Features

Michael Gove is the leader the ‘leave’ campaign needs

13 February 2016

9:00 AM

13 February 2016

9:00 AM

Lately, people only have to look at me to splurge their deepest, darkest secret. Last May, they did a terrible thing. They voted Tory. Now they’re contemplating greater deviance: voting to leave the EU — if only, they say, the campaign was fronted by someone they could believe in. And who do they want? The answer surprised me. Theresa is no temptation, as it turns out, nor even Boris. No, it’s Michael Gove they fancy.

Westminster types might read this and splutter, ‘What tosh! If there’s one thing we know about the British public, it’s that they hate him.’ But these are the experts who failed to predict the outcome of the general election. Whereas I was sure the Tories would win, simply from talking to my relatives.

First, my state-school-teacher mother voted Tory in homage to Gove, since his education reforms had restored her faith in teaching. The party may have knifed her hero, but still it was the right thing to do. Then my father went all gooey-eyed and started saying weirdly positive things about ‘Dave’.

Then my brother, who works at the BBC, in the heart of socialist Salford, registered to vote for the first time, at the grand old age of 29, to go blue. My friends began to mutter: ‘Cameron may look like a smarmy git but he’s done a bloody good job.’

Shy Toryism among the lower classes isn’t new. It’s a tendency rife among people who don’t like to have their intelligence insulted (and that’s why they don’t like the ‘in’ campaign one little bit). It has existed, to my certain knowledge, since the 1960s, when my working-class, Irish Catholic great-grandmother was rumoured to have included ‘voting Conservative’ in her deathbed confession. Pollsters also called the election result wrong in 1987 and 1992. It was best, socially speaking, to say you’d vote for Kinnock — but potentially suicidal to your self-interest.


When it comes down to it, working-class and lower-middle-class voters are not so foolish as to cast their vote according to who they’d like to share a pint with. They vote for the leader most likely to keep them in a job, deliver decent healthcare and educate their children properly.

And that latter part is why they appreciate Gove. During the election campaign, Lynton Crosby kneecapped and buried him, believing him to be ‘toxic’ to the Tory brand. Thanks to social media, it was believed that voters didn’t want to vote Conservative and absolutely hated Gove, so they ought not to be reminded of his existence. But social media is rife with virtue-signalling. The majority were either silent about their true voting preference — or lying for show.

Teachers may genuinely still despise Michael Gove (although he has his secret admirers). But even so, for every teacher who hates him, there is quite likely a class of more than 30 children whose parents passionately agree with him. They know what Gove knows (and are grateful that he had the balls to state it): it is wrong, plain wrong, that 7 per cent of the population will always rise to the top of society and stay there while the remaining 93 per cent are left to languish in bad comprehensives — not being taught proper grammar or how to add up without a calculator (as I wasn’t).

He was right to restore rigour to teaching, to hope that Oxbridge would fill up with state-school kids (and to insist they’ll get there on merit alone). ‘London schools have been transformed in the past few years — even Labour admits that,’ adds another of my friends, wrestling a Gove flirtation.

Gove understands shy Tories because he grew up in a Labour-voting household in granite-grey Aberdeen. Unlike the Eton lot, whose success strikes the rest of us as dispiritingly inevitable; Gove was adopted at four months old by middle-class parents, and got to Oxford by virtue of being clever and working very hard.

It is this cleverness, and his refusal to hide it, that endears him to voters tired of being patronised. Gove never pretends to be cool. His wife, the columnist Sarah Vine, ribs him very entertainingly in the newspapers, ensuring that he never comes across as phony. (‘My husband got terribly excited when he discovered that Wagner was in the X Factor finals, and subsequently disappointed to discover this didn’t mean Parsifal on ITV but a bare-chested 18-stone Brazilian pop singer with the hair of the Little Mermaid, the voice of Engelbert Humperdinck and the jewellery of Gerald Ratner.’)

But what shy Tories particularly like about Gove is that he does this totally revolutionary thing: he thinks. And once he’s decided what to do, he sticks. He is in many ways reminiscent of that other violently unpopular education secretary. The one who cancelled all the free milk, and was duly re-elected years later by hordes of grateful state-school children, so liberated. (My uncle used to have to drink his by the sink, because he sicked it up afterwards.)

Thatcher didn’t talk down to shy Tories either — but she knew how to woo them. Thrusting, petit bourgeois to her bones, she knew instinctively: no, not everyone wants to live in the condition to which they were born. And yes, they do want the right to buy their own council houses, thank you very much. Such creative insight won her three elections. And all the time, her secret, shame-faced supporters publicly professed to hate her guts.

‘When I’m out of politics I’m going to run a business,’ Mrs T. once said. ‘It’ll be called rent-a-spine.’ In a milieu sadly deficient in backbone, Gove has proved he is vertebrate.

