The bonkeroony Michael Gove

Some of you may have had the immense misfortune to witness Michael Gove’s, eh, let’s call it a “performance” on the BBC Breakfast news on Wednesday morning. Readers of a certain age may remember Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks, way back when John Cleese was still funny. The Secretary of state for levelling up appeared to have decided that he was really the Secretary of state for Silly Talks as he adopted a variety of am dram accents and mugged and girned his way through an unhinged interview in which he denied that there was any split between Boris Johnson and the Treasury on how to tackle cost of living crisis. He went on to describe any suggestion that Boris Johnson should resign for breaking the law as – and I quote – “bonkeroony.”

And this is why, ‘he’s adopting various accents’ will henceforth be my new favourite euphemism for describing someone who is dealing with the aftermath of a monstrous coke binge – allegedly. Being tired and emotional at 7.40 am is quite an achievement, don’t let it be said that this government doesn’t go the extra mile, admittedly it seems to the casual observer to be a mile that they have gone with the assistance of Bolivian marching powder, but still. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase the party line.

It was just a short a while ago that it was reported that traces of coke were found in the toilets at Westminster and nothing more was said about it. In construction, or in any other workplace, if drugs were found on site all the staff would be getting tested.

Still, it’s heartening to know that the person in charge of levelling up the north of England can put on a cod Liverpool accent so that those northerners can understand as he tells them there’s no money and the government isn’t going to offer any monetary assistance as people are forced to choose between heating their homes or feeding their children. Delivering the news as though he’s auditioning for a part in a Harry Enfield sketch that’s based on tired stereotypes of Liverpudlians will really make them feel like he and the government care deeply for them. It was like watching a real life episode of Spitting Image, only with a more rubbery faced main character.

Clearly Gove hasn’t understood that this is a cost of living crisis. It’s not a joke, or an opportunity for him to display what an out of touch middle student debating society considers to pass for wit. Although when viewers in Scotland saw the interview, we didn’t say – “wit” – we said “Whit?!”

It was a bizarre and troubling performance, this individual is in charge of making decisions which affect the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people yet he behaves in an unserious and adolescent manner as though it’s all just a bit of a laugh.

There are those who claim that Gove’s performance was a deliberate trolling to distract our attention from the Government’s woeful handling of the cost of living crisis and to get us to talk about Gove’s clowning instead. I don’t buy that, this is the same Michael Gove who was filmed in the Chamber of the House of Commons in September 2019, visibly unsteady on his feet, and propping himself up on a lectern and doing a very good impression of an extremely drunk man trying and failing to disguise just how drunk he was. This is a government which is led by a man who is widely considered, even by many in his own party, to be unfit for office. All that Gove has done is to make everyone think that he is unfit for office too. If it was just a tactic it was a self-defeating one, and would only confirm the poor judgement of those who occupy the most powerful positions in the British Government and demonstrate that they really are unfit for office.

A far more plausible explanation, given the behaviour of senior Conservatives over the past years and months, is that they genuinely just don’t care. The rules and norms that apply to ordinary mortals do not apply to them. To them it really is just a game, they do not have to suffer the consequences of the decisions that they make and dysfunctional Westminster system means that they know that they will never be held to account. Not even actual law breaking by the Prime Minister has resulted in him being forced to resign, and Gove thinks that it is “bonkeroony” that he should have to. They are not even hiding their contempt any more, but putting it on full display as though they are competing with one another to see which of them can take the piss the most before a TV interviewer will call them out for it.

So it’s just fine in Gove’s mind that he can appear in a TV interview, clearly, ahem, “unprepared”, and treat the experience as a huge joke. He knows that no one is going to take him to task for insulting the public in such a brazen manner, least of all the BBC interviewer. In any other walk of life this would be a career ending performance. If you or I had turned up for work and behaved in such a fashion, we’d be sent straight to HR and forced to take a drug test before being shown the door.

If a Scottish Government minister had behaved in a similar fashion during a TV interview, it would be newspaper headlines for weeks. It might even get the Herald to stop banging on about ferries for all of five seconds. But because it’s a senior Tory it will scarcely register. This is the UK after all, our political masters in Westminster are expected to hold us in contempt and to laugh at us, and it’s just as accepted that there is nothing that we can do about it. The Tories are laughing at us. They know we can’t vote them out. Gove thinks it’s bonkeroony that people like him should ever face consequences.

Michael Gove needs help, and as long as he remains a minister, so do we all. Gove’s bizarre performance is yet more proof that it’s bonkeroony for Scotland to remain under Westminster rule and subject to the contempt of arrogant Conservatives like Michael Gove whom we cannot hold to account.

