Is Michael Gove Keyser Söze?

… and speaking of political accountability; what, I wonder, is the statute of limitation on political crimes against the electorate?

It seems that today, the juggernaut of rewriting Gove’s legacy in charge of Education rolls on Nicky Morgan’s challenge: stop Gove becoming a useful bogeyman.

“Hunt is badging this as a break with Michael Gove’s school reforms, even though Gove is no longer in place. His bogeyman reputation remains useful.

…try to gain her party some electoral credit for the reforms that Gove fought hard to achieve.

…Labour will be trying to keep Gove’s memory alive for as long as possible: Morgan’s challenge is to work out how to neutralise it without neutering the reforms that the former Education Secretary – and his Blairite predecessors – managed to achieve after hard graft and hard fighting.”

Every week since Gove’s departure to the backwoods of Tory Party Central fresh scandals, tales of ineptitude, and the disastrous effects of Gove’s tenure as Education chief have tripped over themselves to lead the Education headlines; the latest Free school failure added to the ever lengthening list of failures by Gove’s jewel in his crown: Free schools fail Ofsted inspections at much higher rate than state schoolsMichael Gove’s bid to limit fallout from failing free schools – revealedFailing free school is ordered to closeMichael Gove taking £400million from needy children to support struggling free schools.  Add to that the ‘Trojan Horse’ debacle: The Trojan horse inquiry’s draft report shows Michael Gove had to goMichael Gove apologises over ‘Trojan Horse’ row with Theresa May.  The list is almost endless; how could we forget Gove’s own personal Olympics legacy: Michael Gove overruled experts to sell school playing fields, or the outrage at the English GCSE 2012 In a furious letter to Michael Gove, heads call for urgent inquiry into ‘manifest unfairness’ of marking.

For some reason, Gove has been permitted to trip over himself and bumble his way through four years as Secretary of State for Education and yet his champions and coat tail hangers would like us to conveniently forget all his missteps, fumbles, and out and out scandals; Nigerian accountant’s £4million ‘fraud’ at academies Gove hailed.  Gove’s self-obsession and need to draw control of education under his exclusive control and away from local authorities has been directly linked to such affairs: Trojan horse plot: Michael Gove accused of ‘malign neglect’ of schools ruled by Islamic extremists.  The narrative that his cup bearers would like us to replace the ineffective bumbler with is that of Gove the ardent reformer, the man to take on the loonies in education that would have your children knitting their own underwear rather than teaching them how to read, write or count: Gove battles the blobGove’s Real Legacy – A British Education Reform Movement.

I have two thoughts about Gove’s legacy (well, three really. I have already let slip one of them)

I also suspect that one of Gove’s legacies will be that future Conservative governments will have noted his stormtrooper tactics on Education and will see that as the blueprint if they are to push through enough measures to guide as much taxpayers’ money their way as possible

As the weeks pass, and the scandals keep rolling in, I suspect that Gove didn’t so much get fired as jumped out of the way of the impending freight train of disaster.  Undoubtedly a clever man, much in the same way that Lance Armstrong was a clever man for all of the years that he managed to avoid the truth of his drug cheating being exposed, but ego driven individuals with a penchant for taking risks with other people’s futures tend to find that the chickens always come home to roost and one day you will not be able to side step them.  Undoubtedly, those that carry a torch for Gove will herald him as the successor for any positive results that come out of Education for the next decade but will loudly shout down the dissenters that raise his name whenever one of his policies bears poisoned fruit … “Gove the convenient bogeyman!”

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