The 2014 Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture delivered by the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove MP has received extensive coverage in today's media, including a front page splash on the Daily Telegraph.
In a speech which touched on a range of policy areas, Mr Gove used Keith Joseph's various ministerial positions as a thread to argue that the Coalition government had a clear social policy to alleviate deprivation and hardship, and to provide the platform through which the very poorest in our society could achieve their potential. In this analysis, he touched on all of health, education, childcare, housing and justice policy. He argued that Keith Joseph was a 'compassionate conservative' and that the Government were fulfilling reforms which built on his legacy.
In an open Q&A session following the lecture, Mr Gove was asked about the rise of UKIP, the Government's position on the EU, whether immigration policy was harming the higher education sector, whether Higher Education should be brought back inside of his department and whether he supported the idea of profit-making schools.
The full text from his speech can be found here.
A selection of the media coverage is presented below.
"In his speech today to mark the legacy of Sir Keith Joseph, a former Cabinet minister who served three prime ministers including Lady Thatcher, Mr Gove said the fact that “too few modern buildings can aspire to real beauty is a challenge to the architectural profession”. The lack of house building over “generations” had been partly responsible for the chaotic housing market and had “contributed to the growth and bursting of property bubbles”, he said. Owning a home had “become the preserve of those with family wealth” and the many “cramped” ones built in the past two decades had made it “more difficult to raise and support a family”...The speech, to the Centre for Policy Studies in the City of London, will be welcomed by the Chancellor, George Osborne, who has backed the planning reforms."
"Gove, who touched on no fewer than 11 policy areas, made his remarks in the annual Keith Joseph memorial lecture organised by the Centre for Policy Studies, the Thatcherite thinktank that was the intellectual powerhouse behind her government...He said the government should follow in the footsteps of Joseph, who had championed deprived people throughout his political life. He said: "Thanks to the leadership shown by David Cameron, our party has a social philosophy imbued by the spirit of Sir Keith's great work – consciously in the tradition of compassionate conservatism he incarnated."
"Mr Gove also launched a staunch defence of the City and warned against "clumsy and ill thought-out interventions" by Brussels to impose new rules on the financial powerhouse.
He said: "It has become fashionable to criticise the City and its workers, deprecate bankers and bash banks, look askance at financial services and look down on those whose trade is in money...But we would be making a grave historic error if we were to allow a determination to cleanse the stables to harden into a prejudice against those individuals and institutions we need to win in the global race."
"The Education Secretary said he believed new building must “lift up the soul”. In the Sir Keith Joseph memorial lecture, he suggested Conservative colleagues had shown “political courage” in pushing through planning reforms in the face of criticism. Mr Gove said as a housing minister Sir Keith had wanted “more homes for more people more quickly”.
"Gove rattled off odes to Jeremy Hunt and the Department of Health, Ian Duncan Smith and the Department of Work and Pensions - “the welfare system is being reformed not to save money, but to save lives” – Theresa May and the Home Office, before finally singing the praises of Chris Grayling and the Department of Justice.
All of them, he held, embody the same Conservative principles as Joseph and the CPS. “People can achieve amazing things through their work. They rarely achieve anything through dependence on the state,” he said. What was far more revealing than the fairly perfunctory defences of Tory programs however was the cabinet colleagues he elected to leave out of his celebratory report card; Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg, Vince Cable and Ed Davey."