I make no secret of the fact that I am a fervent supporter of the UK leaving the Fourth Reich, so I guess you would expect me to say that Michael Gove came out of last night’s Sky News debate better than David Cameron did on Thursday night. Having said that, I genuinely think that he did a better job than Cameron.
Faisal Islam managed to rattle Cameron who visibly lost some of his usual composure. He failed to do the same to Gove despite the continual interruptions that seem to be the signature tactic of the modern political interviewer. I particularly liked the way in which Gove nailed one question by quoting what Faisal had said the previous night.
The audience seemed less hostile to Gove. They were certainly less abusive. He was asked some awkward questions by the audience but it seemed to me that the end of the session was telling. Kay Burley seemed dissatisfied that he was getting too easy a ride and was clearly trying to stir things up in the closing minutes.
On the whole what came over was that there is no accurate economic forecast of what will happen if we leave. What also came across was that there’s no accurate forecast of what will happen if we stay in either. Will the rebate be taken away so we pay more? What will the unelected bureaucrats drop on us for having the audacity to vote in the first place? There are no guarantees and we all know it. As regards the so called economic experts, I think he was right to question the reliability of their forecasts and their impartiality.
I also liked the point he made about the big banks and businesses who have signed up to the Remain campaign – organisations that he’s right to point out spend large sums lobbying the EU and who get fat payments and tax breaks from them. The point that they’re hardly impartial in this debate was well made and one I’ve not heard trumpeted nearly often enough so far
And let’s not forget that on the legal side of things, Gove is perfectly positioned to comment from his position as Lord High Chancellor. From that point of view, I’d imagine he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to treaties, trade agreements and international law.
Gove’s message was that we should have faith in ourselves and our abilities. I agree with him. My view is that if we’re going to screw things up, then we should screw them up ourselves rather than have an unelected elite screw them up for us.
The message I got was simple : take back control of our own destiny. On the whole I think Gove did a good job last night getting it across