Michael Gove – The Marketing Director of Education

by Charlie_East_West on April 22, 2013

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Michael Gove reminds me of a new in-house Marketing Director. You know the type – a new appointee who comes in and pointlessly rebrands the hell out of a product, to justify their existence in the job.

They change the advertising strategy, create new sponsorship platforms, alter the logo and identity of the brand, and alter the sales promotion of the product. The whole thing looks like a radical departure, but if you scratch the surface, underneath there is just a giant big nothingness. It is emperor’s new clothes marketing. Marketing for the sake of it. It is utterly futile, incredibly expensive, and often leads to disastrous consequences for the brand.

Michael Gove has displayed all of the above in his three year tenure as Education Secretary. He is the self-styled “radical” Secretary of State for Education, or rather, the Marketing Director for Education. He operates in a marketing vortex, giving initiatives a piss-poor rebrand that does nothing to make any real difference at all.

Take today’s announcement of a new structure for vocational educations that will be “on a par” with A-levels. A simple bundling together of new and existing qualifications to form a “tech bacc” aimed at around 50% of English school-leavers. The technical baccalaureate – will exist in name only, with the Department for Education stressing it is not itself a qualification but “a performance measure” marking achievement by young people aged 16 to 19. God help us, another bloody “performance measure.”

It is education rebranding to justify Gove’s mythical radical status. In his own mind, it is better for him to appear to be doing something than actually doing something. He simply sticks ‘baccalaureate‘ onto any qualification to make them sound more prestigious. In reality, we have exactly the same thing and employers won’t give a flying fuck.

When I think of Michael Gove, I think of an alternative version of the girl with the curl poem. When he was bad, he was very very bad. But when he was bad he was horrid. He rustles up damaging ideas such as free schools or “tattie holiday” comments to justify his desire for longer schooling hours. He now displays symptoms of Tourettes Syndrome on the word “baccalaureate” by attaching it onto the end of every single bloody sentence.

Michael Gove is not a radical politician. He is a political Marketing Director. At best, he is futile, and at worst, he is dangerous.

I am now going to rebrand Michael Gove. He is no longer a radical politician. Instead, he is a prominent incompetent.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Eddie Kaye April 22, 2013 at 11:55 am

I’d go a bit further Charlie and say that Gove is just one of a number (well, whole Cabinet full) of such glorified middle marketing execs. Re-badging and re-branding seem to be this government’s euphemisms for policies that dismantle, privatise or (as in Gove’s case) do fuck all. What was this ‘Big Society’ apart from a marketing scam? ‘Rehabilitation revolution’ – essentially privatising the prison system and speeding up the gravy train for private contractors. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and sounds like a duck…it is probably a duck…or is it, I just don’t know anymore?

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Charlie_East_West April 22, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Eddie – absolutely spot on.

Every Seceretary of State has one brief. Rebrand the department to create private tendering opportunities.

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