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Tue Nov 26, 2019, 12:06 PM

'I set trends dem man copy': Michael Gove mocks Stormzy Labour support

Michael Gove has mocked Stormzy for expressing his support for Labour and Jeremy Corbyn in the forthcoming election.

Gove told Talk Radio: “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.”

During his headline set at the 2019 festival, Stormzy wore a stab vest painted with a monochrome Union Jack. The garment was customised by Banksy and hailed as “a perfect image of our moment” by the Guardian’s art critic, Jonathan Jones. “Stormzy’s tense and provocative stage-garb exploited the flag’s visual strength in a new way. Amid all the stage razzmatazz, he wore the banner of a divided and frightened nation.”

Gove added: “He is a far, far better rapper than he is a political analyst.”

Labour’s Angela Rayner tweeted: “And Michael Gove is crap at both”, adding a winking emoji. Gove responded: “I set trends dem man copy.”


I didn't think my opinion of Gove could get any worse. What's next? Blackface and a reprise of the Black and White Minstrels on the campaign stump?

Anyway, there's one trend Stormzy appears to have had a hand in sparking that might rub Gove's nose in this latest mess:

General election: Voter registration spikes by 236 per cent on day Stormzy endorses Labour

Voter registration saw a 236 per cent spike on the day Stormzy tweeted in support of Labour (Monday 25 November).

The grime star wrote that he believed Boris Johnson to be 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”.

According to a performance breakdown on the GOV.UK website, 366,000 people registered to vote on Monday, compared to 109,000 the day before.

Some 150,000 of those registration applications were from people under the age of 25, while 114,000 were from those aged 25 to 34.


In other news:

John Crace

Sajid has just said no one has ever accused leadership of Tory party if Islamophobia. Er.... Boris and letterboxes

Josh Halliday

NEW Sajid Javid refuses SEVEN times to say whether he would use the terms 'bank-robber' and 'letterboxes' to describe hijab-wearing women as Boris Johnson did in a Telegraph article.

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Reply 'I set trends dem man copy': Michael Gove mocks Stormzy Labour support (Original post)
Denzil_DC Nov 2019 OP
Soph0571 Nov 2019 #1
Denzil_DC Nov 2019 #2
Denzil_DC Nov 2019 #3

Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Tue Nov 26, 2019, 12:19 PM

1. I saw this

Racist fucker

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Response to Soph0571 (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 26, 2019, 03:01 PM

2. To be clear, "I set trends, dem man copy" (note comma) is a quote from Stormzy's rap on "Shut Up".


Gove appropriating it as a glib putdown of Stormzy (who's earned my admiration even as someone who's not usually into his genre of music) is what's raised eyebrows all round.

It's a dogwhistle to his base along the lines of "Howdedoderehoneywheredaladiesat?", while sounding fake, sour and jarring to just about anyone else with a brain, soul and vestige of social conscience.

I'd pit Stormzy's political analysis against Gove's shiftiness any day of the week, and I'd gladly give a relatively vital organ to see them do it live onstage.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 06:33 AM

3. 'Twitter blackface': Why Michael Gove's Stormzy comments are so egregious

Michael Gove has hit a new low in the political discourse by quoting a Stormzy lyric in a Twitter beef with the Labour MP Angela Rayner. After Stormzy endorsed Jeremy Corbyn and laid into Boris Johnson, Gove dismissed him “as a far, far better rapper than he is a political analyst”. Rayner tweeted that “Gove is crap at both”, which prompted Gove to cram his entire foot into his mouth with the comeback: “I set trends dem man copy.”

The Twitter reaction was swift and unforgiving, not least because it is never ends well when a politician tries so painfully to be “down with the kids”. But, aside from the usual uncle-dancing-at-wedding cringing about it, one Twitter user, @bugsbunny, got to the heart of the matter with a reply to Gove that read: “Congrats, you’ve found the Twitter equivalent of blackface.”

Gove’s dismissal of Stormzy as a rapper rather than analyst highlights the sneering elitist bigotry behind the tweet. It appears beyond his comprehension that Stormzy could possibly be intelligent, political and rap. Never mind that the roots of rap music lie in hip-hop which was, at first, as much social commentary as entertainment. Stormzy has been a critic of Tory policy, particularly around Grenfell; he has created a scholarship for young people to go to Cambridge; he has launched the #Merky Books imprint to showcase a “new generation” of voices. Stormzy is a far better source for political analysis than Gove, who is so distant from the daily realities of regular people he could not possibly understand them.

For Gove, Stormzy’s rap lyrics have no merit other than to be appropriated. No doubt he revelled in being able to use “dem”, at once showing off his “street” credentials, while also highlighting his linguistic superiority. He probably aimed to mock the supposedly out-of-his-depth rapper; to show him the error of his ways for daring to call out the politician. The tweet was particularly insensitive given Johnson’s history of calling “dem man” “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”. Next time, Gove should take the advice from the title of the song he’s quoting and “shut up”. Let’s hope, for all our sakes, this is not a trend that his fellow politicians want to follow.


There's so much focus on Johnson's flamboyant utterances on race that Gove's revolting attitudes are most often overshadowed.

Sayeeda Warsi in an interview with the Guardian criticized Gove, among comments that cut Johnson some slack on racism (seemingly because he's so chaotic, scattergun and glib that holding a coherent enough line to fully commit to anything as demanding as full-on Islamophobia is beyond him):

Warsi has also raised concerns about the views of senior government figures, warning earlier this year that she feared Michael Gove becoming prime minster because of his views on Muslims. Now she goes further, saying she has “no doubt” Gove – who wrote a controversial book in 2006 called Celsius 7/7 about Islamism in the UK – is Islamophobic. “I think Michael’s view is there is no such thing as a non-problematic Muslim. I think that in his world there’s an extremist lurking behind anyone who professes to be connected to Islam or Muslims in any way shape or form,” she explains.

“On one occasion the prime minister, David [Cameron] pulled him up on it around the cabinet table for some comment that he made. He just turned around and went: ‘Enough, Michael.’ It was about Muslims.” A spokesman for Gove calls these claims “categorically untrue”.


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