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 …


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another pre- prime ministerial U turn coming

      Haven't you heard? The new, hip politicians don't do U turns any more, they do Crazy Ivans, because that's just out of date enough for them to have heard of it.

      In other news, I note the petition to sanction politicians who deliberately lie has stalled.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Another pre- prime ministerial U turn coming

        "In other news, I note the petition to sanction politicians who deliberately lie has stalled."

        With the possibility of T. May becoming PM, signing that will put you on the very, very naughty list.

  1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    May gets the thumbs down for the Snoopers Charter and being Remain when it's a Leaving do

    Plus I'm loving the "Double Brutus" nick name.

    I think "Double B" sounds appropriately gangster, don't you? Let's be honest the Tory party love someone with demonstrated ruthlessness, who's not afraid to stab a friend in the back make the hard choices.

    Meanwhile the lurking Boris bides his time before getting ready to pounce like a giant floppy haired bear....

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: May gets the thumbs down for the Snoopers Charter and being Remain when it's a Leaving do

      May was more LEAVE than the whole lot that led LEAVE as she did not just want to LEAVE Eu, she wanted to LEAVE all European mechanisms, period.

      She just bide her time to let Gove and Co get burned by the immediate fallout.

      The mere fact, that all the Tory grandees which said that the next prime minister must be a leave supporter did not bat an eye lid when she threw her hat in the ring says everything there is to be said here.

  2. leon clarke


    In creating a startup culture, where is the venture capital to come from. Surely that'd be helped by doing things that increase the amount of spare money sloshing around in the city, instead of scaring it all away.

    Wouldn't startups also want a certainty of access to markets

    What are the specific EU rules that prevent the UK from creating a more entrepreneurial state

    What reassurances will be given that entrepreneurial high-tech companies will have access to the skilled staff they need? If staff are to come from abroad, how will they and their dependents be welcomed?

    Would it be a good idea for a fan of democratic accountability to call an election after becoming leader of the ruling party, in order to give the best possible opportunity for the new PM to answer as directly as possible to the people.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Questions

      @leon clark "In creating a startup culture, where is the venture capital to come from. Surely that'd be helped by doing things that increase the amount of spare money sloshing around in the city, instead of scaring it all away."

      Wrong sort of startup, he means the ones that build billion pound carriers with only one fighter jet.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Questions

      " If staff are to come from abroad, how will they and their dependents be welcomed?"

      Leave campaigner Government minister Priti Patel said BREXIT would mean barring EU immigrants - and they should then get more from the Indian subcontinent. Her reasoning was that immigrants from the Indian subcontinent are more entitled to settle in Britain by virtue of historical Empire connections than people from European countries.

      1. Dadmin

        Re: Questions

        Yes, they were really BIG FANS of your 1947 Brexit.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Questions

          I think Italians, French, Germans and Scandavians have excellent historical imperial connections to Britain.

          Or does it only count if Britain is the one doing the empiring ?

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        "..and they should then get more from the Indian subcontinent. "

        Only one thing to say to that.

        So Priti vacant then ?

  3. H in The Hague


    Gove "“... was about democratic accountability.” ...... Prime Minister"

    Call me cynical, but to me his statement about accountability is not entirely compatible with the new Prime Minister being elected by the members of the Conservative Party rather than the electorate as a whole.

    When in 2015 the Conservatives got 36.9% of the votes, and 331 out of 650 seats, the electorate were under the assumption that they were (indirectly) voting for Cameron as Prime Minister, not someone to pop up later as a result of feuding within the party.

    Contrasts rather starkly with the President of the "undemocratic" European Parliament being elected MEPs.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Democracy

      "the electorate were under the assumption that they were (indirectly) voting for Cameron as Prime Minister,"

      In which case they are sadly uninformed about how UK democracy works. Probably too much US tv and film watching and too much coverage of US elections.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "global leader in education"

    Yeah, maybe start with teaching the very basics of politics in school -- on a mandatory basis.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "global leader in education"

      Yeah, why not have a "life in the UK" for all schoolchildren - then we can deport all the kids who don't know how the exact number of MPs in the House of Commons, or when the fucking national saint's days are.

      1. H in The Hague

        Re: "global leader in education"

        "... who don't know how the exact number of MPs in the House of Commons, or when the fucking national saint's days are."

        Pretty sure the only folk who know that are the ones busy studying for their citizenship test :)

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    East leading West/West leading East? ...... Who or What Cares, .... long as IT Provides All for Everything to Everyone ‽ .

    Michael Gove says Britain needs to create its own DARPA

    Seconded, Michael, and make sure it is something exercising personnel and programs with projects which both terrify and tittilate/take over and make over command and control of mass markets and media and money supply. Something alien and both a known unknown and unknown unknown ensuring and assuring and insuring ITs own stealthy delivery for special clients worthy of its Sublime Advanced IntelAIgently Researched Services.

    Anything less will see it in opposition and competing and failing repeatedly against such a facility starring and providing crazy bounty for others elsewhere around the planet.

