Michael Gove is the Action Man of the British Government – and the Prime Minister is lucky to have him around.
If ever there was a minister who gets things done, rather than nervously dipping his big toe in the water, and consulting focus groups and so on, it is Mr Gove. How refreshing!
Now, thankfully, he has returned to centre-stage as Lord Chancellor and is determined to reform what he calls the “creaking and dysfunctional” justice system. And you can bet your bottom dollar that, despite the inevitable opposition of the legal profession, he will get it done.
As he points out, the system is fine for overseas plutocrats fighting each other in expensive legal battles. But for the ordinary British punter, and notably the victims of crime, it is way outside their financial resources, and even when it happens, it is slow and cumbersome.
Do not underestimate the resolve of Michael Gove to achieve his aims, whatever obstacles lie in his way.
Andy Burnham has made clear that if he becomes Labour’s new leader, half his shadow Cabinet will be women and that his effective Number Two – as shadow Secretary of State – will also be a woman, even if the deputy leadership battle is won by a man. He has said: “For too long, Labour’s top team hasn’t fully reflected our country. At times we’ve looked and sounded like a Westminster think-tank talking in a code that the public don’t understand.
“I am going to change that. Labour will look, feel and sound different under my leadership. I will have a front bench full of diversity, different backgrounds and accents. My top team will be 50 per cent women and I will make sure that women hold the most senior jobs. I will get to work straight away by appointing a woman as shadow first secretary of state to create a balanced Labour top team taking on the Tories at Prime Minister’s Questions.”
That is all very well. But when will British politicians get it into their skulls that good government – or opposition – does not depend on quotas or “reflecting” anything? Mr Burnham, if he wins, should be picking those he regards as the best people to do the jobs he wants them to do, irrespective of gender, race, religion, age or sexual orientation.