Yesterday, Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, was asked about food banks distributing school uniforms to parents who could not afford to clothe their children.
A lot of people are only at food banks because, “[they are] not best able to manage their own finances”.
Oh! That’s why they are there! Thanks Michael, I was getting worried it was something to do with a prolonged fall in household incomes and/or your government’s reckless policy of austerity. But I was wrong after all. They are simply there because of their own poor judgement. Well, thank God for that!
If everyone was as good with their money as Michael Gove is with his, we wouldn’t need these food banks in the first place. This is a man who knew exactly the right moment to pay back the £7,000 expenses he claimed to lavishly furnish his second home. It was when he got caught, of course.
The whole episode only further enhances the Education Secretary’s reputation as a rigorous academic thinker. In less than a minute, Gove was able to explain an economic phenomena that many have spent their whole lives studying. He was able to pinpoint the root cause of poverty in a matter of seconds. People are poor because they are crap with money. It really is that simple.
We should encourage Michael Gove to share his not inconsiderable wisdom. He is after all, in the perfect position to do so. As the Education Secretary he should at least make sure his wise words find their way on to the curriculum. But he should go further than that and include other Goveisms.
Before they start whining about a social and economic system that is rigged against them, the so-called ‘poor and vulnerable’ of tomorrow need to know that:
- People freeze to death in Winter because they don’t know how to use their heaters. It has nothing to do with energy prices or inadequate insulation.
- Young people can’t find jobs because they (quite literally) do not know what work is. This conceptual gap completely explains unemployment. The economy does not come into this.
- Polar bears are dying because they don’t know how to manage their own properties and fisheries. Not because their homes are melting.
Perhaps we are being a little harsh on Gove. To be fair, poverty is not his area of expertise. He is the Education Secretary. The people best placed to judge him are the teachers, headteachers and support staff that work tirelessly in schools up and down the country. And I hear that they absolutely adore him.