Michael Gove has been keeping himself busy this week with his non-apology apology tour. He came close to saying sorry to Boris Johnson and admitted he made mistakes during the party’s summer leadership contest. But he has saved his biggest about-turn for this morning. In his column in The Times today, the Brexit backer has admitted he’s fallen head over heels for an unlikely person: Ed Balls.
Where once the pair traded blows across the despatch box, Gove has now changed his tune and declared his true feeling for his former adversary. He said that ‘against (his) better judgement…I have developed an infatuation with another man’ and went on to say he admired the former Labour shadow chancellor’s ‘sheer bravery and good sportsmanship’ for appearing on Strictly Come Dancing. But he didn’t stop there. Balls, Gove said today, is ‘one of the most impressive political figures of our time’ and ‘politics is poorer without him’.
All of which marks a big change in Gove’s thinking. Yet while Gove might sound infatuated, Mr S can’t help but feel a vague sense of deja vu here. After all, back in 2002, a columnist by the name of Michael Gove declared his love for any man: Tony Blair. Back then he wrote:
‘You could call it the Elizabeth Bennett moment. It’s what Isolde felt when she fell into Tristan’s arms. It’s the point you reach when you give up fighting your feelings…By God, it’s still hard to write this, but I’m afraid I’ve got to be honest. Tony Blair is proving an outstanding Prime Minister at the moment.’
Mr S wonders who will be next…