For myself, I’m so disillusioned that I never dream of voting Tory. I just stand in the polling booth, wondering how best to spoil my ballot. But at heart, I’m a girl from a dull town who wanted to make something of her life. So if next time, there’s a box to cross for Gove, I know I couldn’t resist… and I wouldn’t lie about it, either.

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Show comments
  • polidorisghost

    Gove has left it too late I think.
    But I’m no longer sure that the “out” campaign needs a leader anyway.
    Cameron was a PR man? – Must have been a short career.

    • Todd Unctious

      Gove is an absolute monster made worse by a total lack of understanding of the real world.

      • Hayekian

        and what is it that the “real world” wants? Low educational standards, a refusal to engage with reality that some people are more academically talented than others and a teaching profession untroubled by any measures of performance where social engineering and indoctrination are their primary focus.

        • gunnerbear

          Gove wasn’t a bad SoS Ed. but like all of them before him, he totally ignored vocational education because he didn’t understand what it meant and of course high quality, vocational education is very, very expensive to provide and tricky to deliver.

      • Andrew Cole

        Gove is the most sensible in the cabinet and the most aware of reality. Far from being the soft side of the Tories that is Cameron who panders to the brainwashed left ideals that now resound around the country he promotes good old British values whilst being careful (most of the time) to keep it within the bounds of political correctness.

        While many people will harp on about him being old fashioned, how many voters do you here talk about the past favourably? Many of those who promote modern PC and lefty ideals can still be heard to talk about ‘the good old days’ or ‘it would never have happened in my day’.

        I would bet that Gove’s ideals mirror many of those that proclaim to be lefties without them ever admitting or even realising it.

        The Left’s constant mantra of suggesting that promoting ‘good old British values’ as being a return to no H&S and no human rights and slave labour etc just have no argument.

  • misomiso

    Remember, we need 50%+ to win the referendum. the Tories only got 37%, and UKip 13%.

    Gove may be good, but could be all together too controversial.

    I like the idea of Digby jones personally.

    • Andrew Cole

      And a huge amount of labour’s voters are of the ‘unskilled workforce’ that are very vocal about what the EU has done to their jobs, their pay and their future chances of getting work.

      You are falling into the mistake that the left support the EU and the right don’t. I would suggest that this vote is split no matter what side you vote in GEs.

      I suppose it could be better described in terms of good old not to be mentioned social classes.

      The lower down the scale the higher the %. Those at the bottom end will undoubtedly be very close to 100% in favour of out where as it gets much closer to ‘in’ as you reach the top.

      The middle earners (class) are most likely 50/50 and that is where this referendum will be decided.

      • gunnerbear

        I agree – the issue of the UKs membership of the EU crosses the political divides – something that terrifies all party leaders.

  • Monima O’Connor

    I categorically and utterly disagree. We don’t need a politician – but a businessman. As much as I respect Michael Gove enormously ( I used to know him personally when he was at the Times), politicians of all colours have got us into this appalling straitjacket and it is a businessman who can really fire up people.
    Digby Jones would be supreme – he isn’t afraid of speaking his mind. My vote for Digby Jones. I used to belong to a think tank when living in London and he is a captivating ball of energy – if a rather portly one !

    • Bertie Wooster

      I would have to agree that Digby Jones would be an excellent choice. He is knowledgable, pro business, apolitical, patriotic and has an optimistic vision for Britain outside the EU.

    • CheshireRed

      Good call. Digby Jones was on The Daily Politics the other week and was very strong. Gove would give a cabinet-level wallop though, while Boris, dear, dear Boris, would add some humour. Whatever, whoever leads the Leave campaign I rather think the chattering classes are in for a very rude shock come 22:01 on polling night. Leave!

    • Andrew Cole

      I don’t think a businessman would go down well at all with the general public. I mean those who only see soundbites or news headlines. It needs someone that people like and can get the message across when we know the BBC and others will edit out any good stuff and focus in on something meaningless when they decide what will make up their new articles.

      Just as in the debates it will focus on when the remain camp say something that gets applause and then only the parts where the leave camp are shouted over and the remain people get very vocal.

      • Monima O’Connor

        Digby Jones and no-one else !

        • Andrew Cole

          I think most of the public will say…..”who?”

  • Bertie Wooster

    Something not being highlighted here is that Cameron himself is becoming toxic due to his clear EU bias so I believe he will be less trusted than Tony Blair by the end of this referendum. I expect him to resign soon afterwards. No doubt all Conservative MPs and ministers will be new born Eurosceptics the day AFTER the referendum.

    • Brian Jones

      I don’t understand why you think Cameron should resign , he has always said that he’s pro EU even when he is giving us a referendum that no-one else will. Perhaps all the Labour party should resign because they’re pro EU.

