Michael Gove says Theresa May is a secret Catholic who can’t be trusted to deliver Brexit

The Brexiteers' historical fantasies are out of control


This year marks the quincentenary of Reformation, and Michael Gove is celebrating by claiming that a Catholic plotter has taken over the British government.

In today’s Times, Gove writes that Theresa May’s is not a devout member of the Church of England, as she would have you believe. Her Lenten sacrifice of salt-and-vinegar crisps tells us that she is actually Britain’s ‘first Catholic prime minister’.

It’s hardly the gunpowder plot, but Gove has more! On Desert Island Discs, May selected a Catholic hymn as one of her eight records (she also selected both ‘Walk Like A Man’ and ‘Dancing Queen’, but that’s a conspiracy theory for another day…)

May’s every political act, the cabinet-minister-turned-tinfoil-hat-wearer warns, is infused by Catholic thought. Her emphasis on the common good, resistance to corporate buccaneering and concern for workers clearly links her to a string of papist thinkers, form Pope Leo XIII to John Cruddas.

And most disturbingly of all, May’s closet Catholicism threatens Britain’s future outside Europe.

The man who once thought he could be Prime Minister explains:

“Britain’s path to preeminence in the past followed our break with Catholicism and embrace of the Reformation. We pursued a global, maritime, buccaneering, individualistic, liberal destiny — the spirit of our capitalism was infused with a very Protestant ethic. Now that we are once more freeing ourselves from a conformist Continent to make our own way in the world the question of whether we need to be more radical to maximise opportunities or more cautious to reassure and protect is central to our politics.”

For all the usual verbosity, Gove’s message is simple: Brexit should be delivered by Protestants. And while the delivery is laughable, the premise must be challenged.

This is shameless sectarianism, delivered by a senior politician and published by a supposedly serious newspaper. Gove is claiming that the state has fallen into the thrall of some shady religious influence — that’s a well-worn path that never leads anywhere good.

He’s alleging that one group of people, by virtue of their religion, are better placed than the rest to govern, a claim that has no place in a secular democracy.

It was bad enough when the Brexiteers want to drag us back to the 1900s — the 1600s are out of the question.

Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin is editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

See: Melanie Phillips tries to soothe nationalist tensions by claiming Ireland doesn’t exist

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29 Responses to “Michael Gove says Theresa May is a secret Catholic who can’t be trusted to deliver Brexit”

  1. Michael

    What does he want next? Burning people at the stake?

  2. Will

    Let’s hope the idiots in the nasty party all fall out properly and disappear back up their own asses where they came from originally. I cannot believe the public are that dumb—-but they are.

  3. Michael WALKER

    It was the Catholic Queen Mary who burned Protestants at the stake for heresy. Not vice versa as you seem to suggest.

  4. Dr Evil

    We are still a despised and oppressed minority.

  5. ShaveTheBrave

    Well this is exhausting. We haven’t even finished hating the invading Muslamist hordes yet, and apparently the Catholics have to be added to the list. How will people cope when the objects of their fury don’t even look a bit foreign?
    We’re going to have to start signalling people’s Catholicism. Not sure how; perhaps some sort of armband?

  6. James W

    Looking at this, and Melanie Phillips comments, is there some pitch-rolling” or “out-riding” going on here, to give Brexiters the political space to distance themselves from the Republic of Ireland?

  7. Zigurds

    Perhaps you’re forgetting the 200 or more Catholics tortured and executed under Elizabeth I simply for their faith.

  8. Misha Carder

    Theresa May: -a secret Catholic? This is turning into the gunpowder plot -only they don’t need to blow up the Palace of Westminster – Its falling to pieces already. But they are undermining Parliament with their one-state mind-set. Are the Gang of Four all Catholic? I am not prejudiced, I’m into inter/multi -faith – Just intrigued!

  9. Misha Carder

    ps The front-bench do seem to be a bit manic – laughing like drains inappropriately. Perhaps Trumpitis is contagious. She was holding his hands. Help!

  10. Mike Brown

    Govey for ‘Minister without Marbles’?

