by UnHerd News
Wednesday, 2
February 2022
Video
14:10

Michael Gove: I was wrong on Christmas restrictions

The minister admitted that he should not have backed more restrictions
by UnHerd News

Cabinet minister Michael Gove has admitted that he “was wrong” to support additional Covid restrictions over Christmas last year. Speaking on TalkRadio this morning, the Secretary of State for Housing said that during cabinet talks late last year, he argued for more measures that may have affected the Christmas plans of millions of families across the country.

In an extraordinary statement, Gove told presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer that he was “sorry” that to have backed new measures, before adding that it was the Prime Minister and the Chancellor who were “right” to no. He said:

You’re going to get something unprecedented. You’re going to get a politician saying they got something wrong. In cabinet I was concerned that we may need additional restrictions over Christmas and argued for them. I was wrong: the Prime Minister and the Chancellor were right. At cabinet a couple of weeks ago I said I was wrong and they were right and you have it here Julia: a scoop; a revelation of what actually went on in cabinet. I wont’ say what anyone else said – I’ll tell you what I said, which is I’m sorry on this occasion I made a mistake.
- Michael Gove

When Boris Johnson announced that there would be no further measures beyond ‘Plan B’ on 17 December, cases were rising at 78,610 a day — the highest total since the start of the pandemic. Elsewhere in the UK, Nicola Sturgeon had urged Scots to limit their socialising to three households before and after Christmas as well as cancelling Hogmanay and football events. In Wales, several new restrictions were introduced on Boxing day, which included no more than six being allowed to meet in pubs, restaurants and cinemas as well as the closure of nightclubs.

But beyond the country’s controversial Plan B Prime Minister Boris Johnson largely avoided implementing any new measures, instead focusing on the Government’s booster programme.

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Jon Game
Jon Game
4 months ago

He just needs to apologise for the 1st and 2nd lockdowns now.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
4 months ago
Reply to  Jon Game

Jailed for them.

Dylan Regan
Dylan Regan
4 months ago

Fair play. Respect always increases for people when they admit mistakes

stephen archer
stephen archer
4 months ago

Michael is a politician who is never lost for words irrespective of the questions and he usually weasels his way out of answering after a 2-3 minute monologue. This time he was improving his PR-coefficient by admitting his mistake when any other answer would have been ridiculous.

Matt M
Matt M
4 months ago
Reply to  stephen archer

I remember when Faisal Islam interviewed him on Sky in the run up to the referendum which was followed by a studio audience asking him questions (moderated by Kay Burley). It was a real lions-den format. David Cameron had put the Remain case in the same format a few days before and had been OK. But Gove was brilliant! He outfoxed Islam (who we now know is himself a die-hard Remainer) and eventually won over the audience. He is excellent at arguing a case and thinking on his feet.
He’s less good at assessing risk and wildly overstated models though.

Last edited 4 months ago by Matt M
Norman Powers
Norman Powers
4 months ago
Reply to  stephen archer

No. We need to give credit here. Of course, giving any other answer would have been ridiculous but that hasn’t stopped everyone else in science, media or politics so far. I’m wracking my brains trying to think of anyone who actually admitted being wrong about COVID restrictions at any point and Gove is the only name coming up. I’m sure there are others, but, who else has not only had the nerve to admit this about something so serious but do it in public, on television? Would you, in his shoes? Be honest.
A good 50% of the reason that everything about COVID is so insane is what appears to be the iron law of public health: you never admit error, ever. Public health is one long march in a straight line towards a brighter tomorrow. Everyone is competent, everyone is honest, and today’s advice is always correct even if it’s the opposite of yesterday’s or tomorrow’s or even today’s from someone else.
This kind of admission is ultimately the only way out of the madness for our society, as replacing the entire political class isn’t going to happen anytime soon. For one, not many people are willing to volunteer for a job where you sometimes have to eat crow on live TV for merely advising your boss to do something he didn’t then do!
Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing but contempt for what governments, politicians and the media have done. I couldn’t see my family this Christmas largely because people like Gove, Johnson and the other clowns in Cabinet are still letting SAGE terrorize the British public instead of doing what they should have done 18 months ago and fire them (ideally, into the sun). BUT the route out of the darkness is made of steps like these. I will not condemn Gove for taking such a step.

Last edited 4 months ago by Norman Powers
Paul Walsh
Paul Walsh
4 months ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

I agree it is a good step. It is a self interested step though. As one of the main clowns that pushed us into this, he is smart enough to read the road ahead and take evasive action. They all need to go the next step and admit all lockdowns were a mistake, otherwise it is still the handiest political option when the media start screaming.

Last edited 4 months ago by Paul Walsh
Peter Lee
Peter Lee
4 months ago

I note, he does not actually say why he thinks he was wrong. I would be interested in the answer,because so many people were on his side,

Stephen Walshe
Stephen Walshe
4 months ago

Sucking up to Sunak.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
4 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walshe

In what way is he sucking up to Mr Sunak? I’m not saying whether he is right or not, but just saying, that in hindsight you think someone may have been right doesn’t mean you’re sucking up to that person.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
4 months ago

The entire Lockdown, Vax Mandate, Money Printing, taking trillions from the workers/savers and redistributing it to the super wealthy, destroying education, freedom, rights, Medical Ethics, House Prices inflated, Creating Inflation, business closings, destroying the health by shutting down the NHS….

That thing, that Global Plandemic Agenda, it is crumbling like a snow man in the hot, Spring, sun. All the weaselly politicos will be out saying things about how they may have been wrong, but they meant well. How it was really someone’s fault, but not so much theirs because SAGE did it, they were misled by ‘The Science’, but for some small thing, which they apologize for….

Martin Le Jeune
Martin Le Jeune
4 months ago

Gove is the brightest member of the current cabinet by a long way. A good man.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
4 months ago

Now he should do the ‘decent thing’ and leave the stage.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
4 months ago

haha, right, he should ‘Fall on his sword’ like some Roman General in defeat. More like retire and become Vice President for ‘Facebook, UK’ at four hundred thousand a year – like all the worst of the politicos do – I mean they owe it to him, he did as they told him to do all these years.