Writing in The Spectator this week, associate editor Damian Thompson has slammed Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron for silencing “the only minister who understands Islamism”.
Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP, who was removed from his position as Secretary of State for Education in the cabinet reshuffle that took place last month, is now the government’s chief whip; a move which the Prime Minister has insisted is not a demotion despite the role paying substantially less and not conferring full rights to attend cabinet.
The frustration that Thompson clearly feels over David Cameron’s decision is palpable as he laments “The defenestration of Gove” as “the most cowardly act of Dave’s premiership.”
“As chief whip, and not even a full member of the cabinet, Gove is no longer in a position to expose the ‘Trojan Horse’ indoctrination that, according to some reports, has encouraged more British Muslims to join Isis than the British Army. … Were he still education secretary, he would be tracing the path of these psychotic converts through the state school system.”
‘Trojan Horse‘ refers to an alleged plot by militant Muslims to take over the running of Birmingham schools in order to indoctrinate the children, including those from non-Muslim backgrounds.
Referring to repeated criticisms that Cameron has no ideology but instead rules according to opinion polls, Thompson rages “But, hey, the focus groups don’t like Gove, and that’s all that matters to his assassin, currently turning lobster pink on yet another bloody beach.”
Cameron had cut short a holiday in Portugal to return to London following the beheading of James Foley, but he remained in the capital for just one day before heading to Cornwall to complete his vacation time. Parliament is not due to reconvene from recess until 1st September when it will sit for just 9 days before breaking again for the month long conference season recess.
Michael Gove has long been vocal on the rising threat of Islamism. In 2006 he wrote a book, Celsius 7/7, in the wake of the London bombings in which he warned of the danger that radical Islam posed to the country. Rather presciently, Chapter 8 is actually titled “The Trojan Horse”.
The opinions he expressed in the book have clearly not been dulled over time, as just last month in an interview with Andrew Marr he said “If liberalism is to survive – and I believe liberalism is the way in which we approach these issues, liberal values are our best protector – we need to be robust.
“We need to challenge those views and we need to make sure that people who have views that are inimical to liberal values and wish to use institutions to push an agenda which is inimical to liberal values are not in a position where they can use public money or the public square in order to push their views.”
Yet the criticism he doles out in the opening chapter is as powerful a warning today as it was back in 2006, when he wrote “Public discourse in Britain barely touches on the real nature of the Islamist threat, the intellectual underpinnings of Islamist thinking, its hold on the minds of millions, the calculations that underlie Islamist terrorism and the scope of Islamist ambition. Instead, in a curious inversion, the energy that should be devoted to analysing and combating a totalitarian challenge is directed towards campaigning against those who dare to take the threat seriously.”