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News, gossip and insight from PoliticsHome Editor Paul Waugh

Gove the Gagster

Michael Gove knows how to play to the gallery, be it the Press Gallery or the politico crowd at the Spectator Awards.

Today, he couldn't resist tweaking the tails of a string of high profile figures, from Speaker Bercow and his wife to Ed Miliband and Lord Justice Leveson. Heck, even Kim Kardashian got a namecheck.

Here's his full speech for those who missed it:

"It's a special pleasure to be here this lunchtime - and to share a platform with you Fraser -

not least because I see it as my mission to make England more like the Spectator

and by that I don't mean somewhere run by Boris for many happy years during which time he presides over a massive increase in what I can only call - well - general well-being -

I mean I want England to be influenced by the same values which permeate your paper - I want it to be a meritocracy.

You Fraser were a comprehensive school boy at Nairn Academy - one of your most distinguished predecessors - the much-missed Frank Johnson - was a graduate of Shoreditch Secondary Modern

Both of you won the editor's chair not through networking but the power of your pen.

By contrast - not a single director-general of the BBC has been comprehensively educated

Nor has a single editor of the Guardian

Will we ever see a comprehensive school boy in charge of the Guardian in my lifetime? Or perhaps a comprehensively educated woman as director-general of the BBC?

Of course in many respects, Andrew, we know who the next director-general of the BBC should be

A fearless interrogator - who while he may not be overburdened by modesty - still inspires fear in every one who crosses him, some-one whose writings have made him immeasurably richer than his peers, and who lends colour and lustre to London's swinging night-life

Yes - surely the time has come to appoint Tom Watson as D-G of the BBC.

And talking of Labour politicians destined for great things, I am sorry Ed Milband isn't here

For those of us - all those of us - committed to social mobility the Miliband story is a poignant one

overcoming formidable disadvantages - a father who had to struggle simply to be heard at seminars on the future of Marxism at the LSE, a childhood in the narrow precincts and tenement blocks of Primrose Hill where many families were only ever one trust fund away from having to work in the private sector, a primary school still struggling to recover after having housed Boris Johnson, then a secondary education in the mean streets of NW3 where rival gangs struggled for supremacy - and the fight between the Socialist Workers Party and the Workers Revolutionary Party would rage looming into the night, and, the final indignity - being forced to toil for hours unpaid in his first job - the office of Tony Benn -

how after a blighted start in life like that Ed managed to overcome all these disadvantages so that he could not just mix with public school alumnae like Chuka Umunna , Ed Balls and Harriet Harman but actually lead them - that is an inspirational story - the British dream

and its only fitting that today we celebrate successes like Ed's

because these awards - are like your magazine Fraser - a place where the outstanding is celebrated and merit is the only criteria for recognition.

So I'm sorry that Sally Bercow cannot be here

to receive the Lembit Opik memorial award for distinguished contributions to moral seriousness in public life

Similarly I'm sorry that John Bercow isn't here

to receive both his prizes

The Fox News Fair and Balanced Award for perfect objectivity at all times

and

the Kim Kardashian memorial thong for relentless self-effacement and shirking of the limelight

and its also a pity that His Honour Brian Leveson cannot be here

so he could receive the Bureau of Investigative Journalism award for commitment to truth-telling

for his wonderful comments

"I don't really need any lessons in freedom of speech, Mr Gove, really I don't""

 

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