      • Bertie Wooster

        I didn’t say I think Cameron should resign. I said I think he will resign and believe it will be a political calculation.

        Apart from one or two notable exceptions such as Kate Hoey I don’t think there is an ounce of integrity in the entire Labour party. The poorest areas in our society have voted Labour for a century and as a reward they are still the poorest.

      • ScaryBiscuits

        Having failed to get the country to trust him on the biggest issue of our age, his position would rapidly become untenable. It will be even more so, if he turns the referendum into a personal loyalty test, as the letter from Eric Pickles to Conservative councillors and various threats to Eurosceptic ministers have (sadly) demonstrated he is already doing.
        If he had played the referendum with a straight bat and genuinely tried to negotiate the real change he promised, he would probably have emerged stronger from the referendum whichever way it had gone. Unfortunately, that is not where he is. He has come back from the capitals of Europe with a handful of crumbs and is pretending it is a steak. It’s worse that he uses expressions like ‘hand on heart’ or ‘I honestly believe’ – a usually reliable way to spot a liar.

        • Mary Ann

          Don’t care what he does, never liked him but as long as he can get the people to vote to stay things will be OK. As for his negotiations, we are already sitting on the sidelines why make it worse.

          How about “I mean this most sincerely” it makes me cringe.

          • ScaryBiscuits

            We are already sitting on the sidelines. Why make it worse?
            We can’t. Our current relationship with the EU is the worse case, one of being in it with zero influence, always outvoted. Almost every PM since we joined has tried to leave the sidelines, the ‘heart of Europe’ strategy, but always failed. This is much worse than being out where at least we could negotiate. 20 years ago, it was a reasonable argument that we should stay in Europe to ‘influence’ them. The evidence since has destroyed that case.

  • Som Trivedi

    Gove? Hah. That’s as stupid as believing that Kate Hoey will be enough to bring Labour voters to support Leave in the referendum.

    The referendum is a binary choice, nothing like an FPTP election. Like it or not, we cannot win with just the (admittedly large) proportion of Tory voters who are sympathetic to the Leave cause, we need to attract a significant chunk of center-left and apolitical Brits as well. As the numerous packed public meetings held by Leave.EU attest to, Nigel is doing a very decent job in this regard.

    However, to get the majority of voters on-side will need someone far more charismatic, well liked and well known than Gove. Boris could help in London but I don’t hold any hope of him supporting Leave.

    From the little I know of him, Sir James Dyson would have been perfect. Sadly, I can’t think of anyone else at the moment, but hopefully someone will emerge before it’s too late.

    • Andrew Cole

      James Dyson? You think people will listen to a man who took his business out of the UK because labour was cheaper fighting the corner for people who are struggling to compete with EU migrants that are providing cheap labour?

      • ScaryBiscuits

        A lot of people listened to Steve Jobs despite him making iPhones in China. Dyson is actually better because he at least tried to manufacture in both the UK and the EU but was defeated by red tape and high costs. He used to be an inner but this experience changed his views.
        He still designs in the UK, employing about 4,000 people. Would you rather he had gone bust and employed nobody at all?

        • Andrew Cole

          No I wouldn’t rather he went bust. I just don’t think that the best people to promote Brexit are people who decided to take jobs from Britain when immigration and its effect on jobs here is one of the key issues for many.

          Thats not me saying whether he did wrong or not. Just that it wouldn’t look good and immediately the remain side would say to anyone talking about wages being supressed or jobs going to ‘foreigners’………..”This coming from a man that took X number of jobs abroad.

          I own a Dyson 🙂

          • ScaryBiscuits

            But he hasn’t taken any jobs abroad. Those jobs he has created in China were never in the UK and could not be created here because we had priced them out of existence through both domestic and EU ’employment rights’ and taxes. The only way to create sustainable manufacturing jobs in the UK is to leave the EU. This is not all we need to do but it is an essential first step towards a more balanced industrial policy, one that suits us rather than Germany. Dyson, with his recent example of how EU ‘standards’ were written to benefit technically inferior German vacuum cleaner brands, makes an excellent example of why British business is better off out.

          • Andrew Cole

            I am saying it would not go down well. UKIP aren’t racist or fascist but they always end up defending themselves against the claim.

            Dyson would always end up defending himself. He wouldn’t look good.

          • gunnerbear

            So which employment law rights would you suggest Sir James stands up and tells the voters he thinks it will help to chop and how if we leave the EU it will help bosses hire ‘n’ fire more easily if we ‘roll up expensive’ employment law protections…… ….I’m not sure that approach is going to win many votes.

          • ScaryBiscuits

            The Working Time Directive (the one we were supposed to have an opt-out from) would be a good place to start.

        • gunnerbear

          If we pull out of the EU do you see UK wage costs suddenly dropping or is it you want them to drop?

