UK: Boris Administration Official Attacked For Having Politically Diverse Bookshelf


Michael Gove, the senior Cabinet Minister, has come under fire by leftists for having a diverse array of political books on his bookshelf.

As the coronavirus outbreak has forced us into our homes, with Zoom calls becoming the norm in stead of in-person meetings, the backgrounds of our work spaces are being judged. This includes, for many, a bookshelf – with both aesthetic and literature choices on full view, it’s an easy avenue to start to judge someone. One Twitter account, “Bookcase Credibility,” does just that to political commentators and celebrities.

One such political commentator is Sarah Vine. Vine is not only a columnist for the Daily Mail, but is also the wife of Michael Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and a key player in Boris Johnson’s administration. Vine decided to tweet out one of her bookshelfs following some criticism for an earlier tweet that included books about Thatcher next to ones about Hitler and Rommel.

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The left were not happy that Gove and Vine have a wide array of diverse political literature on their bookshelf. Activists such as Owen Jones and others pounced on the fact that they had a book by David Irving, a holocaust denier, and a copy of The Bell Curve by Charles A. Murray and Richard Herrnstein, a comprehensive study of human intelligence that is often criticised for claiming both inherited and environmental factors influence IQ.


Vine and others were quick to respond, noting the “censorious” nature of the left, comparing them to authoritarian regimes of the past:


Stephen Pollard, the editor of the Jewish Chronicle, slammed Jones’s line of thinking in an article for the site:

The implication was clear – that there is something very dodgy about reading a book by a man like Irving. In other words, if you read it, you clearly have some sort of sympathy with the views. Blimey. If that’s how it works, I am beyond redemption. As well as two books by Irving, I’ve got a book by the actual Adolf Hitler on my shelves – not to mention Mao and – here’s where it gets really bad – I also have speeches by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell… Michael Gove has probably done more for Holocaust education and the Jewish community in Britain than any senior politician other than Gordon Brown. It’s obvious to anyone why he would have read the work of a Holocaust denier.

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Ian Austin, the ex-Labour MP, and Robert Colville of CapX, also highlighted Gove’s work in combating anti-semitism and promoting Holocaust education:

In 2001, Tony Benn, the former Labour MP, and a hero to the hard-left, said that he bought a copy of “Mein Kampf when [he] was about eight,” describing it as “an astonishing book.” Given Jones’s and others tweets, we should be expecting a posthumous cancellation of Mr Benn any time soon.