There was a rather dull lecture by Gove over the weekend, the Ditchley Lecture. I read it, so you don’t have to. It’s long and a bit rambling. Bemoans hollowing out of the middle, and the resulting disaffection of those who used to support the left, the rise of the far left, breakdown of globalism, revolt against the elites, disaffection of minorities, solution is science and technology, guff about white heat of technological revolution, name check a few things Dom Cummings likes, extraordinary praise for FDR, (who I think was a disaster for the world). Gove expresses faith in social democracy. Promises great things from state schools. Promise to re-locate Treasury functions to poor areas. general guff about widening pool of talent. Random policy ideas — evidence based policy etc. Deploring how Civil Service is selected and run. Faith in training as panacea. Bemoaning lack of scientists. Blowing own trumpet as Min. of Educ. Innovation, reform many buzzwords. Back to FDR, as role model.
It reads a lot worse than when I first looked at it.
If Gove were setting out to alienate his supporters who have a libertarian leaning he could not have chosen a better historical figure to praise than Franklin Delano Roosevelt. If you don’t understand why, you could choose a worse place to start than this account by that old curmudgeon, David Stockman himself.