    • gunnerbear

      That would be Sir James who shut down the UK manufacturing part of his business to make even more cash by relocating overseas?

  • I like kidz!

    Leave the EU then declare war. You know it makes sense.

    • Grimsby resident

      I am all for freedom of speech but your disgusting avatar is beneath contempt. Can the Spectator boffins remove it?

      • I like kidz!

        So you’re for freedom of speech except when you’re not? You should work for the BBC.

  • somewhereinthesouth

    Isn’t this the problem with democracy ?Voters don’t get real choices i.e. ones which reflect the facts of economics and common sense. Democracy and politicians always pander to the easy solution [ I suspect generally there aren’t any ] and to the short term. Any politicians with real solutions are likely to have to inflict pain on the country [ or key groups ] and the voters don’t like pain – and they prefer soggy policies , promises even if broken [ they just switch to another party offering cheap promises which are broken ] .If they do implement tough no nonsense policy, they are swiftly removed by the PM to some where less obviously in the public eye or where they cant do any “damage” or are of course eventually along wth their party voted out or power. In the case of Thatcher she has been immortalised as the most wicked woman ever and even her OWN party knifed her – yet her “wicked” policies certainly transformed our economic performance [ even if they did not solve all our economic and social woes].

    The public unfortunately prefer subsidy to getting what you pay for , and a system of state help and benefits to self help and personal savings and investment { for some of course these values are not a possibility and that is where government should be focusing ]. The idea of benefits even applies to the the middle classes and because the majority think THEY don’t pay the full price for the services and benefits they received they are happy . i.e. they behove tier their taxes are value for money . For the majority I suspect the cost benefit analysis IS positive [even if the analysis is flawed by the fact of not knowing what the alternative might have been . For example the pupil who gets five GSE’s but is unemployable or cant add up with out a calculator or write a simple letter has not been well served by this “free” system. His life chances and prospects like those of many others, have been blighted by a system which avoids doing the right things , avoids encouraging personal responsibility , avoids high standards and effort and places too much emphasis on equality of outcomes [ we are all winners and can have degrees} and the idea that government intervention is aways the best way to solve peoples problems . ].

    Naturally most people prefer the idea of other people paying taxes [ e.g. the “rich “] for their services , they prefer exams which are easy to pass and which minimise the effort put in , they prefer an education system where everyone can be a winner [even if the qualification turns out to be devalued ] ,they also prefer some else’s view being spoiled by new development , and in the case of the NHS they prefer rationing , an early death and waiting lists to a system of private insurance [which would cost more and include market methods of resource allocations but might produce better outcomes overall ] .Notably even the wicked Thatcher didn’t touch the NHS . In life you only get what you pay for and as a matter of principle get out in proportion what you put in [ i.e. invest ] Of course some start out a disadvantage and it is these people they system needs to help so they can help themselves in the long run – it often doesn’t unfortunately Thats why I like Gove he is clear about his objectives and clear about the need for justice high standards and of course personal effort and rewards .In democracy however these rules aren’t valued most hope or even believe that the government can produce something for nothing [ or at least a lower price or minima of effort ]when very often the reverse is true . As ye so so shall ye reap. Whatever happened to personal responsibility ?

    • Andrew Cole

      It isn’t the public’s fault that there are loads of migrants doing the crap jobs in the UK and the vast majority don’t blame the migrants.

      It isn’t the public’s fault that they have the benefits they have or the beliefs of entitlement as they have been told that they are entitled now for a generation.

      In both cases it is the government(s) to blame, not the people involved. This is why there is so much anger brewing, because people can do nothing about it. Governments can. It shocks me that the Tories are being so soft and backing down because they don’t want to risk being out again. They should be sticking to the centre right position and not veering further to the right as they used to or over to the left of centre as they are currently doing.

      They are talking the talk of the centre right whilst in practise they are trying to envelop the centre left policies. The 2 cannot be done together forever because you can’t cut costs while spending more. Either the state is reduced or it is not. The pay increases for state jobs under the Labour government and the increase in the number jobs has cost this country dear and trying to keep everyone on side by not cutting out those extra middle management and complementary jobs as well as not holding the wages until the private sector equivalents catch up will mean the next generation still has this trillion £ debt.

  • I like kidz!

    The common theme in these problems is always the same: Islam.

  • FrankS2

    Why should either side need a “leader” who, at this less late stage, hasn’t shown his colours? When they eventually jump off the fence, it will be seen for what it probably is – career opportunism.
    The referendum is about the future of this country – not party politics.

    • Todd Unctious

      As he destroys everything he touches Gove would be a good leader of the Outers, but only for the In campaign.

    • whorya

      Would somebody point me to a (leader) in this country PLEASE.

