Michael Gove is a squid who wants to enslave us with O-levels

Jun 22, 2012
Michael Bywater

Gove and his Tory squid cohorts might even have gotten away with it if they hadn't read pesky Molesworth

Did you see that squid thing the other day? Stupid question. Those days are over. There’s YouTube now. Only old people watch that thing the other day. Soon telly will be for the dying.

Then it’ll be just for the dead.

Life is short, so I was watching this thing about how squids work. I didn’t know the half of it. And they kept reminding me of something.

They camouflage themselves to match their background.

They’ve got this odd pouty thing between their eyes like a sort of mouth, but a mouth three inches further forward than it should be. (A mouth that’s where Ed Miliband’s extra mouth — the haunted one that muddles up what Ed’s actually trying to say with his real mouth — would be, if it weren’t invisible.)

Squids’ actual mouth, though, is tucked away inside their feet. This is just a fake mouth. Frighten or attack the squid, and it will use its Milimouth to blind you with a cloud of obliterating ink, or to squirt really hard, jetting backwards at incredible speed without having to do a U-turn.

That’s what the squid can do: merge in, then shoot backwards while facing forwards.

And one more thing about the fake mouth.

It’s also its arse.

So. That’s what God thinks of the squid: arse between the eyes. Bad day, probably. Thursday’s always bad. No reason Thursday #1 should be different. Whales, fishes, fowls of the air. And then the squid. “Feck it,” snarls God. “Fecking arse thing. Take this, you fecker.” Splot. You can just picture it.

Then he made Michael Gove.

Well come on. You have to admit there are a few points in common.

Not just Gove. All of them.

The phony merging-with-their-surroundings that only a fool or a selection committee bore would fall for.

The high-speed reverse while pointing forwards.

The clouds of obfuscating ink.

The squirting runnel, right in the middle of their face.

The giveaway is that Mr Gove has the actual mouth. Look at him in all the pictures. Squid eyes, and that odd squiddly pouty funnel of a mouth. He’s like one of the Pod People whose disguise slipped for a moment, revealing that they weren’t human.

The trouble is, they’ve read the wrong book.

When the aliens Come Among Us (which they always do in initial caps) they swot up, but it’s invariably the wrong book, so they make a tiny but fatal error.

This time, it’s not just Gove’s Milimouth, but Cleggy’s sneaking about Gove’s plan to bring back O-levels instead of these poofy nonsense lefty things the kids are doing which is why we have trouble, nothing to do with the banks or excess liquidity, as any fule kno it’s not their fault did didn’t did didn’t ect ect.

“Sir sir,” says Cleggy to anyone who’ll listen, “Goveo’s bad and he didn’t say, he did’nt tell me or Big Daveo honest he did’nt and anyway he’s not our frend any more can I go now Sir ecxept it’s nets in half an hour and it wuold be really chizz to miss them.”

And then it becomes clear. Our would-be squid overlords have swotted up for their conquest of earth by reading Molesworth.

Molesworth, the Horror of St Custard’s.

Molesworth, Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle’s great satirical tetralogy of English life in the mid-Fifties, as seen through the devious, brutalized eyes of a prep school boy.

This isn’t a government.

This is a skool ragging from How To Be Topp.

This is Clegg trying to uterly tuogh up Gove and put him in the lugage rack with Molesworth Two, and Cameron swanking around like the rich boy Graber, whose friends only like him because his father owns a toyshop and he has all the latest stuff.

The idea of bringing back O-levels is the final giveaway. I did them. If you were thick you did CSEs. If you did O-levels, you don’t remember anything about it afterwards. None of it means a bloody thing except O-levels were harder and more boring.

The thing that means something?


Kids, left to their own devices, stick to a narrow conformist pared-down culture. The entertainment industries are happy to meet their needs.

It’s parents who widen them out, teach them stuff, point to things they wouldn’t have seen or noticed.

And parents can be anybody. They don’t have to be your biological ones or even your social ones. They can — and often are — schoolteachers. They can be someone nearby who spots your talent and takes an interest. A parent can be anyone.

That’s what the Squid Overlords missed with their bollocks about O-levels. Phony syllogism. (1) People are leaving school without proper abilities. (2) People used to do O-levels. (3) If we bring back O-levels it’ll be like the old days.

No it won’t. Read Down with Skool, How to be Topp, or Back in Jugg Againe. See, behind the masterly satire and the anarchy of Molesworth and his best freind Peason, what might be more important than O-levels. It’s the ones who parent us — not indulge, parent — who make the difference. Whoever they may happen to be.

  • Molesworth by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle, Penguin Classics. ISBN 978-0141186009

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Also read Richmal Crompton's William books.

I studied for O levels whilst at grammer school. Then the government did away with grammer schools and O levels and CSE's. Now look at the literacy and academic levels of those leaving school. Duh! I even get official letters, documents and forms with basic spelling and grammer mistakes. This country is going down the toilet thanks mainly to the Thatcherite tories and now the ConDems.

deckhanddave - slightly undermining your argument by failing to spell the school you attended correctly?!
That is "grammar" not "grammer" - possibly confusing with "crammer"?