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57 comments on “The bonkeroony Michael Gove

  1. Dr Jim says:

    FMQs should be a treat to watch today

  2. Bob Lamont says:

    Aye… For any who didn’t see it, this Michael Spicer version is a good summary…

  3. Capella says:

    The Tories are laughing at us. They know we can’t vote them out.

    That is the core of the problem. W don’t live in a democracy. We live in an oligarchy.

  4. davetewart says:

    Reports of another 100 FPN’s issued for Partygate.

    Quick starmer needs to get one issued so the media can deflect.

  5. “If a Scottish Government minister had behaved in a similar fashion during a TV interview, it would be newspaper headlines for weeks”

    Too true.

    I honestly do feel I come from a different country to British people, and to a large extent that’s true; Scotland is kindae two countries in one for it’s population. Most of us wander the streets of Scotland, but about 1/4 see the same streets as ‘Britain’. Two different worlds. I’m glad Michael Gove isn’t my countryman / a Scot, but is a Brit. He shames the Brits not the Scots, just as the UK government is doing on the world stage. It’s not shaming the Scots, Welsh or N. Irish, just the English/British.

    I just don’t get British / English people. How can they vote such corrupt, criminal drug/drink abusing nasty little people to rule them?

    • I was born/brought up in england, lived there most of my life. I have never understood how anyone, let alone so many of my fellow english could vote for these scum either. I just don’t get the mentality that says that being ruled by such self serving arseholes is good for you. Luckily for me, I emigrated and now live in a far better country, where only a few misguided and deluded fools still vote for people like this. I can’t wait for indyref2 so that we can get out from under these scum. Scotland Rules OK!

    • Gove got like 59% if the vote in Surrey Heath. That’s not a place I think I’d be comfortable visiting if that’s the sort of person the locals look up to. I think I’d be pretty out of place!

      I’m actually quite glad he’s British and not that interested in Scotland. The folks of Surrey Heath are welcome to him if that’s what they like.

      At the same time, we welcome pro-EU refugees seeking a lifeboat of sanity in Scotland. 🙂

      Maybe Scotland can meet England at the border a do some sort of formal exchange. 😉

      • Dr Jim says:

        Oh I think Michael Gove is very interested in Scotland, just not the people living in it

      • This kind of interest you mean?

        Growth in North Sea wind farms ‘will eclipse value of oil and gas’

        Wind farms in the North Sea will be more valuable to the UK than the oil and gas industry has been over the past decades, the UK investment minister has predicted.

  6. Duncan MacQuarrie says:

    Excellent piece as always. Also worth remembering that Michael Gove is also now in de facto control of the Electoral Commission, and can approve/reject their decisions on political donations, electoral fraud etc. in whichever voice he likes. Private Frazer from Dads Army would be the most appropriate

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Voice, perhaps.

      But as a character, don’t you think, ‘Stupid Boy’ Pike is more appropriate?

  7. Alex Clark says:

    I don’t get how it can be possible to have constant whisperings of drug use at the highest levels of government and for it to be treated as if it’s some kind of joke and not at all something to be taken seriously.

    As you say if these whispers were about some Scottish government minister then it would be very bad news indeed and that minister would have to go and the papers would be full of it.

    So why then do even the major TV producers in the UK treat it as one big joke as in this clip.

  8. Dr Jim says:

    The government in England has ministers for everything, councils for stuff, particular bodies for other things, but in Scotland according to all the opposition only Nicola Sturgeon exists and she and only she is responsible for going round peoples houses or factories to fix everybody’s lives, and if she doesn’t why doesn’t she

    No politician on planet earth is held to account more for things than Nicola Sturgeon quite often has little or no control over, this is the state of oppositional identity politics in Scotland, to create the impression there’s no government of any importance at all, there’s just Nicola Sturgeon being bad

    My dentists assistant said to me today that she liked Tony Blair and how we needed people like that again, I pointed out to her that even if there were such a politician today only Englands voters get to decide who governs Scotland by weight of numbers and that her vote doesn’t count because of the voting system and also reminded her what show biz Tony was actually responsible for doing, to which she said “Oh yeah I’d forgotten all that”

    Identity showbiz politics eh, ye cannae beat it, well England keep buying it don’t they, I wonder what the next product is the Tories will have for sale

  9. Hamish100 says:

    Yeh Blair was all for giving jobs to his pals or wife’s pals. The last governor of Hong Kong for example. A Tory of course but a friend of Cherie. Derry Irvine – a friend of everyone in labour Tory circles. Westminster is a cesspit and tories labour and Lib Dem’s here want the same standards Holyrood.

