back to article Michael Gove says Britain needs to create its own DARPA

Alasdair Gray, the acclaimed Glaswegian writer and artist, penned a phrase now engraved on a wall of the Scottish Parliament: “Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation.” Michael Gove, the controversial Caledonian Brexiteer, journalist and Conservative politician, has in turn declared his intention to seek the …

Page:

  1. Vimes

    We already had an equivalent of DARPA. It was called DERA. It should hardly come as a surprise though that the government of the time thought it best to flog it to the highest bidder (a large chunk of DERA is now QinetiQ).

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      If I remember correctly the government at the time sold it for the bargain price of 20million quid to a no-bidder group of financiers that subsequently employed the tory PM that sold it

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        I thought that Labour was in power in 2001?

        1. Blitheringeejit
          Flame

          @Peter2

          It was so-called "New Labour", and the PM was Tony Blair. Not Tory, but definitely not Labour either - and in terms of privatisations, PPI and other key economic strategies, a committed follower of his Tory predecessors.

      2. Tom -1

        @anonymous coward - first commenter

        I'm not aware that we had a Tory PM any time between 2003 ans 2007, while the selling off of DERA at a bargain price to Tony's cronies was played out.

        If your suggesting that Blair was a tory prime minister you re just crazy - no tory prime minister in history was such disgraceful right wing twit as that man.

    2. streaky

      DSTL still exists which was part of DERA. But yeah it's the kind of thing where smart people would say "privatisation of a good thing that was doing well f**ked us in the ass". Not for nothing but the entire reason it was privatised was down to EU rules so on some levels he's completely right that post-EU we could expand DSTL into areas QQ work but it'd be.. y'know, weird.

      Smart thing might be for the govt to aquire QQ if this was going to be a thing - seems like taxpayer would get bent over on that at least inititally though.

  2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Sounds a bit like the 'Britain on it's own could emulate California' pitch I've read here and there prior to the referendum.

    Well, why not. Go for it. Not sure how to fix the weather issues, though.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. John G Imrie

      Not sure how to fix the weather issues, though

      With enough global warming this won't be a problem

  3. Alister Silver badge

    We need change to make this country a global leader in education and science

    Well given his track record whilst at the helm of education, forgive me if I appear less than enthusiastic about his abilities.

    1. Vimes

      He wanted all schools to be 'above average'. That ought to tell you everything you need to know about him.

      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmeduc/uc1786-i/uc178601.htm

      (see Q98 onwards)

    2. TitterYeNot

      "Well given his track record whilst at the helm of education, forgive me if I appear less than enthusiastic about his abilities."

      Yes, I imagine that if Gove gets to be PM, the only 'Leaving' going on will be the UK population buggering off to Europe and claiming political asylum. Last one out turn off the lights please...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Amen to that

        I was a school governor when Mr Gove was in charge of education; he couldn't organise a piss up in a staffroom and the thought of him as PM makes me shudder.

        1. Chris 3

          Re: Amen to that

          Gove's education policy was a prime example of his 'experts? What do they know?' Core belief (another school governor)

          1. Dave Bell

            Re: Amen to that

            Michael Gove is God's gift to snake-oil salesmen

        2. ToddR

          Re: Amen to that

          I guess as school governor you would have had Mr Gove's ear on all matters of national education?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well given his track record whilst at the helm of education, forgive me if I appear less than enthusiastic about his abilities.

      It is very difficult to make much headway in schools when the very left unions are actively fighting against any change that would cause their members to actually do some teaching rather than running the socialist utopian experiment of PSism, Common Purpose and so on. It ranges from primary school to university and the standard of engineering graduates is deplorable. Several of our clients have had to look to other countries for replacement engineers because theu don't have the time or structure to run remedial classes for what the universities are sending out.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Ivan 4 "It is very difficult to make much headway in schools when the very left unions are actively fighting against any change"

        I seem to remember he was moved out of the Edudation dept because parents were becoming vocal and an election was looming.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC I seem to remember he was moved out of the Edudation dept because parents were becoming vocal and an election was looming

          That may be the case, after all you will always get a vocal minority that follow the party line, but it does not change the fact that most teachers are violently against any change that might require them to actually teach you only have to look at the goings on at the last NUT general meeting.

      2. What_Does_Not_Kill_You_Makes_You_Stronger

        As a little heads-up, the Teachers have to teach what they are told !!!

        If the 'Experts' come up with a crappy Curriculum and ignore the input of the people that teach, what do you expect.

        The Universities then have to work with what they get and hence you get the 'Not quite Engineers'.