  • VOTE4EU

    What does he know about the economic impact he would create if we left the EU…. We can see the damage he delivered on the schools and our education system….. What an idiot……

    • Andrew Cole

      By trying to reverse the dumbing down of qualifications? The fact that passes rose every year while the grade meant less has caused lots of problems for British businesses.

      Labour’s policy of putting less emphasis on mental arithmetic and spelling was correct was it?

      This year’s year 6s are having to catch up a 2 year gap for their SATs and my year 5 son is already doing the work that his year 6 brother did earlier in the year.

      Most of what my son’s are doing I was doing a year ahead of them. I attended the same primary school as them however even with Gove’s policy of making things harder they will leave primary a year behind the level that I left with. How is that wrong?

      There is no point in having a qualification if it’s credibility is in doubt and pass rates increasing year on year means not a jot if successive governments have made the qualification easier.

      My house has no you cannot use spellcheck, no you can not use a calculator (both on tablets) Use the dictionary, no the Collins English book type one not google because you will get American spellings.

      • Mary Ann

        My English spell checker does not allow American English spellings. labor gets red lined.

        I know it took some effort to find it, unfortunately I can’t remember where it was, you need a nerd to help you.

        • Andrew Cole

          I am talking about my kids going on google on their tablets to check spellings and of course American spellings come up.

    • ScaryBiscuits

      I’m encouraged to see that you both support remaining in the EU and sustaining poor education. Idiotic opinions, both of them.

      • Mary Ann

        Your logic is flawed, vote 4EU does not support poor education, he is criticizing Gove for it.

  • lakelander

    Has Remain peaked?

    Given the weakness of their case, also the continuing car crash of Cameron’s disingenuous deal-making, attempts to sell it and shifty, bullying behaviour with his MPs and cabinet, it wouldn’t be surprising if Leave starts to edge ahead. And this doesn’t take into account the ongoing migrant crisis.

    Voters are not as stupid as they sometimes appear, for example the defeat of Miliband and victory for No in the Scottish referendum.

    I am staying hopeful.

    • Mary Ann

      But the outers have not explained what is going to happen to our relationship with the rest of Europe if we leave, they don’t know what will happen to us but it will not all go the way the outers want it, even if they could agree, and there is no reason why the rest of Europe should agree either, reminds me of Salmond saying Scotland will keep the pound and get rich on oil.

      • lakelander

        The answer is that we will continue to have a working relationship with every EU nation we wish. A trade agreement will be signed quickly because they need us more than we need them.

        There is no problem. Don’t worry.

  • John M

    I disagree. David Cameron is already doing a fine job of leading the “out” group.

    Because every time Merkel or Juncker snubs him, every time he weakens his negotiating demands, every time he stands there in public pretending he’s got some kind of amazing deal, every time he tries to rig his party to support him, every time he comes out shroud waving some new “threat” to UK like the one last week about migrant camps in Kent… Cameron convinces more and more of us that getting out of this political lunatic asylum makes more and more sense.

    Of course the best part of it is that Cameron, Corbyn, Osborne and a whole lot of others will be forced to resign if us dumb ‘proles vote the wrong way… and there’s somewhat of a chance that our exit will trigger a wider collapse of the EU, it’s corruption, and tiers of bureaucrats as well. Now that’s food for thought…

    • Mary Ann

      And with Farage saying we could be worse off outside Europe.

  • gerronwithit

    Actually, Gove is definitely not needed as the ‘leader’ of the Out campaign. It simply needs a strong and cohesive group of conviction activists, probably including Farage, Gove, if he gets off the fence, Hoey, Davis and Fox with anyone else from Labour who actually does ‘conviction’. A single head will simply spark division and an ideal target for the massed resources of the INNERS.

    • Andrew Cole

      As long as they all meet in a room and make sure they are singing from the same hymn sheet. There is no point Farage saying one thing and then the press pushing Hoey on it for her to struggle to agree with it.

      They all need to go through what they will say and not so there is no embarassment of someone rattling off something stupid.

      • Mary Ann

        So leave could win if their campaigners compromise their integrity.

        • Andrew Cole

          No but those who are doing the campaigning need to be at least not contradicting each other.

          No point talking about leave compromising their integrity. Remain are already doing it and are happy to suggest that outers should join their side.

          If outers do join Cameron he will parade them and boast about them. What does that say?

          Both as bad but you can bet Cameron’s team will micro-manage who says what, where and when. It will be like watching a team of Priti Patel’s that can provide no opinion, just keep repeating today’s script and buzzlines.

    • Mary Ann

      The outers must be desperate if Gove is sitting on the fence. Farage has admitted that Britain could be worse off outside Europe,

      “Can Leave.EU control its members? This video suggests not …

      blogs.spectator.co.uk/…/watch-leave-eus-bizarre-we-are-at-war-again-vid…

      Dec 3, 2015 – A senior Conservative involved with the Vote Leave campaign says: …. Farage can hardly front the leave campaign when he has said that we could be worse off outside Europe, of course, if it turns out that way he …. To whom do UKIP give Britain a bad name .. apart from unelected European nonentities …”

      Google

      • gerronwithit

        To paraphraseLed Zeppelin, “Ramble On”, Mary Ann.

