Monday, 24 April 2017

The physiognomy of politicians #4

What can we learn about Michael Gove when we look at him?

First off, he is a nerd. A total and utter swot. He has thick spectacles, his eyes often blankly lurch left-wards and right-wards and he speaks with a nasal, albeit plummy, voice. As he speaks, he does not move a limb in his body, nor exhibit any other kind of emotion. His protruding lips and his magnified, gyrating eyes make him look like a fish. 

So we can tell from his appearance that he semi-autistic. This accounts for his ideological inflexibility. He is a complete ideologue. He completely revamped the national curriculum, making it 'classical,' rigorous and doctrinaire. He is an economic liberal and wants to make large cuts to the public sector. He wants to privatise the NHS, though he is reluctant to admit to this when pressed. He wants to leave the European Union, bandying about populist rhetoric about 'taking back control.' He supported the Iraq war, even when it turned out to be a complete disaster that destabilised the Middle East. 

But let's cut him some slack. You can't accuse him of being inconsistent. He might well be a economic liberal, but he is also a social liberal. He was a very good justice secretary. He understood what his predecessor did not - that prisons are meant to reform citizens and turn them into better, more responsible citizens. They're not there to punish them. As such, he reinstated prison libraries. 

We can tell from his appearance that he is a bookish nerd. His favourite book is The Strange Death of Liberal England. He read a one thousand page biography of J. F. Kennedy whilst his wife gave birth. We can tell from his appearance that he is semi-autistic. Like most autistic people (like myself), he assumes that everyone should think the way he does. He was a 'clever dick' who received a comprehensive education but who nonetheless went to Oxbridge. As such, his experience should be comparable to any other lower middle-class or working-class kid out there. Those kids who live in council houses, play video games and watch trashy TV wouldn't at all struggle with Shakespeare or advanced mathematics because he didn't.

He has real reformist zeal. At times his rhetoric resembles that of a Labour education secretary from the 1960s. Anthony Crosland wanted to 'destroy every fucking grammar school in England,' even 'if it was the last thing he did.' Gove, likewise, believes in radical reform. This is why he irritated Theresa May, who deals with problem on an incremental basis. This is why she left him out of her cabinet. She also happened to find him to be a tad bit insufferable.

So we can tell that he is a nerd and and that he is semi-autistic, but how can we tell that he is a populist? Well, like all politicians he is shifty. When he is grilled about previous statements - such as the statement that he would never be prime minister, despite subsequently running for the position - he is really shifty. To his advantage, he does not look nervous. He does not stutter nor exhibit any emotion. His eyes keep gyrating as he talks complete and utter fabricated bollocks.

And this works to his advantage. He declares that 'people have had enough of experts.' He sensed the populism in the air and he sensed the mounting hatred against the Westminster elites. He sensed how people hate self-appointed experts pontificating to the working man as to how they really shouldn't vote for Brexit.

Yet this is a bookish man, who reads a 1.000 page book whilst his wife gives birth. This is a man who looks and sounds like a complete swot. What credentials does he have to be a man of the people? Indeed, what credentials does he have to say that we shouldn't have experts?

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