Rod Liddle Rod Liddle

The power of the 0.1 per cent

No government need take notice of Guardian readers and Twitter-provoked petitions

I once asked Michael Gove, when he had just been appointed Education Secretary, if he would mind awfully appointing me as chairman of Ofsted: I had one or two vigorous ideas, such as reversing the grades awarded to schools for ‘cultural diversity’ so that they more closely represented what the overwhelming majority of parents actually think. Michael smiled politely and walked away, which I took as a definite indication of assent. Frankly, I will never forgive the treachery. Gove handed out the job to someone who went native almost immediately, became subsumed by the Blob. Serves him right. I assume Gove, in a cowardly manner, was worried by the possible howl-round of appointing a chap who had once asked readers if they had ever, after a few pints, considered giving one to Harriet Harman. I had been trying to be nice, but there we are.

Michael was clearly terrified of the Twit-ter-storm, the maniacs on social media sites, the relentless fury of a couple of hundred thousand people, almost all of whom we pay for out of our taxes to carry out their fatuous jobs, if they have any, and who care for freedom of speech and freedom of conscience with the same fervour with which a Tower Hamlets imam cares about the rights of his local LGBTQI folk.

Toby Young got a little further than I did, as part of The Spectator’s drive to capture all the major offices of government — Taki in charge of immigration, Charles Moore personally strangling foxes at the Min of Ag and Jeremy Clarke running the MoD — but tendered his resignation when it became evident that it would be shortly tendered for him. The mob works. The mob thinks it is an expression of democracy — and in a sense it is, so long as nobody of importance pays any heed to its eternal, moronic fugue and its bedwetting tantrums.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in