      • John Andrews

        I’d be happy to pay a substantial sum for Britain regaining its sovereignty, just as my parents were in the 1940s. But I believe Britain will be a wealthier country when free of Belgian control.

        • Todd Unctious

          In 1914 we went to war to defend Belgian independence. There was no EU. How do you explain our lack of wars to defend Belgium since the 1957 Treaty of Rome?

          • John Andrews

            Few military or political questions can be answered with greater certainty or brevity: NATO.

          • Todd Unctious

            That alliance too.

          • David S

            To be fair, binding the French and Germans in a political union to neutralise their natural bellicosity and antagonism was a good idea, but it does not follow that the UK needs to be, or can benefit from being, a part of it.

  • Queen Ethol – Ugly Michael

    I would love to lead the Out campaign. This is the most important decision of the decade and it our UK gets it wrong we will suffer for generations. Salford will see thousands of jobs created as logical place to locate Northern Powerhouse Headquarters for ex EU trade, technology and innovative industry.

  • Queen Ethol – Ugly Michael

    I would love to lead the Out campaign. This is the most important decision of the decade and if our UK gets it wrong we will suffer for generations. Salford will see thousands of jobs created as logical place to locate Northern Powerhouse Headquarters for exEU trade, technology and innovative industry.

    • Mary Ann

      So, you live in Salford. The young want to stay in the EU, leaving will have little long term affect on those who want to leave, most of them are old.

      • whorya

        Because the young don’t know anything else, and are used to being dictated to. They haven’t tasted freedom that an out vote, will bless them with. Unlike the older generation who have experienced both situations.
        Bare with me I shall explain why we should leave the greatest “confidence trick” played on the people of Europe.
        The only people who were to benefit from this (Con). Were industrialists, manufacturers, import/exporters, etc. By creating a (Free trade) agreement, which would take away all import/export duties(taxes) from their goods. It had to be a good deal for them.
        But the governments of the member countries, could not afford to lose this revenue. So a membership fee had to be introduced to compensate them. And this burden fell on to the most successful import/export countries i.e. the UK and a couple of others. Therefore these central governments paid out of (our) taxation budget.

  • Tamerlane

    I don’t understand why your friends need a leader. If they want out vote out. You don’t need a leader for that.

  • Fenman

    What Cameron has done is classily short term PR cynicism. But after the despicable Camlbell and Mandy the public are no longer falling for perception over substance and reality.
    the sacking of Gove was pure unprincipled cowardice to buy off the unions, and made worse by the awful Morgan who is not a conservative at all. As a result Gove’s good work is being undone in state schools as the article in yr mag by the sacked Tory teacher showed. The intolerant bigoted pc leftie staff room has reasserted itself.
    By the way, Crosby did not win it, Milliband and Salmon handed it on a plate to the Tories.

  • Grrrrreat to read the tribute to Gove he deserves. No single politician since ??? has done more to promote the common good than him.
    Hundreds of thousands of children are now receiving a decent education thanks to the measures he took, and which nobody else would or could have taken.

  • TimonSays

    Despite Gove’s virtues as described here, I don’t think ANY Tory politician would be right as the leader of the OUT campaign – except for Boris, but then he is not thought of as a Tory, just as ‘Boris’.

    It’s not Tory voters the OUT campaign needs to win over, but the Labour ones. So I would prefer to see Kate Hoey as the public face of the campaign. I am certainly not a Labour voter, but strategically I just think she would be more effective in winnng over the left-leaning undecideds.

    • ScaryBiscuits

      It’s far from clear that Labour leaders attract Labour voters. Those that still do vote Labour, seem to do so out of filial duty rather than inspiration. This is why the Labour vote is relatively immune to however leads it, being about the same under Brown, Miliband and Corbyn.
      Boris is not an outer. He has said so himself. If he were to lead the Leave campaign, it would be a disaster, almost as bad as Cameron leading it.
      Gove (and Kate Hoey) are both attractive to voters not because they are left of right but because they don’t patronise voters and are honest about who they are.

      • TimonSays

        The fact that Boris is not a hardcore ‘outer’ would be a bonus, as he could genuinely say that he had looked at the position with an open mind, and that his decision is a considered, not a knee-jerk one.

        As for Labour voters, these consist of four groups: coloureds, marxists, parasites and the brain dead. It is this latter group whom you are describing and who will tell you on the doorstep ‘I’ve always voted Labour’.