  11. Paul Clarkson

    Does this man actually have any credibility left? He has messed up Education. He has back stabbed his colleagues. Is he a relic of the 17th century? Best to give him as little airtime as possible. Unfortunately, I have been mistaken for him; I’m better looking but I can see the similarity.

  12. ted francis

    It would seem that the White House Neanderthal blew in Mikey’s ear: “The more outrageous and absurd you make ’em, the more the mug-punters will gobble it up – if not at least it’ll keep you noticed. Go get ’em tiger!!” (Or should it have been “Tiggy”?)

  13. John Wooding

    Is Gove the Russian sleeper in our government? He has visited Russia’s number one asset in Washington along with Rupert “Nikita” Murdoch

  14. Stephen Andersen

    Give is hardly worth talking about following his double betrayal. I cannot think of any section of the British political spectrum that supports him. That needs to to be highlighted when reading this article.

  15. Dan

    Mr. Walker. Good grief. Are you going to have an unqualified sectarian argument about history in this context? Plenty of people from all denominations were killed during the religious conflicts that began in England under Henry VIII. Presumably Mr. Gove admires that ruthless, thieving, oppressive autocrat since he founded the Church of England and was a proto-Brexiteer. (Not that implausible in Mr. Gove’s scheme of history.

    Mr. Gove is a member of the Conservative (Tory) party, but I now suspect that he’s a secret Whig.

  16. Fitzgearld

    Have all the monarchs prime ministers been white anglo saxon protestants ?

  17. Ian Wall

    Beware of Fundamentalists of all religious persuasions. No church has any record to be proud of regarding tolerance. I think more than a lot of praying will be required to get us out of the mess we are in.

  18. Ian Wall

    As for Micheal’s comment , I think all religions in Britain have done their fair share of, ” disposing with dissent” , in one way or another. Burning at the stake was just one of them.

  19. GEORGE

    How do prominent Catholics like Iain Duncan-Smith and Jacob Rees-Mogg fit with this theory?

  20. John SIVORN

    Is he well? Theresa May’s religion is her business. Whereas as a member of parliament his mental health should concern us all.

  21. John Syme

    Religion truly is absurd and a disgrace to humanity, as are both Gove and May.

  22. Frederick Robinson

    Perhaps she (or her parents) are more devious even than Gove suggests. Look carefully at her name (here part-capitalised to clarify the point): tHERESa maY. ‘Heresy’ is at the heart of it; the remainder spelling ‘Ta, ma!’. Or, perhaps with a nod to the famous spy, it should read: ‘Mata Heresy’? (Isn’t the alphabet fascinating!?)

  23. peter keiley

    just consider what religion has done to human society. try Humanism

  24. Terry Messenger

    In response to Michael Walker, the Protestants did their fair share of cruel persecution as well. Catholic priest Edmund Campion was hung, drawn and quartered, you might remember. There are numerous other instances of appalling cruelty inflicted on Catholics by Protestants. The idea that Gove should wish to revive this monstrous feud in the context of Brexit would be considered eccentric but for the fact that he wields power. I think it indicates that normal people aren’t involving themselves in politics sufficiently, leaving the field to weird people,

  25. Terry Messenger

    Having now read the piece by Michael Gove in the Times, I think it is more thoughtful than Left Foot Forward gives credit for. It could be an insidious swipe at Theresa May. On the other hand, Gove concludes that he sees merit in both the Protestant and Catholic approaches to politics, which Left Foot Forward fails to report. I can’t decide whether Michael Gove is being insidious or playful or both. I also stand by my previous comment that more well balanced people ought to get involved in politics to crowd out the less well adjusted. But I don’t now think Michael Gove quite as weird as Left Foot Forward suggests.

  26. dittmar bockle

    it is almost beyond beliieve that a senior politician should utter such dreadful nonsense

  27. chris y

    Michael Walker- Edward Vi’s governments (he was a minor) burnt a few Catholics. Elizabeth I and James VI and I merely had them hanged, drawn and quartered- much more civilised!

  28. Diego

    Well the labour party had a “Prince of drakness”, so do the Torries.

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