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Michael Gove quotes Stormzy in Labour MP tweet battle

By | Published on Wednesday 27 November 2019


If there’s one thing politicians can be relied upon for, it’s quoting pop lyrics. And that’s about it. The latest MP to feature in an episode of the long-running ‘MPs quote pop’ series is Michael Gove, who has been observed reciting Stormzy. Or at least writing the rapper’s lyrics down.

This all started when Gove was asked on Talk Radio about Stormzy’s recent support of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party over “sinister” ‘Boris’ Johnson and the Conservatives. “He is a far, far better rapper than he is a political analyst”, said Gove.

Labour’s Angela Raynor tweeted in response to this soundbite: “And Michael Gove is crap at both”, to which Gove replied: “I set trends dem man copy”. To be fair, that’s pretty funny. Maybe this Gove guy’s alright. You know, if you ignore everything else. He also chose a lyric from ‘Shut Up’, which sends a double message. Gove is a real double message guy. And presumably he managed this without consulting any experts.

In his Talk Radio interview, Gove also said: “I think we again know that Stormzy, when he took to the stage at Glastonbury wearing a stab vest, he made clear what his political views were then”.

He’s absolutely right about that too. Although I think what Gove is “clear” on and what everyone else understands might be different. Luckily for us though, Stormzy isn’t exactly shy about saying precisely what his views are.

Earlier this week the rapper put his name to an open letter from various musicians coming out in support of the Labour Party at the upcoming General Election. Later he followed that up with a more blunt post on Twitter.

Urging fans to register to vote – which many apparently then did – he said: “In my 26 years of life I have never trusted politicians or relied on them to be the bearers of hope and righteous people that we’ve needed them to be. And for me, [Corbyn] is the first man in a position of power who is committed to giving the power back to the people and helping those who need a helping hand from the government the most”.

“I think Boris Johnson is a sinister man with a long record of lying and policies that have absolutely no regard for the people that our government should be committed to helping and empowering”, he added. “I also believe it is criminally dangerous to give the most powerful role in the country to a man who has said that the sight of ‘a bunch of black kids’ makes him ‘turn a hair’, compared women in burqas to letterboxes, and referred to black people as ‘picaninnies’ with ‘watermelon smiles'”.

I don’t know about you, but Stormzy’s political analysis actually seems alright to me. We just need to hear Gove actually deliver those lyrics out loud now to get a full comparison of the two men.

The rapper (Stormzy, not Gove) also recently hit out at Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg – who seems to have been shoved in a cupboard now that the election campaign is up and running – after he suggested that people who died in the Grenfell disaster did so because they lacked the “common sense” to escape.

As previously hinted, Gove’s tweet is not the first time that a politician has quoted a rapper. It’s not even the first time Stormzy has been quoted. Although it’s usually Labour politicians who do it, Tories generally not having heard of rap. In 2017, Croydon Central MP Sarah Jones used her constituent’s lyrics to remind colleagues that they would only keep their jobs as long as the people wanted them, saying, ‘You’re never too big for the boot’.

Later the same year, Fiona Onasanya responded to the government’s new budget in Parliament by slightly misquoting Big Shaq’s ‘Man’s Not Hot’.

If you want Conservatives quoting pop – and really, you don’t – you need look no further than failed Prime Minister David Cameron, who often liked to claim a fondness for contemporary music, while also showing little to no understanding of it. A bit like current PM ‘Boris’ Johnson, in that regard.