It’s saying something when Conservative leadership candidates repeatedly exhibit some of the vilest and most immoral characteristics that wouldn’t normally be tolerated in wider society today. The Independent Newspaper has uncovered a number of audio recordings of Michael Gove giving speeches at the Cambridge Union in the 80’s & 90’s in which he made a series of highly offensive remarks and argued that British imperialism was a good thing. Here’s a simple transcription of the segments of Gove’s speeches taken directly from the Independent’s report…
1987: Debating the British empire..
“he said it was a good thing, the whole case of the opposition has been that it’s immoral to keep an empire. Now that is not the question under discussion. It ‘may’ be moral to keep an empire because the fuzzy-wuzzies can’t look after themselves. It may be immoral to keep an empire because the people of the third world have an inalienable right to self-determination, but that doesn’t matter whether it’s moral or immoral”
“…and that organic growth.. this is a difficult philosophical concept if you’ll bear with me.. that organic growth was mirrored in that Eton took the cream of the colonial system.. it took fettered foreigners and it turned them into gentlemen”
1987: Debating homosexuality..
“Many of us are familiar with the fact that homosexuals thrive primarily on short-term relations. Those of us who have spent hours at New York bath houses will realise that, in one night, you can pack in 15 loving relationships and 300 one night stands and still be none the worse for wear”
1987: Debating Margaret Thatcher’s policies..
“We are, at last, experiencing a new empire.. an empire where the happy south stamps over the cruel, dirty, toothless face of the northerner. At last, Mrs Thatcher is saying ‘I don’t give a fig for what half of the population are saying because the richer half will keep me in power’… This maybe amoral, this maybe immoral but it’s politics and it’s pragmatism”
1993: Gove talking about Sir Leon Britton, who was, at the time, under investigation following claims of a VIP child abuse ring, made by Carl Beech.
“I was talking to Sir Leon the other evening. I asked Sir Leon… but once he turned over and wiped the sweat from his brow, he said ‘Cambridge taught me an appreciation of music and in particular an appreciation of the mature male soprano voice.. and I discovered then that there is no sound sweeter than a young boys voice breaking apart from possibly…” – The Independent decided not to include the bit where Gove then goes on to describe a sexual act – “…it was at that stage, of the course, I felt compelled to contact special branch and Sir Leon, weeks later, resigned his post as Trade and Industry Secretary and now satisfies his desires in the Bois de Boulogne and various other Brussels hang outs”
1993: Debating a motion.. “This house prefers a woman on top”, Gove spends much of his speech talking in explicitly sexual terms about the then young female President of the Cambridge Union, Lucy Frazer, who is today an MP and also the current Minister of State for Prisons and Probation
“Now, with fruit flavoured condoms, if you use those and you happen to be in the presence of a Leeds housewife, say Lucy Frazer, she says ‘mmm, next time I think we should try peach’. I was fortunate enough to know her before she pioneered a new development in union democracy, the example of the ‘single transferable girlfriend’, which I think has revolutionised the way we do things here. Can I also say that Lucy has done remarkably well, coming as she has done from the back streets and slums of Leeds. You can still see something of the poverty there.. unfortunately she wasn’t able to finish her skirt before she came here this evening.. but she has done remarkably well, so well, in fact, that last night she was actually capable of tempting me into bed.. I knew, I knew I shouldn’t have done it, I succumbed, I weakened… who amongst us here wouldn’t.. who amongst us here hasn’t?.. but anyway.. Someone said earlier that Lucy was the girl who has everything. She’s also the girl who’s had everyone.. but I’m referring of course to her term card before any of you have any smutty thoughts. They’re all here, all here, Michael Parkinson of course here tonight, Lorraine Chase here tonight, as I say the girl who’s had everyone!… but last night Lucy and I were alone together.. The Magdalene Rugby Club had finished and left slightly earlier!”
Listening to the Cambridge Union audience, it seems to me there was really little interest in ‘debating’ anything and a far greater appetite for stand-up comedy from the 70’s. Something tells me Bernard Manning would have gone down an absolute storm at the Cambridge Union.
By the way, worth noting that Gove was presenting for the BBC by 1993.
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