    And bravo, Michael Gove, that is surely something representative and indicative of genuine PM leadership in a Westminster palace awash with wannabe sheep and sock puppets.

  6. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Saw Gove on the news this morning

    He talked about how he spoke passionately for having the referendum, MPs being held accountable for their actions and that he would deliver on campaign promises.

    For me, the immediate result of the referendum was a hefty kick in the pension fund. I am so glad that he and the other Brexit MPs are going to personally reimburse me. My mum works for the NHS. A week has passed and she has yet to see evidence of the promised £350M extra funding.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As an American, I really wish the UK would learn from our crony capitalist / "crapitalist" mistakes rather than copying them. Yes, DARPA occasionally puts out an interesting new bit of tech. What's left unmentioned is the billions and billions of dollars in cash just burned away on stuff that doesn't pan out, and like all government programs favoritism, lobbying, and being in the right congressional district are far more important than the sanity of the project, technical qualifications and track record. It's still far more efficient than the government doing these projects themselves (same poor results with five times the overhead), but just put out a bounty and let private groups risk their own money and cash in if they find success.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ugh


      I supplied the "brains" for a couple of Darpa applications by USAisians a while back. The only thing which gets DARPA sponsorship is building some super duper ultra expensive "smart" weapon.

      The idea of getting a couple of equations together and firing 3 cheap missiles into correct pre-computed positions to close the box on a target - forget it. If you submit a project which uses real science, namely math (optimal control and game theory) and physics instead of the super duper obscenely expensive engineering (with no science and no real research) product - it will be rejected outright.

      That is for a reason - DARPA is a front to the self-feeding USA military procurement machine. If you have 3 cheap (and god forbid existing already developed) missiles doing the job of the to be developed ultra expensive supermissile - where is the pork in that?

      Corollary to that is that DARPA as it is now, is definitely not to be copied by a nation which does not have USA finances to waste. Also, any expectations that DARPA will deliver anything anywhere near what it delivered in the past are a bit far fetched.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Round are way we call him...


  9. John Crisp

    The Gove Odyssey

    Here's an intesting thing. See Goves speech today on science and the environment.  Take a look at this tweet and then odysseanproject (@odysseanproject):

    Connect said dots.....

  10. rtfazeberdee

    What? More experts??

    I thought he had enough of experts....

  11. Les Matthew

    and which has given me so much

    Certainly did with expenses.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some of the press suggested an analogy to Shakespeare's "Scottish Play". Cameron's wife obviously twisted his arm over some good causes - Gove's wife seems more ambitious in the mould of SWMBO.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Do you mean Macbeth?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Do you mean Macbeth?"

        The press were not calling him "MacGove" just because he is Scottish. His wife's email machinations seem to have some bearing on his subsequent assassination of his erstwhile ally BanquoBoris in order to secure his claim to the throne. If he gets the crown then the ghost may yet come back to haunt him.

        Gove is unlikely to get the prize. Like the Emperor Claudius the Tory party are grateful for the assassination - but like Caligula's Praetorian Guard he will be condemned for such an act of treachery.

  13. A Ghost

    If there's something strange

    in your neighbourhood.

    Who ya gonna call?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If there's something strange


  14. colinb

    It's not rocket science

    The recipe for innovation in the US or Irael has long been known, it involves

    1. billions (millions wont cut it) of cash trickling into universities and private research labs for

    2. speculative projects targeting the military industrial complex DARPA or big science CERN

    3. funding guys in sandals like Jon Postel who don't know the day of the week but invent things you dont understand

    4. with managers in Suits with funny names like Vint Cerf who can design protocols in 1974 you wont use until 1989

    5. by shooting the bean counters (DARPA has just 13 mangers, 140 technical bods)

    6. sit back, relax and watch as s**t happens in 10 or 15 years

    7, ok yeah, actually it is rocket science

    Coming from a Conservative who doesn't need 'Experts' excuse me while i die laughing.

  15. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Keep calm & do not worry. Everything will be all right.

  16. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose and everything to gain .... Like a Rolling Stone*

    Ye Gods, what madness abounds here with so many thinking there is democracy in any land with governments and civil and federal services into taxing almost everything, creating inflation and destroying nations and to raise public funds for private ventures. Banks are where the money is invented and bankers are the ones thinking they can be in command and control of who and/or what gets whatever is needed to maintain whatever current virtual reality is presently in vogue and playing itself out on mainstream media streams.

    Democracy is the Jolly Roger flag of convenience behind which all shenanigans and dealing and the true workings of the real rogue and renegade systems which driver the madness are hidden. Take away the breeze and windbags flying the flag, and the virtual reality you live in, is perfectly clear to see. And once seen, you can easily change it, for its virtually remote power and deep dark energy systems levers are known to you, and they be easily shared with anyone and everything anywhere nowadays, practically in a flash, to cause any great number of immediate market crashes.

    And that be a new breed of weapon too.