        But the issue here is not to get them to vote Labour but to vote OUT. And given that they self-affiliate with Labour they are more likely to be willing to listen to a Labour politician rather than a Tory one. The alternative as front-man of the OUT campaign would be a non-politician, such as a businessman, but these are less used to the cut and thrust of debate and would come across as weak on tv.

        • ScaryBiscuits

          Great comment: Labour consists of Marxists, parasites and the brain dead.

          (I deleted coloured as whilst a majority of them sadly still tend to vote Labour, those that do almost always fall into one of your last two categories. You could perhaps add another category of Jihadists and Anarchists, who will vote for Corbyn because he is their best chance of destroying Britain. Or perhaps you could rename Marxist as ‘internationalist’ or ‘extremists’ to cover revolutionaries of all shades.)

          • MC

            Jihadists, yes, Anarchists in the Proudhon mould would not vote for Labour or Corbyn. Besides, JC is seen as Far Right due to his pro muslim stance.

          • ScaryBiscuits

            Ah, well, there will always be people who no matter how far left you go will always be more left wing still. That is what extremist means.
            Perhaps a description for Labour voters is: Revolutionaries, parasites and the brain dead
            Granted, not all revolutionaries will vote Labour – or vote at all – but it’s a reasonable umbrella for the Marxists and Islamists who have united on the point of destroying the West. Or if that’s too abbreviated, would this cover it?:
            Labour consists of Islamists, Marxists, parasites and the brain dead.

    • TheJustCity

      The mainstream left will do what the BBC/Grauniad tells it to. Good, really, that they’re divided and disoriented amidst the collapsing ceilings after the Corbyn quake.

  • John Andrews

    A great crown awaits the man who is willing to lead the Eurosceptic Tory majority in the Commons and in the Country. Gove, with his courteous rationality and common sense would perfect. The teachers who hate him mostly vote Labour and do not matter. Boris would be more fun but Gove would be more successful, in my opinion.

    • Todd Unctious

      Gove is a monster. An under achiever scholarship boy with a chippy Daily Mail journalist wife. Only a certifiable creep could describe Murdoch as the greatest man of the last 50 years. Only a cheat would destroy E mails to evade an FOI request.

      • John Andrews

        Your unctious use of the terms ‘under achiever’, ‘scholarship boy’ and ‘chippy’ smack of an unwholsome combination of envy with snobbery.

        • Todd Unctious

          I disagree. I think Gove is worse than that. Horrible man.

        • TheJustCity

          ‘Scholarship boy’. The metro-left elitist detector blinked red.

          • John Andrews

            Thank you for the clarification.

    • Jeff Thompson

      Hahaha…. “The Eurosceptic Tory Majority in the Commons”. There will be less than 40% of that filth, that will have a backbone rigid enough to go against their craven leader, Spineless Dave caMoron.

  • MC

    Next weekend we will know which Tories have the gumption, and leadership potential, to stand out. No matter what Thursday brings in terms of EU offers, if Boris moves to the Leave camp and we say goodbye to the EU, he will be the next Prime Minister (and Osborne will not be at the treasury) with a large majority in the Commons. With Labour likely to sink to less than 200 seats in 2020, Boris could be the King in waiting, whilst Gove would be court jester at best.

    Can you imagine TWO blond hair rebels leading the world’s greatest countries? Boris and Trump will make history together.

    • Todd Unctious

      Yawn. Who gives a damn?

      • MC

        You do, as you made the effort to contribute to the discussion.

        • Todd Unctious

          My contribution was to disdain the nonentities who wish to lead or piggyback on this pointless issue.

          • MC

            So you, as a nonentity, despise nonentities. You need help, mate.

          • Todd Unctious

            Certainly yes, if they have the temerity to put themselves forward as leaders.

    • RobertDeLuce

      You have an imagination that is a dire enemy to a happy Utopia.

  • ppw

    has he got the bottle to go against con Cameron who would stay in at any cost to us, Cameron will do what Germany and france tell him to do, like trying to con the uk public, vote out

  • Roger Hudson

    He is Lord Chancellor, he must know more than others that the key question is sovereignty.
    When i voted for out in ’75 I knew the government were just praying that the EEC( with it’s clearly stated Union ambitions) would some how get Britain to improve ( mainly it’s productivity) without the British government having to administer the harsh medicine and the population do some really hard graft.
    We threw away the opportunity to stand on our own feet, dozed away in a yankee fed consumer credit driven la-la land.
    We should only leave and reclaim sovereignty if we promise to work very very hard at being a truly independent country.

    • RobertDeLuce

      Being out will never work unless we do. That means money into industry, creating apprenticeships, laws that compel all, high and low, to pay the taxes they owe, with no breaks for thieving corporations, an energy system that is good for all, reasonable bills, a great rail and bus service, revive the Cities, put a boom into tourism, ensure that GB regains the respect for fair play, treating everyone equally, no racism, no hatred. It may seem all a bit Huxley, not liked by the rich who want their slaves, but f we are creating this New World, not the US version of NWO, why can’t we have a society where all are driven, happy at work, as happy at home and at play. Big corps might earn a little less, but there would be less strife, thus ensuring continuity of success.

