A little local trouble for Michael Gove

Yesterday Michael Gove made a speech attacking magazines such as Nuts and Zoo:

I believe we need to ask tough questions about the instant-hit hedonism celebrated by the modern men’s magazines targeted at younger males.

Titles such as Nuts and Zoo paint a picture of women as permanently, lasciviously, uncomplicatedly available.

We should ask those who make profits out of reveling in, or encouraging, selfish irresponsibility among young men what they think they’re doing.

There’s plenty to debate in his speech. But it has one rather embarassing problem. Recess Monkey explains:

A look through the Register of Members Interests reveals Michael was elected thanks to payments to his constituency party from Red Fig Ltd.

Red Fig Ltd, which specializes in interactive television and promised “non-stop TV action,” provided their services for Miss World 2004 and helped to launch – yep, you guessed it, Nuts TV. You can read their very proud press release here.

It seems Gove’s still taking money too – according to his latest register of members interests entry, he says:

“Donations to my constituency association have been solicited or encouraged by me from:
Red Fig (company donation)”


P.S. Whilst he’s asking himself questions, Michael Gove might also want to ask fellow Conservative MP Frances Maude a few questions too:

FRANCIS Maude’s links with a firm that invested millions in a hardcore porn empire will stun the Tory party as it tries to clean up its image. (Source: The Mirror)

Not to mention:

What is it about Francis Maude and the adult entertainment industry? No sooner has he stepped down as non-executive chairman of the Jubilee Trust following revelations that it had invested in an American porn business than I learn he is taking the shilling of another organisation best known for its X-rated content. (Source: The Guardian)

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  • John Abrams 5th Aug '08 - 4:33pm

    At least they didn’t put tittles as a spelling mistake!

  • Justin Hinchcliffe 5th Aug '08 - 4:58pm

    Where’s Michael Brown hiding these days? What’s his new name?

  • All Gove’s talk about family values reminds me of a letter I received when I was 16 from Owen Paterson the Tory MP for Shropshire North who wrote and told me that he would not be agreeing to my request to support the change in age of consent to 16 for gay sex because he was the father of two small children and he needed to protect them.
    Ahhh, traditional Tory family values….

  • Michael Gove is easily the most dangerous Conservative MP.

    His oleaginous charm might be disarming to some, and his posing as an intellectual and cultural lluminary will convince the unwary. But make no mistake. Gove is Cheney’s man. His role in the Shadow Cabinet is to ensure that Cameron, Osborne and Hague pursue the objectives of the US military industrial petro-chemical complex.

    The more mud we can throw at him the better for this country.

  • How Gove can get acres of press coverage with such vacuous waffle is a sad indictment of the media.

    What tough questions is he going to ask?
    What is he pledged to actually do?
    He is the modern Tory party personified,
    window dressing devoid of content.

  • It’s amazing how gentle the press are being with the Tories. If this was anyone else, especially, I suspect, a Labour politician, all the tabloids would be in full cry… Sleaze! Scandal!

  • Justin Hinchcliffe 5th Aug '08 - 8:54pm

    Ed, all parties contain people who have been – and remain – hostile to gay equality. Remember Simon Hughes’ “straight choice” strapline against dear old Peter Tatchell? I suspect if you had written to, for example, Colin Breed or Bob Russell you would have received an identical response.

  • Richard Church 5th Aug '08 - 10:37pm

    There was only one party that introduced section 28. No guesses which one.

    While there are people in the Tory party who have spoken up on gay rights, and there are some homophobes in other parties, the Conservative party has consistently beeen the slowest to fight homophobia and has retained the greatest number of homophobes in its ranks. Any objective assesstment of the Tory voting record will bear that out.

  • David Morton 6th Aug '08 - 2:33am

    Its actually a really interesting speech and very liberal in parts. You could lift several chunks and put them in a Leaders conference speech at bournmouth. This post and some of the comments on it epitomise the party’s failure/refusal to take the Conservative revival seriously. One reason why they are polling in the high 40’s and we have slipped back into the teens.The Nuts and Zoo comments are a bit bonkers because they provide a distracting headline from an otherwise substantial speech. 

  • Justin Hinchcliffe 6th Aug '08 - 9:02am

    Richard, Section28 was introduced with the support of the Labour Front Bench. It was a mistake.

    “…there are some homophobes in other parties…” – this is the first time that I’ve ever heard a Lib Dem admit to this, so, in that respect well, done.

    The Conservative Party has changed – and changed for the better. Your failure to grasp this is one reason why you’re lagging in the polls.

  • I’m confused by Gove’s attack on these magazines.

    How does he wish to influence the content of their pages?

    Does he wish to ban them? In which case he is no supporter of the free market.

    Does he wish to reintroduce the censorship powers of the Lord Chamberlain or impose some kind of media licensing scheme? In which case he is no supporter of free speech.

    Or do his connections exposed above suggest he may have some leverage with the the publishers and owners? In which case shareholders, readers and constituents alike will be concerned about the lack of transparency and unclear chain of accountability.

    It seems a bit perverse for a Conservative to be attacking a publication which offers an outlet for conservative expression, so either Gove is in the wrong party, he is biting the hands that feeds him or Red Fig Ltd have provided these donations against their will and potentially through ignorance.

    Nuts indeed.

  • Justin Hinchcliffe 6th Aug '08 - 10:22am

    For what it’s worth, I’m not a ‘preachy Conservative’ and don’t approve of Gove’s moralising!

  • There seems to be some confusion as to the Conservative position on human sexuality. So let’s spell out what it actually is.

    Sexual freedom is something reserved for the elite. Upper class people, provided they stick to the 11th Commandment (“Thou shalt not get caught”) can do more or less what they like. The common people, by contrast, are expected to conform to strict behavioural norms. A lower class peson is only permitted sex outside marriage underneath an upper class person.

    For Conservatives, homosexuality is the secret glue that holds upper class men together. A lower class man is only permitted to indulge if he is young and pretty and fancied by an upper class man. That is as it has always been.

    The Conservative Party hasn’t changed a bit under Cameron/Gove. It is as odious and repellent as ever.

  • Tories!! They just dont get it do they?
    I think they never will.

  • Reading my post I must point out, ‘they just dont get it, do they?’, wasnt referring to anything to do with sex,… but reading the article again…….

    Only joking Justin!!!

  • Picking up mjy Farmers Guardian (or something similar) in the Shrewsbury branch of WH Smith the nice lady cashier asked:

    “Would you like a Zoo magazine?”

    Absolutely, for the keeping of exotic animals in capotivity is another of my great interests. I so looked forward to reading about gorillas, giraffes and gerenuks.

    What a disappointment !!

  • A superb cartoon from the early days of “Private Eye”. In the aftermath of the Profumo affair, Macmillan climbs a ladder and fixes a poster to a hoarding with the following words: “We’ve never had it so often.” (For the uninitiated, MacMillan’s catchphrase was “You’ve never had it so good”.)

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