By Paul Goodman
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"Last week, [Gove] told Standpoint that he was "constitutionally incapable" of it. Yet it is possible to see how Johnson or Osborne might not be the first choice to succeed Cameron when a vacancy arises. The other day I suggested that Gove should be moved to sort out the disaster of NHS reform. But that may not be the limit of what he can achieve."
So did Toby Young:
"In a rash moment, I bet Nigella Lawson a large sum of money in 2003 that Boris would be leader of the Conservative Party within 15 years. That bet's looking safer now. However, in a three-way contest between Boris, Osborne and Gove, my money would be on Gove."
Charles Moore praised the Education Saturday the day before:
"Mr Gove deserves a lot of credit. It is very noticeable if you deal with him that he has a network of support outside government which most other ministers lack. He has built a coalition of advisers and friends who see how much he cares and so want to help him. They are, in that sense, unfashionably ideological. They have a project and – which helps morale – an enemy… Mr Gove offers an attractive combination – complete loyalty to the Cameron modernisation, but a Thatcher-era conviction politics as well. It is extremely powerful. Unfortunately, in the present Cabinet, it is virtually unique."
Now consider the Guardian this morning, which runs a piece on the Education Secretary unrelated to news called "The schools crusade which links Gove to Rupert Murdoch."
I may be wrong, but lately as the news has passed daily before my editing eyes the attacks on the Education Secretary from left-wing media outlets seem to be occupying more space. Consider, for example, here and here.
Guardian and New Statesman journalists would be asleep on the job were they not criticising Tory Cabinet Ministers. So this is not a complaint but an observation.
It is also, in its way, a warning. Gove is currently what the Australians called "a tall poppy". While Andrew Lansley trudges on with his health bill, the Education Secretary seems to soar skywards. There is no shortage of those who would like bring him down.