously, the change is not SNP policy, nor Scottish government one, nor even a matter for the chamber, but a corporate body decision based on security advice, including from police Scotland and the civil service team. The committee would have voted based on that advice.

    Minutes and all those present:

    Click to access spcb-minutes–24-june-2021.pdf

    Alison Johnstone MSP (Chair)
    • Claire Baker MSP
    • Jackson Carlaw MSP
    • Maggie Chapman MSP
    • Christine Grahame MSP
    • Michelle Hegarty
    • Lynsey Hamill
    • Becky Thomson
    • Superintendent David Robertson, Police Scotland
    • Judith Morrison
    • Tommy Lynch
    • Cristine Livingstone
    • Janice Crerar
    • Susan Duffy
    • Roy Devon
    • Lorna Foreman
    • Aneela McKenna
    • Huw Williams
    • Joanne McNaughton
    • Eric MacLeod
    • Lisa Creamer
    • Judith Proudfoot, Secretary


    A Scottish Parliament spokesperson said: “This decision will have no bearing on the tens of thousands of people who protest in a robust but peaceful way at Holyrood each year.

    “Such protests are an essential part of the expression of democracy in Scotland.

    “There is no prohibition of protest or banning of gatherings.

    “Designated status will give the Parliament the means to address individuals who try to prevent Parliament from meeting, or who seek to interfere with the rights of others at Holyrood. Protests remain welcome at Holyrood and will be supported by the SPCB.”

    Recently, there have been at least two attempts to disrupt the democratic process I understand, one by a group of people climbing on the roof, the other by someone illegally entering the chamber. Considering the number of death threats that politicians like Sturgeon and Yousuf receive from anti-SNP groups, this is quite serious stuff.

    I remain of my opinion that only unionists would try to present this was ‘an SNP attempt to shut down critics’ rather than cross party one based on security advice, and since I have not heard all the advice the committee was give, I can’t so easily make the call whether the decision they made is wrong or right. Anything that stops peaceful protest is wrong, but anything that prevents people interfering with democracy is right IMO.

      • scottish skier says:

        Thanks. That’s interesting. So our nuclear power stations are already protected by this. Why are people not up in arms about that preventing ‘peaceful protest’ on the roofs / reactor halls of these? 😉

        I see no evidence that it’s an attempt to ‘prevent peaceful protest’, and certainly doesn’t originate from the SNP. So I now don’t trust anybody that tried to claim this.

        What we are missing is all the discussions that went on at the meeting with the police, parliament security, info from the security services etc, so people should be wary about passing judgement from armchairs.

        Personally, I think as we move to indy, we may face credible threats from British unionist terrorist groups. While these mainly operate in N. Ireland, they have bombed Scots in Glasgow before, and we saw how their supporters reacted to a win in George square in 2014.

        Short of that, calls to ‘boycott or disrupt’ the indyref legislation process could lead to problems. Last time No was confident of a win; this time they may react differently to a Yes appearing the forgone conclusion. The irony is that if this occurred, people would be asking ‘how can such direct attacks on the democratic process not be stopped more easily!’

        One to observe over time methinks before drawing conclusions. A law potentially open to abuse is not an abuse of the law. Only abuse of the law is!

    • stewartb says:

      Relating to this subject, I posted what follows btl on another site a few days ago. It may be of interest here.

      ‘Want to protest outside the Senedd? Here are the guidelines you have to follow – see specifically Chapter 4 ‘Participating in demonstrations on the Senedd Estate’ of the document entitled ‘Security: Visitor Code of Conduct

      (https://senedd.wales/NAfW%20Documents/Visiting%20section%20documents/Visitor%20code%20of%20conduct%202020.pdf )

      In this document issued by the Senedd Commission, equivalent of the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body, we learn:

      ‘4.5.  Demonstrations may take place outside of Senedd buildings if they comply with the rules laid out in this code of conduct.’

      It adds: ‘4.7. A failure to observe the RULES OF THIS CODE will mean that the permission to hold the demonstration on the Senedd Estate MAY NEED to be terminated, in which case participants will be ASKED TO LEAVE and, if they refuse to do so, will be regarded as trespassers. The Senedd RESERVES THE RIGHT to take appropriate legal action to remove any trespassers from the Senedd Estate. Trespass on the Senedd estate is a criminal offence. The Senedd is a PROTECTED SITE under Section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.’ (my emphasis)

      Additional information from the same document provides useful context for those intending to hold a ‘demonstration’ which may include but is not limited to individual protests, group protests, gatherings, rallies, marches, hunger strike protests and vigils.

      ‘4.2. The Senedd believes in the fundamental principle of freedom of expression. The Senedd WELCOMES, and will take reasonable steps to facilitate, lawful and peaceful demonstrations on its estate.

      ‘4.3. The rules contained in this Code are intended to ensure that such demonstrations are conducted in a way which does not interfere with:
      4.3.1. The business of the Senedd;
      4.3.2. The rights, safety and welfare of Senedd staff;
      4.3.3. The rights, safety and welfare of others visiting the Senedd Estate.

      And notably the codified rules for the Senedd Estate also has this: ‘4.4. The Chief Executive and staff of the Senedd are responsible for enforcing the rules of the Code. Organisers of proposed demonstrations ARE ENCOURAGED TO CONTACT the Senedd’s Security Staff to discuss and agree suitable arrangements.’