  10. I have died and gone to heaven. I’ve just been black balled by the first time posting. Mike Settle fretting over the breakdown of the Union and their precious outdated monarchy.

    I suggested that they give the 8 DUP British Loyalist MPs £100 million each to spend in their constituencies to help smooth over Protocol ‘teething problems’.
    Well, it worked for May. She gave the DUPs £1 billion, and they danced to her tune.
    I magine if Levelling To The Ground out of sorts Gove publicly offered them £800 million and they turned it down. The end of their narrow wee careers, I suggest.
    They’ll buy them off.
    I did refer to the Fat Owl Of The Remove, mentioned Indyref 2 in Sept ’23, that we ask no man’s or woman’s permission to exercise our democratic right, and that when we take back our country from the Empire, no more oil, no more gas, whisky, fish, and such.
    I also mentioned the 18% of our land was laid waste as grouse moor so that Royalty, nobility, Rich folk and chinless wonders can kill animals for sadistic fun.

    Apparently my comments did not fit in with the Moderator’s sense of community and fairness, or summit like that.
    I offered the hand of welcome to all who flee up the M6 or A1 when England implodes.
    They don’t like it when the colonials talk back to them.

    • Oh, and I maybe mentioned that Scotland and Norn Irn voted to remain in the EU, and that Norn Irn has the ‘best of both worlds’; access to a 500 million EU market, while still remaining Loyal ‘British’ citizens, a term that is meaningless as there is no such country as ‘Britain’.
      Can’t think why they bumped me.
      They don’t like it right up them, do they, Duggers.

      • Dr Jim says:

        There’s no place for the likes of us in Britinland Jack, it’d be off to Rwanda for you and me to pick a bale of whatever they pick in Rwanda

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Martin Kettle (going off the boil) in today’s Graun:

        “As a result, the UK seems merely to be testing itself, if not to destruction, then certainly to something close to dissolution. This is happening on a daily basis in Scotland, where the SNP tries endlessly to manoeuvre itself into a referendum winning position, and sometimes in Wales too.”


        I didn’t know that the SNP were ‘on manoeuvres” in my country …

        • Dr Jim says:

          We control the horizontal, the vertical, we’re in your televisions your cupboards and your skirting boards, like a ghost we’re omnipresent working our evil magic upon the entire world, the world I tell you, the world Ha ha ha

          • Welsh_Siôn says:

            But I already have an exemption – I’m a card-carrying member of the Party. Can I join in this bit of meglomania, too? 😉

        • Welsh_Siôn says:

          PS I’m STILL waiting for the Guardian to remote the agreement reached between Mark Drakeford and Adam Price regarding the new proposals for our (expanded) Senedd, earlier this week. I fear I will still be waiting …

        • the clue is in the adverb, ‘endlessly’, WS.
          It is the SNP who are agitating for this, not the citizens of Scotland.
          The SNP’s vainglorious attempt (tries) is ‘endless’, in the sense that it shall never be realised because England will forbit it. For English Hacks, and their Jock buddies Up Here the dissolution of the UK will never happen. but that won’t stop the Nats going on about it ‘endlessly’.

          The article is written by an exceptionalist Englishman; we Scots and Irish are discussed in a ‘does he take sugar’ condescending way.
          The Guardian presupposes that its English readers are of the same mind..Scotland Northern Ireland and Wales are England’s property, with no say in the future of their precious Union.

          I wear my banishment as a badge of honour.

          Dr Jim, I may have a loud knock on my door in the middle of the night.
          I criticised their precious queen. A hanging offence.

          • Dr Jim says:

            If Priti Patel had her way hanging would be too good for you, you, you damn disobedient Jock you

        • grizebard says:

          Oh, Kettle, the Graun’s resident Unionist exceptionalist, should be required reading for the miserablists who occasionally pester us with their assertions that the SNP is “doing nothing”. They can’t both be right.

          But the Union is indeed on an ever more shoogly peg. If he’s already worried now, I fear for his future state of mind as events unfold over the next year.

          The Union is a proverbial dead man walking, self-condemned by its own ingrained refusal to evolve with the times. It would save everyone a lot unnecessary botheration to come if it were gently put to rest with a few decisive phonecalls as per the former Czechoslovakia.

  11. So, let me get this right, endless coverage of ferries by the unionist media helped the SNP win yet another election on an even higher share of the vote / seats won, yet unionists continue to bang on about it?

    Do they not understand what ‘a losing formula’ means?

