Fintan O'Toole: Gove's cocaine use may explain his attack on the peace process

The coked-up rant in Michael Gove’s Belfast Agreement pamphlet makes more sense now

Tory leadership hopeful Michael Gove appears on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on June 9th in London.

So now we know: it was the drugs. Michael Gove, a key figure in the creation of Brexit and a contender to be the next British prime minister, was dosing himself with cocaine before writing his columns and pamphlets “about 20 years ago”. That is when he published a long polemical essay called The Price of Peace. It is an important document. Gove is what passes for the intellectual driving force behind Brexit. The Price of Peace is an attack on the Belfast Agreement. If you want to understand the inherent hostility to the peace process that is at the heart of the Brexit project, you have to read it. 

Knowing what we now know, it is easy to see at least some of these effects in Gove’s polemic

But now, you can read it as a set of symptoms. Which of us, at some point in our lives, has not had to utter those mortifying words prompted by some painful memories of offensive nonsense spouted the night before, “Oh God, I’m so sorry. It was the drink talking”? We can now, surely, look forward to the Brexiteers shame-faced apology for the drivel they have spouted about Northern Ireland – that wasn’t really Michael, it was just Charlie talking.

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