Friday, 13 April 2012

Michael Gove will Get You

Somtimes, as Freud noticed, it's the accidental slips that reveal deeper truths.

I have had it brought to my attention that, twice in 24 hours, I've referred to Michael Gove as being responsible for stupid ideas in the Exchequer when I should have placed the blame firmly with George Osborne. I have corrected the more recent posts, but I have little doubt that, should I waste the time to go through previous episodes of these Beaker annals, I've done it elsewhere.

But it's just, it seems to me, a reflection of the general mood of suspicion - of Gove-inism, if you will - around the Beaker community. We have always had a need of a bogey on which to blame misfortune, or to warn small children from straying. Thomas Hardy speaks in ROTN of the "reddleman", the wandering sheep-dye-seller whom the children of Egdon Heath feared. In the Shuck-infested, Wicked-Lady-haunted Beds/Herts borders of my childhood, it would indeed be the bogeyman himself who lurked in wait. That or the hippies. While for other generations it has been Napoleon, the fairies and - for modern readers of certain newspapers - Muslims who cause all the world's woes.

But around our community, all these bugbears seem to have been replaced. If a Beaker child in Little Pebbles is unusually borisine, they will be told "Michael Gove's going to write you a preface." If the milk is spoilt in our small Beaker dairy shed, the milkpeople will conclude "Govey's been". If the butter won't churn they get some of the local Quivering Brethren to say a prayer against "Butter Michael".

It speaks to our deepest fears - our primaevel instinct that there are dark forces, beyond our Ken*. Things we cannot control, that science is unable to measure - just waiting for our attention to slip before they bring foul, arcane darkness into our lives.

So you can call it superstition. But we will continue to hang the Gove Stones up in the Nammitting Shed. We will draw chalk circles, lest Govey should sneak in and start presenting King James Bibles with his picture on the front. And we will continue to warn the Little Beaker Children, whenever they express a desire to play in Witch's Spinney,

"Watch out and don't stray. Or Michael Gove's gonna get you!"



  1. I never remember Sir Clement saying anything like that - and as for your Beaker anals - well, best keep that to yourself...

  2. PS - it may simply be that I missed the edition of "Just a Minute" where he said that....

    1. No, it was a warning that if one were dining with bloodhounds, one had to eat from the plate not the dog food tin.

  3. Judith Starkadder8:45 pm, April 13, 2012

    We been saying prayers for year arter year now an that Michael Howard still be livin under the stairs n eating rats.


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