      Note ‘encouraged to contact’ in advance – not ‘must’!!

  13. Dr Jim says:

    Nicola Sturgeons speech to the SNP conference has now gone viral and at last the people in England are seeing and hearing Scotlands FM calling out those who engineered Brexit and what it’s doing to the whole of the UK, the Labour party and Kier Starmer in England have been swamped with complaints as to why he and his party are standing with the Tories and refusing to do the same as Scotlands FM

    On an aside, Nicola Sturgeons speech has also been watched and translated on National TV stations so far in 14 European countries, it would seem the people in the European Union appreciate and understand Nicola Sturgeon and Scotlands position very well indeed, and have the same opinion as she of Boris Johnson and his racist *cabal of chaos*

    Funny how it took the internet for England to see this though and I would say proves beyond doubt that Englands media tries to silence Scotland, now who would be behind a thing like that?

  14. bringiton says:

    I remember being on one of the indyref1 marches where Margo MacDonald was addressing the gathering.
    She claimed she had lots of friends in low places but I am pretty sure she didn’t mean Tories.
    Why do people in England think it is a good idea to allow these low lives to manage their affairs?
    Either they are completely insane or have been tricked by HM press into believing they have peoples’ interests at heart,when clearly they only care about themselves.

  15. Statgeek says:

    Now that’s worth a few billboards with his quotations, come Indyref2.

  16. Statgeek says:

    I notice that one of Gove’s offences in the Independent was making sexual remarks at Lucy Frazer MP. That’s the same Lucy Frazer, who, on her maiden speech, thought it would be very jolly japes to solve the West Lothian Question by shipping Scots off to Australia, like in the old days. The government benches had a good laugh at that one.

    Racist vs Racist Misogynist…like Mortal Kombat, but more scary.

  17. scottish skier says:

    UK real disposable income per capita well below pre-pandemic levels and falling:


    Fallen back to 2009 financial crisis aftermath levels now.

    At the same time:


    Inflation: Price rises see record jump as food costs soar in August

    The UK inflation rate hit 3.2% in the year to August, the biggest increase since records began in 1997, as the economy continued to reopen.>/i>

    Inflating away the pay rises some people are getting.

    I thought brexit was making us all richer with ‘bigger wages’ eh?

    Never in the history of mankind has a huge racist wall with millions of skilled key workers fleeing through its exit gates ‘back to where they came from’ led to prosperity for those trapped on the inside.

    And they are trapped as they no longer have free movement, so can’t take their skills elsewhere; not those in lower paid professions. Cheap labour for the Tory factor owners.

  18. James Mills says:

    Gove is clearly in the right Party .

    The Tory Government resembles an ensemble Pantomime Cast with elements of Alice in Wonderland thrown in .

    Baron Hardup Johnson , desperately seeking funding to keep him financially afloat , as his pittance of a PM’s salary just is not up to the job ( just like him ! ) !

    The Ugly Sisters , Priti Patel and Therese Coffey – nasty and spiteful to anyone they come in contact with who is powerless , but fawning over those who can advance them .

    Tweedledum and Tweedledee , Savid Javid and Richi Sunak , interchangeable as guys who know the price of nothing and the value of nothing !

    Simple Simon , Dominic Raab , who flounders around wondering which job he is supposed to be screwing up this week .

    Abanazar – the baddest man in pantomime , but played for laughs , just made for Michael Gove.

  19. Legerwood says:

    Apparently there is going to be a UK Gov reshuffle this afternoon.

    • Capella says:

      I don’t know if I can handle any more excitement this week 🙂

    • Dr Jim says:

      Alister Jack is to be the new Sherriff of Edinburgh, Andrew Bowie is the new Sir Guy of Gisborne in charge of the soldiers at arms and the collections of the heads of Nationalists rebels, Nicola Sturgeon has been declared an outlaw and renamed Nicola of the hood with a price of 100 gold pieces upon her head and lesser amounts for whomever aids her in avoiding the justice of the crown, Oh yeah! and Johnson has promoted himself to King John of everywhere and been sanctified and blessed by his new Holiness Cardinal Cocaine Gove *dances with strangers*

      Otherwise nothing’s changed

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Amusing to think they keep doing this in hope (against all the odds) someone lands in a role in which they actually appear competent.
      In reality probably much as moving deckchairs on the Titanic, or the numerous (failed) management “initiatives” at companies, it’s to be seen to be doing something and inject a delay before everybody realises it’s the same old shit, rinse/repeat, rather than directing logical change.

      • scottish skier says:

        Anyone showing signs of competence will be removed in favour of those who agree with everything Carrie says.

        We are in the last days of Rome. Any semblance of competence went oot the windae with brexit.

    • Welsh_Sion says:

      Williamson gone at (English) Education.

  20. scottish skier says:

    TBH, the parallels between Gove and other New Southern English expat journalist I can think of are striking. I often wonder why others can’t see it.

  21. Capella says:

    Slow news day?
    Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp comments on the substance of Nicola Sturgeon’s speech, the lies that Westminster tells about Scottish independence, and how to combat them.


  22. scottish skier says:

    ‘Blow for N. Irish Unionists’ as English crap all over them again.


    Northern Ireland to Scotland bridge plans ‘put to bed’

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