Michael Gove

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Gove & Vaizey

Two other close associates of Cameron are newly elected Conservative MPs, Michael Gove and Ed Vaizey. Both, like Cameron, are in their late 30s. Gove was formerly a deputy editor of The Times, and is still a columnist there. Like Osborne, Gove is a fan of George Bush, and an enthusiast for Operation Iraqi Freedom. On 30 October 2005, on a BBC Panorama programme, he acted as the advocate for the indefinite occupation of Iraq.

Son of a Labour peer, Vaizey was a speechwriter for Michael Howard, and occasional columnist in the Guardian and other papers. (Cameron himself wrote a fortnightly diary of his political activity for The Guardian, beginning in early 2001, before he was elected to the House of Commons, and ending in the spring of 2004, by which time he was deputy chairman of his party.) Vaizey’s columns were a bland expression of the need for the Conservatives to “modernise” in some unspecified way. George Bush’s virtues were never mentioned, let alone praised. Unlike Osborne and Gove, he wasn’t obviously a neoconservative in foreign policy.

But, as Neil Clark pointed out in The Guardian, Vaizey and Gove are both signatories to the Statement of Principles of the British neoconservative organisation, The Henry Jackson Society Project for Democratic Geopolitics, which was launched in Peterhouse College, Cambridge earlier this year. Henry Jackson was a Democrat member of the US Congress for over 40 years until his death in 1983. He opposed détente with the Soviet Union, and is the ideological forbear of modern neo-conservatism. Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz worked for him in the 1970s, and went on to work for Ronald Reagan. “International patrons” of this British Society include the stars in the American neoconservative firmament, for example, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, Editor of the Weekly Standard, Richard Perle and James Woolsey,. former Director of the CIA.