    • Hamish100 says:

      Let’s hope the ships sail next year. Then we ask when the 13 frigates are due to be built on the Clyde.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Not ferry clever are they, SS?


      (Hamish escorts me to the darkened room …)

    • Dr Jim says:

      You know what’s funny about all these faux concerned unionists over the ferries? if the Tories were in charge their supporters would be yelling that the islanders should be paying for the ferries themselves by their choosing to live on far away inaccessible islands instead of sponging off the majority of the British taxpayers

      I reckon that’s why the islanders are Tories but *don’t* vote Tory, so they stick to anything non committal because under the Tories something like that could actually happen

      Like a loan to buy their own ferry along with a loan to pay their electric bills to be repaid over the next forty years

  12. Absolutely brilliant! “It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase the party line.” I actually howled out loud when I read that. Gove is an insult to everyone’s intelligence … except the rest of his party since not one of them seems to have any!

  13. Alex Clark says:

    DUP Leader Jeffrey Donaldson has quit his seat he won last week on the NI Assembly in order to remain a Westminster MP.

    DUP leader quits Northern Ireland Assembly to stay MP

  14. Scottiedog says:

    Every Tory voter should read The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, then they might see what they’re voting for.

  15. Dr Jim says:

    New research just released that the levelling up agenda is working, just not in Scotland where we in fact are being levelled down, but the city of London on the other hand is where it’s going great guns and steaming ahead don’t you know, and it’s all down to the Tory party’s new master of mimicry that dancing diva cocaine snorting supremo and all around funny guy Michael gormless face Gove

    It’s the way he tells em

  16. Melvin says:

    The problem we have is that 50% of Scots are quite happy to be ruled by these idiots,theives ,liars and cheats. It’s disgusting that they have no love for there independence and for future generations of Scots. How do they not see that the British state treats them as lackies and fools. Scotland has the power to change this ,they only need to take control and say no, never again will be ruled by these Charleston’s. Many countries in the have left the British yoke ,it’s time Scotland followed, no more delays no more mandates, just say no and leave

    • grizebard says:

      “Scotland has the power to change this”? How, exactly? Wave a magic wand?

      “No more mandates”? If Scotland is really in the immutable, passive and divided state you believe it to currently be in, you’re in effect calling for violent insurrection and civil war, with England as hardly-impartial referee. The exact same recipe as blighted Ireland 100 years ago. Are you serious? Or just a moron?

      “They”? Not “we”? Where the hell in the world are you anyway?

      Hollow wannabe-revolutionary claptrap. You’re no democrat, and no true friend of ours either.

    • Hamish100 says:

      Melvin. I think you may be trying to hard to convince.

    • Why didn’t we think of that: ‘Just say no and leave’?
      You mean just say ‘Yes’ and leave?
      There is no other way than through the democratic process…I was only joking when I declared that my pruning shears and hoe have been prepared for battle. Well, half joking.
      We are on the cusp of greatness.
      Freedom is nigh.
      Nothing can stem the surge towards Self Determination.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      Its always a sound policy to proof read before hitting the send button.

  17. Dr Jim says:

    Many people may think Boris Johnson still being in office is the best recruiting sergeant Scotland could get for the cause of Independence, but just let me posit this thought for a moment that actually Johnsons continuing presence in government reinforces the notion that all politicians are no good corrupt users because nobody can do a damn thing to remove them, and perhaps the cause of Independence or any other idea of democracy could actually be harmed more by creating the already existing belief that all our politicians are the same so what’s the point in voting for Scottish ones who may be every bit as bad as the British variety, so what do we get from the media? well the media’s timid virtually unquestioning acceptance on behalf of the public of the British variety of scumbag again reinforces that belief that no one can be trusted so what’s the point of it all

    So how do the media approach this if they cared to, well they don’t do they, the media go on the attack upon all things Scottish to create the nice balance in voters belief that they might be right that yes all politicians are corrupt instead of doing their job and exposing the bloody British for causing the collapse of faith in all politicians

    This kind of thing never spirals upwards, it’s downhill and gathering speed

    The England part of Britain is a cesspit of sleaze voted for and by the voters of that country and once again like in the days of Thatcher Scotland will end up going down with the English ship because of complacency and disinterest poured over the consciousness of Scotlands voters like anesthetic syrup and drugs them into dooming themselves

  18. bringiton says:

    I think that the penny has finally dropped with Gove that his chances of becoming PM are iess than zero.
    No need to keep up appearances,he can just let it all hang out.
    Not a pretty sight.

  19. Pariah state stage #2 approaching.

    England now using the Putin / Chinese / Iranian / N. Korean approach to trying to get the deal it wants.