        The whole Acadamy idea was the way to work around the problem as above but then went the other way giving them too much freedom.

        No doubt we are due a swing back to the other extreme soon !!!!

        (It is this constant idiocy that has driven so many Teachers out, as the stress is too much when you are blamed for all without any input being taken to fix the problem.)

    4. Dave Bell

      Famously, he's said he doesn't like experts, but this DARPA thing is all about listening to, and giving money, to experts.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Terrifying

    Gove is an American style neo-conservative. He wants to abolish the NHS, and create a military industrial complex.

    1. Kurt Meyer

      Re: Terrifying

      @ massivelySerial

      Take your tin-foil hat off, it will make things easier for you when you pull your head out. This advice also holds true for those wet-brained individuals who have upvoted your ridiculous post.

      There is no one in English politics who even remotely resembles an "American style neo-conservative", and for that you should be everlastingly grateful. I am, and I'm not English. For that matter, in my opinion, the rest of the world is grateful for that as well.

      Neither Gove, nor anyone else, is going to "create a military industrial complex" in England. The English economy couldn't take the strain, and the English people wouldn't stand for the waste.

      Ask yourself these questions; To what end? Arms sales? The reconquest of the Empire? Miscellaneous military adventurism?

      Great Britain, with it's current industrial output is, I believe, ranked third in the world in arms sales, behind only the US and Russia. With all the will in the world, the UK, whether united or not, won't be surpassing those two countries in arms sales, not even in your grandchildren's lifetime.

      Reconquista? Neither you, nor I, nor anyone else in the world believes that could or would happen.

      Adventurism/Intervention? When was the last time Britain hared off on its own? Suez in '56? Do you see something similar in Britain's future, and a steady diet of it, to boot?

      I won't speculate on the future form of the NHS, but I am willing to wager that whatever else the future holds for England and the other nations in the UK, the NHS will survive.

      The current turmoil in England and the rest of the United Kingdom calls for clear thinking and calm voices.

      You do your country no good by running around the barnyard sqawking "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"

      1. druck Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Terrifying

        @Kurt Meyer

        Adventurism/Intervention? When was the last time Britain hared off on its own?
        The Falklands, and went pretty well too boot. Gave the our Vulcan it's first and last taste of combat, at a record (at the time) range of 3900 miles.

        1. Kurt Meyer

          Re: Terrifying

          @ druck

          Yes, the Falklands war in '82. Certainly not adventurism, nor intervention for that matter. The proper term might be closer to "defeating an invasion of Britain's sovereign territory", quite different than the Suez incident. A perfectly correct response to unprovoked aggression.

          That said, the UK was hardly "on its own", nor was Argentina. both countries enjoyed support from third parties, although the two were the only direct combatants.

          The Vulcan, the mighty Vulcan. An unworthy heir to the Lancasters, Stirlings, and Halifaxes of yesteryear. Perhaps the less said of this "wonder weapon" the better.

          Although the Vulcans flew and fought, the UK would, in the opinion of many, have been better served had the Royal Navy still possessed a proper carrier, instead of the airy-fairy, ski ramped, jump jet, pseudo-carriers that HM government chose to equip them with.

          How much better would the task force have fared with HMS Ark Royal on station, armed with Phantoms and Buccaneers? A lot better, no doubt at all.

          1. TheOtherHobbes

            Re: Terrifying

            How much better would the task force have fared if the Falklands problem had been solved diplomatically - not least by granting the islanders full UK citizenship in 1981, when they asked for it, and by not withdrawing the token Navy presence - before it needed to become a shooting war?

            1. Kurt Meyer

              Re: Terrifying

              @ TheOtherHobbes

              I don't think that citizenship for the islanders would have solved the diplomatic dilemma, given Argentina's insistance on their claims of ownership, which they continue to make today.

              Your second point is, in my opinion, right on the money. Without the presence of HM forces ( the navy would have been the obvious choice for that ), the chance to present Britain with a fait accompli was too tempting to resist.

              A further endorsement for your second point comes from the present garrision of the islands, which is enough of a deterrent to maintain peace in the south Atlantic.

      2. David 164

        Re: Terrifying

        When was the last time Britain hared off on its own?

        Sierra Leone. Which was entirely a British military operation. 2000

        1. Kurt Meyer

          Re: Terrifying

          @ David 164

          Thanks. You have named the one major instance in a very long time. I feel certain you'd agree, that given Britain's general reluctance to "hare off" like this on anything like a regular or frequent basis, is ample evidence that the "danger" is minimal.

