February 11, 2011 1 Comment
This afternoon Michael Gove and his Department for Education scaled new heights of arrogance.
“On the substantive points he [the judge] concluded that it was a rational decision and that the authorities involved had no expectation of being allowed to proceed with their projects.” “The Secretary of State will now look again at his decision with regard to these authorities with an open mind, taking representations from them. “The judge set out, however, that “the final decision on any project still rests with him and…. No one should gain false hope from this decision.” – Department for Education
Such a bullish response considering that Gove had just been firmly put in his place. Today the councils of Waltham Forest, Luton Borough Council, Nottingham City Council, Sandwell, Kent County Council and Newham won their legal challenge on the scrapping of the BSF programme. This ruling opened up questions that need to be answered and answered quickly.
The judge allowed the legal challenge on the account that Mr Gove had failed to consult the councils before cutting the programme. He ruled that the decision was so unfair that it amounted to an abuse of power. Only Michael Gove can see any semblance of justification in his decision from this devastating assessment of his actions.
Three questions now need to be answered following this ruling;
- Does this now leave the door open for other councils to challenge the cancellation of their BSF programmes? If so, will we see the government scale back its cuts agenda to allow for additional capital funding to be channelled back into state education?
- Does this raise questions about the Free Schools programme and it’s consultation process. A process that should be taking place but is frequently accused of not happening with any degree of transparency?
- Does Gove’s response confirm that he is officially the most arrogant MP sitting today?
The first two questions will be answered in due course but the third can be answered now. That answer is firm yes.
There have been question marks about his judgement and his decision making from day one. Today’s ruling only confirms what we have known for a long time and that is Gove doesn’t care what people think. He has an agenda that is both blinded by arrogance and morally wrong.
Gove now needs to stand up and admit once again that he was wrong. He needs to say sorry for the pain that his unlawful decision has caused to thousands of students and teachers. Not just to today’s victorious councils but to all students and teachers that have been touched by this “abuse of power”.