  • Rob

    Michael Gove might have an important part to play in the Leave campaign, then again, he might not. So far all I have seen to suggest that he is wavering is media tittle tattle. In the end though, the issue is larger than one man and he isn’t popular enough to swing the result in one way or the other. I don’t think that one man or woman is.

  • Cobbett

    Gove is a muppet.

    • RobertDeLuce

      In the real World, that was bordering on complimentary.

  • Partner

    He’s not to the taste of the Lower Middle class.

    • RobertDeLuce

      Oh I don’t know, lets put him on the spit and find out.

  • jeffersonian

    ‘In a milieu sadly deficient in backbone, Gove has proved he is vertebrate.’

    In a nutshell.

  • MickC

    Nobody in the present Government will campaign in favour of Brexit.

    • Johnny Foreigner ✓VER.Angry

      Priti Patel just might, but she’s still a maybe.

      • MickC

        That would be a good move on her part….but she hasn’t got the guts. If she had, she could easily take the leadership.

        • Jack Rocks

          I think that’s a bit unlikely.

  • john

    Can we stop this silly nonsense? There is less chance of Britain leaving the EU than of Aston Villa winning the Premier League.

    • TheJustCity

      See you at the ballot box, chum.

      • john

        See you at the Villa’s Champion’s League Final next year.

    • RobertDeLuce

      You mean via the vote or regardless of which way the vote goes. After all, if there is an accepted ‘out vote’, then many Tories might find their positions untenable. Perhaps a snap election, would the people vote Tory again.

  • William Matthews

    I agree that the use of the saying ‘vote labour’ is used as a signal of great virtue. Not all working class Torys are silent however. I worked in a dodgy little chemical factory while at University, where I won the hearts of minds of my working class comrades, when they discovered I wasn’t a soap-dodging, union loving, whiny little hunt-sab socialist worker touter, but a Tory that would have had all the aforementioned shot. They hated , even in those days, these middle-class Corbyn themed socialists that we have now. The strong contingent of Tory voters at the factory celebrated John Majors success at the ’92 election at the local Conservative Club – Along with my council house dwelling grandmother, who was the widow of a coal miner.

    • john

      Is this a joke contribution? Top hole fellow works in dodgy chemical factory, wants Labour supporters shot – must be a genuine chap eh? Even more convincing – his granny lived in a council house. What credentials!

      • William Matthews

        Top Hole?

        • john

          It’s a public school slang term used in those heroic school tales we to read decades ago. “A jolly good chap”.

          • William Matthews

            Tch! You middle-class kids got all the best Libraries eh?

          • john

            Never read no books – I was referring to real literary sources – Beano, Wizard, Eagle and Dandy.

          • William Matthews

            Scooby Doo never covered the topic either, as I recall.

          • gunnerbear

            C’mon…you forgot Commando and 2000AD……

          • RobertDeLuce

            Yes, I bet is real name is Flash.

          • gunnerbear

            Sorry couldn’t resist… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS4_Z84-rRE ….I’ll get me coat…

        • RobertDeLuce

          My word, imagine suggesting that an out and out Tory waster would lie. I mean, such a suggestion is out of thew question, surely, when it is obvious to anyone with half a brain, that it is much better,more honest too, to simply say they are a bunch of lying bastards. As to his Gran having a Council house, I bet he is working out a way to charge her for the spare bedroom, or has one of his friends, Nigel, around there talking her into some dodgy scheme that will pilfer the whole lot from her hands when she is not looking. Still, at least he is a declared Tory, unlike the last lot under that w.anker Blair.

        • john

          Wow! You’re a bit overwrought. Of course I’m not suggesting you’re a liar (never would to anybody). Just trying too hard to establish credibility.

  • Teacher

    I agree with most of this article except for the idea that people are waiting for a Brexit leader in order to feel they can vote ‘out’. I think they will use the privacy of the secret ballot to place their pencil mark in the ‘get me out of this EU mess’ box of their own volition.

  • WFB56

    What a refreshing contrast the much of the dross that has been darkening the pages of the Spectator of late.

    Now, if only they would see the light and bring Mark Steyn back.

    • john

      This is a joke surely? The turgid Steyn makes Limbaugh seem insightful and entertaining. His grotty Aussie voice is irritating and his tired, right-wing chorus lines are tedious beyond belief.

      • Jack Rocks

        Steyn is a Canadian not an Australian.

        • john

          Really? He has a paint removing Aussie accent.

  • Daidragon

    Gove to lead the out campaign? That’s game set match the establishment then.

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