      3. What_Does_Not_Kill_You_Makes_You_Stronger

        Re: Terrifying

        @Kurt Meyer

        So glad someone can see that the panic is not neccessary !!!

        Just which it was someone in the UK who was able to take control and lead.

        Refuse to comment on the various leaders to be, other than to have my fingers crossed that someone has been hiding their 'True' 'Churchillian leadership skills' all this time !!! :) :)

        1. Kurt Meyer

          Re: Terrifying

          @ What_Does_Not_Kill_You_Makes_You_Stronger

          Thank you for the kind words.

          Over the course of their long, long histories, the peoples that make up today's United Kingdom have faced many, many crises of varying sorts. I speak here of internal matters, not of wars with other nations/empires.

          They have always found a way to surmount the problems facing them, and I have no doubt they will overcome this latest issue.

          "Churchillian leadership skills" is a very high mark to aim for, and I might laugh out loud at the contrast between one of Britain's greatest Prime Ministers, and the selection of clowns currently available to you.

          As I said, I might laugh, but I am too busy weeping over the utter lack of leadership on offer in my own land.

          The best of luck to you all.

          1. Andy Davies

            Re: Terrifying

            "Churchillian leadership skills" is a very high mark to aim for....

            well since Winnie apparently succeeded despite (?) being drunk most of the time perhaps we should consider Farage .. . or Boris's dad?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gove v. May

    v. (ex) Johnson. Given the choice, a David Cameron looks positively attractive, as a politician and a leader. Jesus :/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gove v. May

      We can solve the Labour and the Conservative leadership problems in one go:- I hear that nice chap Corbyn may be looking for a leadership position in the imminent future....

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Gove v. May

      In fact, in a contest between GoveNoccio and Joseph Vissarionovich May it is difficult to think of a third party who will not look positively attractive.

      On a second thought: https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/bd41f9f3719c75bcad2cdae50aa83bc78ada35ca/147_49_1434_860/master/1434.jpg?w=1920&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=a7f837712fbf25d2371d44777f7ae93f

  6. Captain Hogwash
    Unhappy

    Re: "...Theresa May, who is considered more moderate..."

    Tory and moderation have never really been synonymous.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "...Theresa May, who is considered more moderate..."

      It says everything when the moderate wants to cancel human rights legislation.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. James 51

          Re: "...Theresa May, who is considered more moderate..."

          That just means she really wants to be PM and wants to shed her image as the crazy cat lady as there isn't sufficient support. In a few years things might change. After all once we don't have the EU to scapegoat the Tories are going to need another external agency to blame for the country's ills.

          1. David 164

            Re: "...Theresa May, who is considered more moderate..."

            They already blame the European courts of human rights as much as it is possible to blame them.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's a question for Michael . . .

    Why don't you FOAD?

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

  8. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    An immigrant PM?

    Once Scotland splits to rejoin the Eu - surely this european immigrant will be sent back ?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An immigrant PM?

      At the very least, he will have to apply for a work permit. As someone who has once upon a time suffered from having to deal with Lunar House in Croydon, I am going to sell tickets and popcorn for the ones willing to observe Mr Gove's interview. It will be a sight to behold.

    3. Kurt Meyer
      Coat

      Re: An immigrant PM?

      I thought England was allowing free movement to foreigners.

      What?

      Oh.

      Now, I'm told, only in their penalty area.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The way this country voted last week, I can't see Britain capable of building a hitchBOT, let alone anything worthy of comparison to DARPA.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The way this country voted last week, I can't see Britain capable of building a hitchBOT, let alone anything worthy of comparison to DARPA.

      Maybe you're right. Personally I see it last week's vote as the embodiment of bloody minded exceptionalism in the face of received wisdom that is the root of much innovation.

      Of course, it was DARPA that invented radar, tanks, jet engines, internet protocol, wasn't it?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        >Of course, it was DARPA that invented radar, tanks, jet engines, internet protocol, wasn't it?

        Although to spur on such inventions we would first need to organise a war with Germany ....

        1. colinb

          Yep but a Cold War would do at a push, Russia sending Sputnik a satellite the size of a beach ball, into Orbit, caused DARPA to be created and US wallets to be opened.

          So now it would require the EU to mine ore on the Moon and send it back to Earth to loosen equivalent UK funding.

          Although i was remain for the UK, the EU has the perfect foil to compete with if it chooses to use it, lets face it human advancement is based on competition in one form or another.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another pre- prime ministerial U turn coming

    in 3.....

    2........

    1........

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021