    US congressmen to fly to London as Northern Ireland protocol concerns grow

    A delegation of influential US congressmen will fly to London within days amid growing concern in the White House about spiralling tensions over the Northern Ireland protocol, the Guardian can reveal.

    With the UK government poised to table legislation next week which could revoke parts of the protocol, arrangements are being made for at least half a dozen representatives from the US Congress to fly to Europe for a series of meetings in Brussels, Dublin, London and Belfast.

    The delegation will be headed by the influential chair of the ways and means committee, Richie Neal, which has significant power over future trade deals.

  20. The next gift of brexit. English Tory policy now causing the economy to contract.

    Cost of living: Inflation takes toll as UK economy contracts in March

    The great Brecession begins?

    Countries telling the British monarch where to go. Half of UK nations with one foot oot the door with an SF FM of NI. UK economy contracting with the biggest drop of living standards in over half a century. US sending envoys to try and protect the GFA as England trashes international peace deals with talk of sanctions. Corrupt criminals in No. 10. English government trying to stay in power by taking over election control bodies with the aim of rigging elections. Mass emigration of skilled workers…

    The last days of England’s Roman empire are pretty much what you’d expect.

  21. Well, we are now in full blown Thatcherism.
    Rees Mogg should have donned a blonde Maggie wig and wore a blue dress with a ‘Diana’ ruff collar and dangled a handbag from his limp arm in preparation for today’s BBC Brexit run through.
    Lord Snooty was clearly nervous, gulping and hesitant, as the female anchor administered a matronly scolding for being a very naughty boy indeed.

    He was put across Nanny’s knee and given a right good spanking.

    The 100 fines now recorded at No 10 A-Go-Go was February’s news, JRM declared,pooh poohing the notion that we the public, were over it, nothing to see here, move on.
    Naga (?) was not for moving on. Naughty boy.

    Then Ross, oh sorry, Rees-Mogg was asked about cutting the civil service by 20%, 90.000 jobs, because, he argued, Covid and Brexit are over…

    His briefing for this segment must have been provided by a 70 year old SPAD, or sourced on a quick rummage in David Torrance’s Thatcher files in the subterranean HoC library.

    Rees-Mogg, clearly poorly briefed and therefore laughingly ill prepared, rabbited on about ‘efficiencies and savings’ like it was 1982.

    Consultant speak, which spawned such gems as ‘Human Resources’, to replace Personnel Departments, (staff being reduced to the cold dead status of a resource. like paper clips, or pens).

    Thatcher’s Consultants butchered Public Service, sacking tens of thousands, but declaring that the cuts in jobs were through ‘efficiencies’ and subsequent ‘savings’.

    Remember these little gems from the mouth of Thatcher?

    ‘There is no such thing as society, only individuals.’
    ‘Public bad, private good’.

    Thatcher’s mantra, and the brutal attack on society, was encapsulated in the cold unmistakeable instruction to all serving the public:

    ” Do more (work), with the same (money),or, the same (work) with less (money)’ .

    ‘Savings’ (cuts) were to be ‘achieved’ ( forced on staff who survived the cuts) through ‘efficiencies’ (impossible workloads forced on a fewer staff ).

    Bought in consultants were paid literally billions to destroy society.

    Newspeak, Consulant speak, call it what you like.

    The Blue Tories, and Blair’s Red Tories, hated a social democratic model of society, where we invest in public institutions, health, education, policing, welfare. libraries, swimming baths, sports and recreation, and such.

    Do the same with less money, or do less with the same money.
    Remember Brown’s PFI/PPP ‘fiascos’?

    So this was Rees-Mogg’s stammering floundering message today.
    We’ cutting public service by 20%. Suck it up, plebs.

    Remember Yellow Tory Danny Alexander achieving efficiencies and Austerity savings by sacking 500,000 public servants back in 2010?

    90.000 are to be sacked, and they think that they’ll get away with it?
    It was referred to as ‘through natural wastage’ in Thatcher’s dayRetirements, deaths in service, folk leaving, but none replaced.
    Those left will be expected to divvy up the work of the ex-colleague..for the same money, same hours. Aye, right.

    I’m sure that Glenn Campbell will be interviewing Union Jack or Dross tonight, over the QE Government Building in Edinburgh shedding 600 staff even before they find 3000 to put in England’s White Elephant Stockade in Edinburgh.

    England has lost it. They voted them in to keep the Furriners out.
    There will be fewer hospitals, schools, and dentists, post Brexit..even fewer now that the Oligarchy has spoken.
    Come on Dross, tell us why this is all a ‘good thing’.

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