Sunday, 13 December 2015

Michael X

Michael Gove is very concerned about radicalisation. He used to be concerned about radicalisation in schools and now he's concerned about radicalisation in prisons.
Islamist extremists are attempting to radicalise prisoners by deliberately getting custodial sentences or gaining jobs in jails, according to the Prison Officers Association (POA).

The warning comes as the justice secretary, Michael Gove, has ordered a review of how the prison and probation service tackle the radicalisation of offenders. The review will include an investigation into Muslim preachers radicalising inmates, according to the Sun.
How very odd. Odd, because one thing that everybody knows about Michael Gove is that when he was Education Secretary, he had a portrait of Malcolm X on his wall.

The Guardian last year referred to
the twin pictures of Malcolm X and Margaret Thatcher on Gove's office wall
while the Statesman, month before last, preferred
in his Whitehall office, Gove hung pictures of Lenin and Malcolm X.
In 2011 Channel Four had
He's got a picture of Malcolm X on his secretary of state's office wall to drum the message home.

He's also got a picture of Barack Obama there. And Lenin too
and last year the Financial Times had
Alongside Theodore Roosevelt, Barack Obama and Margaret Thatcher is the unyielding image of Lenin – whom Gove claims invented the phrase “education, education, education” – and the portraits of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.
Why the different accounts, who can say. Maybe some of the writers actually witnessed the portraits and others were just trying to remember what the other ones had said. Or maybe the interviewers were too dazzled by Gove's legendary politeness to check the portraits properly. Still, Malcolm X is common to all the accounts. Everybody knows his portrait was on Michael Gove's wall at Education.

Maybe it still is, now Gove has moved to Justice. You'd kind of like to know.

Because one thing that everybody knows about Malcolm is that he found Islam in prison. He was radicalised, while in prison. He was so radicalised, in prison, that the FBI opened a file on him. He fitted almost every description of the sort of man who Michael Gove is seeking to root out.

But Michael Gove had a picture of Malcolm X on his office wall.


  1. I expect he likes to think that, like the people in the pictures on his wall, he too is a 'man of action'.

    Someone in the blogging world once described Gove as the political figure most likely to strike out as a fascist would-be dictator, if the circumstances were right. I found this unconvincing at the time, given that his notorious intolerance was coupled with a complete lack of charisma and presence, but having heard this story I'm inclined to think there was something in it.

    Ah-hah! Found it here:

  2. There you go - Malcolm X was radicalised in prison and joined the Nation of Islam, taking the name of Elijah Muhammad. Gove clearly prefers his earlier, funny work.

  3. I'm also pretty sure that during the McDonnell-quoted-Mao pearlclutching festival, Gove was one of several Tories to be shown as having recently quoted the Chairman.