So Gove goes and Pickles stays. These events must be the result of performance appraisals with the prime minister.
Gove ended badly. Even though he is a strategic brain box the whole of the education establishment hated him. And they didn’t hide it. Politicians are chasing votes so Gove had to go.
David Cameron likes Pickles. “Eric, you are no brain box, but you never let a principle get in the way of naked populism. Love the way you have sold localism while at the same time you tell councils how to empty bins.”
Best of all, Pickles has delivered the biggest percentage cuts across cabinet with little more than a whimper from local government.
It was as if we gave up the fight right at the beginning. To stretch a point, when Aneurin Bevan was negotiating multilateral nuclear disarmament with the Soviet Union, he shocked the left, of which he was part, by refusing to agree that we should unilaterally get rid of our weapons of mass destruction. He said it would leave him naked in the negotiations with the Russians.
Given how effective the LGA has been at defending our sector, I can only presume they have spent the past 4 years cycling past Eland House headquarters in the nude.
This brings me nicely to what should have been Mr Pickles’ next interference in a council. This time it would have probably been for the good. I’m sure Tendring DC would welcome the Tour de France but they were horrified that they had been chosen as the site of the World Naked Bike Ride for the second year in a row.
It took place during the day at Clacton, Tendring’s biggest visitor destination. The council and Essex police both wanted to stop it but did not have the powers.
Normally I would argue that local government should be given the powers to stop nude cyclists but in this case popularism clearly overrules principle. I am sure there would have been overwhelming support for Mr Pickles to intervene and nip the nude cyclists in the bud before every high street is graced by naked wobbling bottoms.
You should have intervened Eric, we’d have been right behind you.
The one thing he won’t comment on is his identity…