He likes to think of himself as a intellectual snob. Yet, he only achieved a 2.1 in his undergraduate studies, not in the premier intellectual league of a First class degree, and is only educated to BA level having undertaken no post-graduate study and research. Being so absorbed in his own little pseudo-intellectual world, he evidently cannot see the intellectual word for the trees.
No more clearly can this be seen than in his steadfast support to this day for the Iraq War. Tariq Ali once recalled how, at the time of the Iraq War, he «debated the ghastly Gove on television [… and found him] worse than most Bush apologists in the United States». That takes quite some doing. Back in 2002 and 2003 from his column in the Murdoch owned Times. Gove helped beat the journalistic drumbeat to war in Iraq. As the loathsome Editor of the Daily Mail Paul Dacre put it in evidence to The LevesonInquiry: «I’m not sure that the Blair government – or Tony Blair – would have been able to take the British people to war if it hadn’t been for the implacable support provided by the Murdoch papers. There’s no doubt that came from Mr Murdoch himself».
Gove wrote in an article for The Times in December 2002 while he was Assistant Editor that the invasion of Iraq would «deliver millions from misery». Those who warned against the dangers of invading Iraq were labelled by Gove as «Saddam’s useful idiots». Even as far on as 2008 when it had become clear to most sensible and rational people that the invasion of Iraq had proved to be a catastrophe on epic proportions Michael Gove was adamant that the «liberation» of Iraq represented:«that rarest of things – a proper British foreign policy success».
One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again. And so it was with Mr. Gove, stating in 2008 that: «Alone in the Arab Middle East, it is now a fully functioning democracy with a free press, properly contested elections and an independent judiciary». And just to leave no hostages to fortune Gove threw in for good measure that: «Sunni and Shia contend for power in parliament, not in street battles». Even in 2013 Gove was professing how he was a «big fan» of Tony Blair.
Strangely Michael Gove has gone rather silent on the topic of the invasion of Iraq and it’s aftermath. Instead he has poured his political energy into leading the charge for another high-risk adventure, taking Britain out of the EU. Perplexing the man who professed during the EU referendum campaign that the British people had had enough of experts, never had his own political and intellectual judgement rigorously examined with regards to his greatest cheer-leading role before Brexit – that of the Iraq War. But just as Iraq is a liberated paradise of democracy and Sunni and Shia harmony in the fevered mind of Michael Gove, so to is it unnecessary for Britain to remain in the Single Market or even have an extended transitional phase upon it’s departure as has been mooted by the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney. After demonstrating during the summer Tory leadership contest that Gove has loyalty only to himself and the ease he displayed in the (but ultimately cack-handed) political knifing of his fellow Brexiteer Johnson, the new Prime Minister Theresa May sacked Gove from the Cabinet and exiled him to the backbenches with the atonement: « I have been talking to colleagues and the importance of loyalty is something on people’s minds…. it would perhaps help if you could demonstrate that loyalty from the back benches». Ouch! Gove has now taken full advantage of his return to the backbenches to demonstrate his loyalty, yet not just from the backbenches of the House of Commons, but with a brand new column in his old employer of the Murdoch Times, which he is getting 150,000 pounds for.
Curiously one of the more overt corrupt quirks of the British House of Commons (which no one in the British media or public ever really campaign against) is that, outrageously, MPs can hold multiple outside jobs while still being an MP as long as they are not serving in Government. This means that many electors are left with part-time MPs who do not represent fully and solely the interests of their constituents but represent multiple outside commercial, business, journalistic, industrial and lobby interests which they derive a handsome income from in addition to their tax-payer funded MPs salary and expenses. It also means that the very people who are voting on the laws of the land and shaping and passing legislation are beholden to external financial interests and multiple conflicts of interests. All the MP has to do is «register» the outside interest and the financial remuneration involved. This type of activity is banned in the US Congress. Congressmen and Senators cannot hold outside, financially remunerated jobs as well as serving as elected representatives of the people and voting on the laws of the land.
There is no such ban in the British House of Commons. So, you have MPs who sit in Parliament and sit on Parliamentary committees – proposing legislation, scrutinizing and amending legislation and voting on legislation – who could also be working as a Director or Consultant for an investment bank – in effect a paid lobbyist who can influence and vote on financial regulation laws. And the British complain about the EU Parliament! It is not just Mr. Gove who has taken advantage of his return to the backbenches while still serving as an MP to get his snout firmly in the trough. The former Chancellor, who still serves as MP for Tatton, George Osborne, is also doing it as well. There was quite a to do about Hillary Clinton making paid speeches to financial groups before she ran for President. But the fact was Mrs. Clinton was out of politics at the time and was not holding any public office. She was a private citizen. Yet, since his return to the backbenches of the House of Commons in the summer time, Mr Osborne, still MP for Tatton has made well over 300,000 in paid speeches to big investment banks. Perhaps before the British public and the rest of the EU are subjected to any more hyperbolic, bonkers rantings from Michael Gove about how horrible and corrupt the European Union is he would kindly stop writing his 150,000 pound Murdoch paid column in The Times, focus on doing his job as an MP and making that his only job, and renounce his previous positions regarding the Iraq War, admit he was wrong and apologize to the millions of people who have since lost their lives, homes and loved ones