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Treat the Goves with the kindness they denied everybody else

Michael Gove and Sarah Vine vote in the Brexit referendum on June 23, 2016 - Credit: Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images

MITCH BENN wants an end to gossip about the divorce of Brexiteers Michael Gove and Sarah Vine


The parallel universes of politics and newspapers were rocked  with the news that the UK’s leading “power couple”, journalist-turned-perennial political survivor Michael Gove and journalist-turned-Daily Mail columnist Sarah Vine, have separated and are soon to divorce.

Speculation has been rife as to what revelations may be about to “drop” (as the kids call it), though it’s hard to imagine what could possibly come out about either or both of them such as might actually lower them in most people’s estimation.

In any event, it’s no doubt a difficult time for Micrahgovine (as nobody has ever called them) and we should certainly all now treat the unhappy couple with far more kindness, respect and consideration than they’ve ever managed to show anyone else.


There was much smirking on Twitter a few days ago when Katharine Birbalsingh, the staunchly old-school headmistress and founder of the Michaela Academy, was holding forth on the importance of instilling traditional values of discipline and order in children. Ms Birbalsingh did slightly undermine her case by citing The Lord of the Rings as a metaphor for lawlessness and anarchy when she meant, one hopes and imagines, The Lord of the Flies.  

I say one hopes and imagines; I suppose it is just about possible that Ms. Birbalsingh regards the epic saga of the quest to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom whence it was first forged by Sauron The Abhorred to be a MORE piquant evocation of classroom disciplinary breakdown than that book about a bunch of shipwrecked schoolboys who revert to savagery. Who can say?

Look, we all make mistakes.  I mean I’ve gone on stage with my rings undone more times than I care to remember.


As I write this, England is blearily emerging from the hangover resulting from the national football team’s resounding 4-0 victory over Ukraine in the Euros quarterfinal. By the time you READ this, the nation might, just might, be convulsing with paroxysms of unaccustomed victorious joy as England celebrates a semifinal win over Denmark and feverishly anticipates Sunday’s final clash with… someone. 

Alternatively, the country will be mired in commiseration (and vaguely racist puns) having watched the team get sent Lurpak-ing by the Great Danes who are now on their way to being crowned Vi-Kings of Europe (you can have these for free, tabloid sports editors).

Speaking as someone who is, at best, football-agnostic I’ll be okay either way as long as they didn’t go out on penalties again.  But if that’s the case, at least whichever poor England player timidly tapped it straight at the goalie and/or hoofed it into the stands on THIS occasion has already had his 25-year redemption arc plotted out for him by the saintly Gareth Southgate.

However our gallant boys in white got on, I’ve no doubt that nobody will have been cheering as loudly as those merry souls who booed them from the stands in the earlier rounds for taking a Kaepernickian knee, nor anyone seeking to associate themselves with their achievements as keenly as the politicians and pundits who spoke approvingly of that booing.  

Even if our sporting prowess isn’t always what it used to be, British hypocrisy is still the best in the world…


Returning (tangentially) to the football; our beloved leader, never one to miss an opportunity to cover himself in someone else’s glory, evidently decided that the most appropriate way to express his support for Our Boys ahead of the Ukraine game was to carpet the whole of Downing Street with a tennis court-sized flag of St George and have himself photographed standing at the centre doing that double thumbs-aloft gesture he seems to be so fond of, despite the fact it makes his suit jacket bunch up round his ears, leaving him looking even more recently behedged than usual. 

Nice one, Boris; that’s the exact image you want to present just now, with Northern Ireland peering out from underneath the bus, Scotland on the brink of open revolt and even Wales glancing longingly towards the exits.  At least when our current leaders refer to themselves as “One Nation Tories” we know which nation they’re talking about.


Freedom Day is coming soon
The chance to begin anew
Forget about masks, and if anyone asks
Sajid says it’s just like the flu.

One hundred and thirty thousand gone
Give or take a few
But get over yourself, says the new man at health
Sajid says it’s just like the flu.

Restarting the economy now
Is the thing we have to do
And if some people die, then that won’t be why
‘Cos Sajid says it’s just like the flu.

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