£60 million is a small price to pay to keep Michael Gove distracted
|January 24, 2012||Posted by Cameron MacLeod under satire|
With the exception of everyone who isn’t a member of the Tory cabinet or the royal family, we’ve all come to love Michael Gove’s latest initiative. Plans have been put into place to commission a new royal yacht, and it’s a snip at 2,500 times the average UK annual earnings or, if you prefer, 6,600 years of top university tuition.
The people of Britain were given the opportunity to make their most meaningful contribution to society yet, by consenting to the diversion of a portion of the apparently exorbitant government budget towards the noble endeavour. Unfortunately, British taxpayers remained uninspired, and so it was left to Canada and Lord Ashcroft to pick up the shortfall.
Though this scheme initially appears incredibly unhelpful, wasteful and at best tenuously linked to state education of any form, it is in fact the single most intelligent suggestion produced by the Department of Education this millennium. This is not entirely related to the fact that it clearly wasn’t Gove’s idea.
Project ‘Yacht Allows Conservatives to Harness Tomfoolery’ – or YACHT, as it has become known – was devised by the most skilled education lobbyists and Olympic organisers that the country has at its disposal. Driven to obsession by visions of being tossed on the waves like so many traffic cones from Aberdeen’s viaducts and tearing through trade unionist fleets aboard a colossal luxury vessel, all with the monarchy at his side, Michael Gove has effectively been incapacitated as far as his governmental role is concerned. Better still, this was achieved with half of the funds that would have been required to have someone romantically incriminate him.
It is hoped that the education system will benefit from a temporary reprieve from Gove’s policies and actions, which have so far consisted of criticising the ability of teachers in outstanding schools who oppose his academy plans, criticising above-average schools, misplacing thousands of Bibles, criticising striking teachers and simultaneously siphoning funding from existing and prospective state schools to aid smaller, Tory-championed schools which are somewhat liberally labelled as ‘free’.
Better still is that a £60mn yacht, likely to make its maiden appearance at some point this summer, will probably be remembered as the highlight of London’s presentation of the Olympic Games – though admittedly not as thrifty as the handover ceremony of 2008, the only tasteful element of which was the unintentional use of Jimmy Page as a metaphor for our national sense of self-worth.