    Do you imagine the likes of a DARPA/IARPA are in command and control of them with some sort of crazy NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive football which can boot and reboot crashed and vulnerable to flash crashing systems, and not at all like that other cold war relic being traipsed all across the world as if it were something dangerous and important? Or be they likely to be currently working to invent them for moving into future theatres of hot interest/borders of competitive conflict, for all of the benefits which deliver the passionate fruits and succulent rewards of superior advantage?

    Go UKGBNI, Go, if that be the madness you’re harbouring and fighting, however, and such is only natural and fully to be expected in these fabulous new times with novel cyber spaces, it is bound to fly Eastwards to lush green fields there, and remarkably quickly too, whenever not rightly to be first and exercised here.

    If you want to lead with AI in a Great Game, pull on a few levers and monitor and mentor reactions to the Play, unfolding Counter Plays and Competitive Movements/Big Picture Scenery Shifting.

    * ... Like a Rolling Stone ...... very APT ACTive lyrics :-)

  17. MK_E

    To be fair to him, I watched that interview with Gove. He was cut off towards the end of his sentence, but he didn't say "the general public are sick of experts", he said "the general public are sick of experts getting it wrong".

    So presumably referring to all the people banging on about how the Euro was gonna be a great thing and Britain was going to be left behind by not joining and so on and so forth, who were mysteriously quiet when the euro crisis happened in... just about exactly the way that other commentators (who were largely ignored the first time around) said it would.

    So it's more of a swipe at Heseltine (who's been pro-Europe in precisely the wrong places for the last two decades) than a general anti-intellectual statement.

  18. Dr_N

    Mr Sarah Vine

    He has his own song:

  19. David 164

    so he will be sending out science and technology books to every kid in the country instead of bibles?

  20. David 164

    As leave camp promised all of the EU savings to be devoted to the NHS, how does he (Gove )intend to replace the funding that UK scientists will lose once we leave the EU?

    Considering their will be calls from farmers for the replacement of CAP, an I'm sure numerous other parties who are going to lose money from us leaving the EU, how does Gove intend to make sure UK scientists voices won't get lost amongst even more powerful lobbying groups such as Landowners and farmers in calls for replacement funding?

    It already good calling for a UK version of DARPA but does he also intend to adopt it management style as well? Allowing it to be led by scientists and engineers and not by politicans.

    How would the UK research councils and UKSA interact with this UK version of DARPA?

    What kind of budget do you envision UK Darpa receiving on a per year basis?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "As leave camp promised all of the EU savings to be devoted to the NHS, how does he (Gove )intend to replace the funding that UK scientists will lose once we leave the EU?"

      Well, to be fair (ha ha!) that £350m per week was supposed to be the excess money we put into the EU. The assumption was that the money put into the EU and already coming back in grants would just be handed out direct from

      Sorry, I can't go on. I'm giggling to much at the though of defending the leave lies.

  21. hammarbtyp

    Lessons for the former education minister

    If he is going to talk about science he will have to learn about It first.

    Lesson 1. When launching a major campaign make sure you buy all the pertinentdomain names

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Lessons for the former education minister

      Thanks for that lesson 1, hammarbtyp. Quite fundamental to the understanding of the working of wise guy/wide boy governments and how they be easily destroyed from within via the exploitation of inherent zeroday vulnerabilities in the chains of controlling on demand commanding media, which of course is essential for the programming of the notion there be a need for austerity when there's never ever been so much funny money before pumped into the system to maintain and retain it and stop the crazy merry-go-round from collapsing.

      Makes you wonder who's pocketing all the newly minted bank wealth, replacing it as a mounting compound interested debt charged to others, which can never be repaid by future generations ..... and in so deliberately doing, holding entire nations and populations to ransom with the cunning stunt.

      There is one clear word, ...cleverly missing in this classic video clip .... which surely sums them up beautifully? .... Thanks, Mrs Merton. RIP

      And why do representatives of governments elected into office allow the destabilising scam? Are they all stupid or not nearly clever enough to lead and powerless against such soft forces and sharp practices. Is democracy corrupt and perverted and rigged to have the masses administered to by intellectual weaklings and moral cowards?

      Those be real worthy of revolutionary times with all manner of smart actions and cunning stunts welcome to exorcise the cancerous growth from the body politic and render the world stage with more blank canvas on which to beta deliver a Better Bigger Picture and Greater IntelAIgent Game to Play.

      Capiche? Or do you need the Essential Guides and Star Chambered Workshop Manuals to proceed and succeed ....... to process success into delivering prosperity? Although I do agree that last question be a real dumb no-brainer, given all of the evidence daily given by media and wrapped up as news to be believed as true and correct, rather than false and contrived to server quite particular and peculiar hidden self interests, which are finding it nowadays increasingly difficult, if not even impossible, to hide.

  22. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Questions to Gove?

    Just imagining that Michael Gove could become Prime Minister sends the shivers down my spine. Not in an exciting way.


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

Other stories you might like