enough of experts

Michael Gove has become infamous for saying that we (the British) have “had enough of experts”. Here’s the context (FI= Faisal Islam, the interviewer):

FI: But let’s just look at this now, the leaders of the US, India, China, Australia, every single one of our allies, the Bank of England, the IFS, the IMF, the CBI, five former NATO Secretary-Generals, the Chief Exec of the NHS and most of the leaders of the trade unions in Britain all say that you, Boris and Nigel are wrong. Why should the public trust you over them?

MICHAEL GOVE: I’m not asking the public to trust me, I’m asking the public to trust themselves. I’m asking the British public to take back control of our destiny from those organisations which are distant, unaccountable, elitists and don’t have their own interests at heart.

FI: Elitist? Elitist? The Lord High Chancellor, a conspiracy of elites? It sounds like Wolf Hall.

MICHAEL GOVE: Well I haven’t seen Wolf Hall but the one thing that I would say is that the people who are backing the Remain campaign are people who have done very well thank you out of the European Union and the people increasingly … [Applause] … absolutely. The people who are arguing that we should get out are concerned to ensure that the working people of this country at last get a fair deal. I think the people of this country have had enough of experts with organisations from acronyms saying that …

FI: The people of this country have had enough of experts, what do you mean by that?

MICHAEL GOVE: … from organisations with acronyms saying that they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong because these people …

FI: The people of this country have had enough of experts?

MICHAEL GOVE: Because these people are the same ones who have got consistently wrong …

FI: This is [inaudible] politics this isn’t it? This is Oxbridge Trump.

MICHAEL GOVE: No, it’s a faith, Faisal, in the British people to make the right decision.

Full interview transcript here, video of the interview here.

2 replies on “enough of experts”

Well, even though I disagree with Cove, clearly by taking this out of context the message was changed substantially. He was clearly taking aim at certain “organisations” and not at expertise as such. BTW, the infamous Thatcher quote about there “being no such thing as society” also takes on quite a different meaning when read in context.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *