Meeting the Gove-nor on a roller-coaster ride at Drayton Manor
FOR once he was on the RECEIVING end of a informative lesson from the party faithful in Lichfield who quizzed Education Minister Michael Gove at the start of the Tory association’s annual dinner at Drayton Manor.
The well-briefed Secretary of State was more than a match during the Q & A session, treating the audience to a roller-coaster ride which included amusing anecdotes at Labour’s expense.
“Do you want Labour back with Ed Balls and Miliband at the wheel,” he asked.
He compared David Cameron’s current term of office with the “difficult days” of Maggie Thatcher’s first term as prime minister from 1979-83.
“Her government was deeply unpopular mid term and 20 points behind Michael Foot in the polls. She was taking tough decisions which were making a difference – but not making friends”.
He said the Coalition Government had created one million new jobs last year in the private sector and was also tacking the “benefits’ scandal.”
When asked about suggestions that playing fields of Britain were to be “sold off” – he said he wanted to carry on seeing his seven-year-old son participate in sport on a “playing field near his home.”
He added: “I love sport. I like to win but hope everyone can ‘lose with dignity’ “.
Pushing the right buttons with his audience, Mr Gove said there must be a return to teaching schoolchildren in Britain about our history where there is a “pride in our past” and not a “bias against facts and knowledge” and was still in firmly in favour of schools run on religious lines.
On the deeply divisive question of wind turbines, he called for a continuing mix of power including nuclear, gas and renewable.
He saved his biggest praise for Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant – celebrating 20 years in the House of Commons, describing him as “simply wonderful.”