I don’t have any particular problem with Michael Gove. He’s set a goal and moved steadily towards it, so by the standards of this government, I suppose, he’s a superstar.
But I am utterly bemused by the bizarre way in which his rather modest achievements are constantly boosted by the Tory press. So, I wrote an essay for the New Statesman explaining why, if you actually know the first thing about education policy, he really isn’t all that:
Back in 2010, a bunch of councils took Michael Gove to court for his decision to snatch away money they’d been promised to rebuild their schools. He lost. The court couldn’t order the government to re-fund those projects (judicial reviews carry no such power). But Mr Justice Holman described the process as “so unfair as to amount to an abuse of power”, and demanded Gove reconsider.
To give you a hint of the gulf that’s grown up between Gove’s press and objective reality, here’s how the Spectator headlined the news: “Overall, a win for Gove.”
You can read the rest here.