If you are a teacher who has just returned to school after a welcome break, beware, Michael Gove has rumbled you: admit it, you’re a member of an extreme left-wing organisation, aren’t you? Gove has, in parliament, referred to the National Union of Teachers and ‘other extreme left-wing’ organisations (by which, presumably, he means all the other teacher unions). He was seeking to justify his refusal to comply with a Freedom of Information request for the publication of free school applications that were unsuccessful, along with the letters of rejection. He was, he said, protecting those brave teachers who wanted to set up a free school from intimidation by the NUT and those other extremists. (Feel free to insert here any anecdote of Gove or his minions bullying or intimidating teachers, parents, schools or headteachers into becoming academies or accepting poorer negotiating rights, conditions of service etc.)
Gove never seems to be happy unless he’s name-calling – remember the ‘enemies of promise’ jibe? – or tilting at left-wing windmills (witness his recent ignorant and inappropriate diatribe against supposedly left-wing ‘myths’ about the First World War).