Dear Mr Gove, we appreciate how our values could be deeply irritating to you

PUBLISHED: 08:10 18 March 2017 | UPDATED: 08:10 18 March 2017

PA Archive/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

For the avoidance of doubt, Michael, we hold you in contempt.

We win award... Michael Gove responds...We win award... Michael Gove responds...

Dear Michael Gove,

In regard to your recent public observation that there was no conceivable reason to give The New European the Chairman’s Award at this week’s Press Awards (see your tweet, above), some passing thoughts.

Firstly, we too are big fans of The New Statesman and the London Review Of Books (though I have to say “fun” is not the first word that springs to mind when the LRB lands on my doormat) and wish them nothing but success.

Since you’re both a journalist (albeit not necessarily one who can fix up his own interviews) and a politician, we think you should reconsider our merits.

We are very proud of our journalism. We think it helps (admittedly in a miniscule way) rebalance the preponderance of overtly anti-EU newspapers in the UK today.

The fact we are a newspaper and not just a digital platform is, I’m sure you’ll concede, at least interesting in a time when we are told print is dead or dying. If The New European is a last hurrah for print, than that’s no bad thing. But we think it demonstrates there’s plenty of life in the medium yet. That’s got to be good news for the industry we both depend on to pay our mortgages (although, unlike you, I don’t have an MP’s salary and ministerial pension to top up my earnings from journalism).

As a democrat and politician, you should, surely, also appreciate any media that promotes open debate and a plurality of voice. Especially one that is rigorous about its attention to fact, and argument based on fact (we’ll come back to this in a mo).

The currently weak Opposition is demonstrably ineffective at countering the Government’s arguments, and since our democracy is utterly dependent on effective opposition, it falls to the media to fulfil this role.

We both know there is plenty of precedent for this, and we’ve seen this week how effective the Press can be at getting a careless and wrong-thinking government to reverse ferret, as newspaper lingo has it, and perform a U-turn.

All that said, we do appreciate how The New European’s values of constructive argument, dependency on facts, and a general aversion to promoting lies in big letters on the side of a bus could be deeply irritating to you personally.

When The New European launched, we aimed to make it a politician-free zone, since we considered the wreckage of the Referendum vote could be laid at the door of a Westminster that had ceased to reflect the reality of political sentiment in our country.

However, we soon realised that if we wanted to be a strong and relevant voice, we had to include from time to time the writing of leading politicians on our pages. And we’ve had some great and stimulating articles from MPs in our short life span so far.

We do have our red lines though.

We have an actual short list of political figures whose words we would never publish under any circumstances – not because we disagree with what they say (we’ve even run columns by Arron Banks for Christ’s sake!) but because we believe they have absolutely zero credibility.

You and your ex-mate Boris Johnson are at the top of that list, based on the damage you have done to our country; damage enabled by a willingness to promote untruths, motivated by insufferable and insidious self-regard.

This country may well be tired of experts, but thanks to you, we’re all a little more expert in one thing; spotting a bullshitter. For the avoidance of doubt, Michael, we hold you in contempt.

On the upside, I think we can all thank our lucky stars that you have the time and energy to be slagging off newspapers who disagree with you, rather than actually running the country!

We all swerved a calamity with that one.

Yours, most sincerely,

Matt Kelly

Editor of the award-winning The New European

PS: Thanks for the many, many new subscriptions your tweet generated! You’ll be happy to know it will help prolong our existence and sustain our journalism!

Support The New European's vital role as a voice for the 48%

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

  • Become a Friend of The New European for a contribution of £48. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish).
  • Become a Patron of The New European for a contribution of £480. You or your company will be mentioned in the newspaper each week (should you wish) and you and a guest will be invited to join the editor at a special lunch in London this June to discuss the anniversary of Brexit.


Supporter Options

Mention Me in The New European



Latest articles

The choice is simple – vote down extremists, dreamers and chancers

Is it time for toughness to discourage further defections or for accommodation to a changing public mood across the Union?

Question Time Live: Political debate from Oxford ahead of the election

All the action from Question Time as Britain gears up for the Brexit Election.

Britain on collision course with Europe over Brexit bill

Angela Merkel has said the UK has “illusions” about the realities of Brexit and insisted talks on the UK’s divorce bill from the EU must be dealt with before trade negotiations can begin.

Election Live: Boris clatters into campaign mode and Labour on housing

All the news, updates and reactino on April 27.

Election Live: Final PMQs and parties square up over NHS

All the news, reaction and updates on April 26.

Here’s how the Remain cause has ceased to be the establishment

When you think about it, Theresa May’s decision to call a snap election should come as no surprise.

Fear is mounting that Brexit’s impact will spill across the Irish Sea

With the clock ticking not only on Article 50, but also a UK general election, is Ireland the part of Europe with most to fear from Brexit’s fallout?

Danger ahead: Could Mrs May’s Brexit Election come back to bite her?

The Prime Minister believes she holds all the cards as the country embarks on a General Election. But Labour could still spring a surprise at the ballot box

Is Tim Farron the man with the most to gain from this election?

The Liberal Democrat leader is the one Number 10 increasingly fears

Starmer vows MPs could veto Brexit under Labour

MPs would be given the chance to halt a Brexit deal secured by a Labour government, Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer has said.

Election Live: Starmer spells out Labour’s Brexit strategy

All the election news, reaction and updates on April 25.

France and the long shadow of Putin

One of France’s most powerful political figures wasn’t on the ballot paper – he was more than 1,500 miles away, at home in the Kremlin

ELECTION LIVE: Tories attack Corbyn on defence, Lib Dem members boost

All the updates, reaction and analysis on Monday April 24.

Labour needs a Brexit strategy, not just ideology

Labour could still shock Theresa May at the ballot box. But Corbyn needs to up his game on Brexit

FRENCH ELECTION: Far-right candidate Le Pen makes it in to final two

Pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron will face far-right Marine Le Pen in a head-to-head battle for the French presidency.

Turkey, Brexit and the danger of referendums: A recipe for division

Brexit raises more and more questions for its backers. Yet they still have no answers

ELECTION LIVE: Corbyn’s new bank holidays and Farron gay row grows

Follow all the developments and reactions on Sunday April 23.

Here’s why May’s election won’t pan out according to plan...

... they never do, says The New European’s election editor

ELECTION LIVE: Candidates hit the streets as ground war kicks off

Live election coverage including news, reaction and analysis on Saturday April 22.

Trending

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter