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The Minister for Injustice

April 25, 2016

We have a Minister for Justice. Mr Gove. In his previous incarnation he was Secretary of State for Education until he upset almost everyone in education. Now Mr Gove has upset me. In fact, he has lit the blue touch paper. I've just read the 38 Degrees' fact check on Michael Gove's reasons for leaving the EU as given on Today on Radio 4 (https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/michael-gove-leave-fact-check). 

Mr Gove gave the usual line of flawed argument about how much better off we'd be outside of the EU. That's nothing more than we've come to expect from Brexiteers, and it's water off a duck's back to anyone with a modicum of intelligence. But then he said: 

 “Outside the EU we could have a points-based system like Australia. We could welcome talented people from across the world but block those whose presence here isn’t in our interests”

To that, coming from the Minister for Justice, I take exception.

What is justice? Is it not about fairness, reasonableness and being fair and reasonable to all people? Apparently not for Mr Gove. For our Minister of Justice, justice is something like that which was applied by 17th Century slave owners to their slaves. Mr Gove is happy to take into the UK the "talented people from across the world" but he won't have anyone else. He is happy to take the talent away from poor countries. He does not appear to care that they have greater need of their talent than we do, and he does not care what happens to those who are left behind in countries devoid of talent - devoid of talent because he has poached it from them. 

I do not and cannot see this as justice. I see this as injustice. I see it as the sort of injustice that was endemic in and characteristic of British Imperialism. I see it as the sort of injustice that belongs in the distant past; the imperialistic past for which most self-respecting and other-respecting Brits feel apologetic and embarrassed. 

In Mr Gove we do not have a Minister for Justice. In Mr Gove we have a Minister for Injustice. In this, the 21st Century, I call for his resignation. Though there's much of me that would prefer to step back a few centuries and call for something more painful. 

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