Michael Gove happy to sing The Sash, book reveals

Posted By: June 11, 2019

Distributed to Congress by Irish National Caucus

“Imagine if a presidential candidate loved to sing anti-Black or anti-Semitic songs? Wouldn’t that rightly cause deep and outright revulsion? Well, turns out, one of the leading “pretenders to the throne” —that is, in the upcoming race to be British PM—loves to belt out anti-Catholic and anti-Irish songs.

The attached article from today’s Irish News of Belfast reveals that extreme right-wing Michael Gove glories in belting out the best-known Orange supremacist/anti-Catholic song of all: “The Sash My Father Wore,” the chorus of which bellows:

It is old but it is beautiful, and its colors they are fine

It was worn at Derry, Aughrim, Enniskillen and the Boyne.

From my orange and purple forefather, it descended with galore

It’s a terror to them Papish [Catholic] boys, 

The Sash My Father Wore.’

However, to this Fermanagh man, while Gove’s bigotry is offensive, it is not surprising. In 1886 Churchill’s father Randolph infamously played the “Orange Card’: inciting and exploiting anti-Catholic hatred in Ireland for political advantage (like Governor George Wallace inciting anti-Black bigotry). And Winston Churchill himself was a noted anti-Catholic bigot, writing: ‘Superstitious faith in nations rarely promotes their industry…[Catholicism] …  checks our growth and saps our strength [impeding] the improvement of the British breed …’ In 1911, Churchill wrote: “The Catholic Church has ruined every country in which it has been supreme ….”  In 1961, Churchill’s biographer son—without any sense of embarrassment or shame— published that letter under the very revealing title of ‘The Curse of Catholicism.’

 Imagine if an American president wrote of the ‘curse of Judaism,’  or the ‘ curse of Islam,’or the ‘curse of Blacks,’ etc., etc?

 How can the Beloved Community in Northern Ireland be built up when a leading Tory like Gove proudly sings about his own anti-Catholic bigotry?” —Fr. Sean 

Irish News. Belfast.Tuesday, June 11, 201911 June 2019

TORY leadership hopeful Michael Gove has a long-held fascination with the Troubles and knew the words to loyalist anthem The Sash, a new biography reveals.

Sean O’Grady, a journalist who worked alongside the environment minister, recalls an eye-opening visit to Mr. Gove’s London flat in the 1990s.

“He had an enormous cartoon of the Ulster Unionist Party in parliament – a great big Orange banner type of affair,” Mr. O’Grady told Owen Bennett, author of Michael Gove: A Man in a Hurry.

Mr. O’Grady, associate editor of the Independent, says Mr. Gove’s politics were “quite Orange”.

He remembers the former education secretary’s enthusiasm for unionism was a “bit odd”‘, adding: “he’d be perfectly happy to sing along with Orange songs – ‘the sash my father wore’, all that sort of stuff.”

Others too have witnessed Mr. Gove belting out loyalist tunes.

Mike Elrick, who trained with him as a journalist, remembers the Conservative leadership contender as “very, very strongly supportive of Ulster Protestantism, and very much sided with the Protestant political parties”.

“I remember him singing various Ulster songs – partly in jest, but he knew the words,” he recalled.

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In 2000, former journalist Mr. Gove wrote a pamphlet called ‘Northern Ireland: the Price of Peace’, in which he compared the Good Friday Agreement to the appeasement of the Nazis in the 1930s and the condoning of the desires of pedophiles.

The Scottish-born Brexiteer said the agreement was a “mortal stain” and “a humiliation of our army, police, and parliament”, and that its 1998 endorsement on both sides of the border was a “rigged referendum”.