"Torture" and "agony": Michael Gove's EU decision-making hell, revealed by the Mail

Daily Mail columnist and wife of the Justice Secretary, Sarah Vine, has revealed the horrors of her husband making up his mind on the EU referendum. Here are the highlights.

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Something really dreadful has happened to the Daily Mail columnist Sarah Vine. Your mole knows this, because the paper says the word "agony" on its frontpage:


Photo: Twitter/@suttonnick

Yes, poor Vine has been through hell in the past few months, watching her husband trying to choose between his friend David Cameron and enemy the EU.

The piece's headline ramps up the suspense: "The torture of watching my husband choose between his beliefs and his old friend the PM: Daily Mail columnist SARAH VINE's intensely personal account of a momentous decision".

Here are some of its revelations:

Michael Gove has some ker-azy obsessions!

"My husband has many odd and occasionally irritating obsessions: obscure American presidents; Wagner; second-hand bookshops. He also has an irrational aversion to houseplants and quiche. But few passions trump his dislike of the EU. The profligacy, the back-scratching, the deceit, the endless bureaucracy, the unstoppable march of European federalism — and, above all else, the erosion of British sovereignty. It’s been an obsession ever since I’ve known him."

Second-hand bookshops?? Oh, Michael. You kook, you.

Tories have the best dinner parties

"A bit of light relief in the shape of Boris Johnson, who a few weeks earlier had invited us to supper at his house in Islington . . . It was already all a bit surreal. Then, just as dinner was being served, it got even more bizarre. A senior Cabinet minister, accompanied by a lawyer, came on speakerphone to discuss the complexities of law in relation to sovereignty. Michael and Boris leaned into the iPhone, Boris firing questions at it, Michael making listening noises. I, too, listened dutifully for a few minutes, but it really was a very lawyerly conversation, and the aroma rising from the slow-roasted shoulder of lamb was getting to me. I tucked in."

What was for dessert, your mole wonders. A live self-assessment tax return webinar?

A cup of tea (and some gender stereotypes) cures everything

"I decided to do what any sensible wife would do — spring-clean the house. I don’t know why, but when the going gets tough, I invariably succumb to an irresistible desire to tidy. I guess I just feel that even as the sky is falling, the fact that I have a well-ordered cutlery drawer will somehow save me from the worst. And so, having re-organised the kitchen cupboards, I left Michael in his favourite armchair, drafting his Brexit statement while consuming oceans of strong tea and occasionally emitting loud sighs, and retreated to my ‘lady shed’ in the back garden."

Otherwise known as a shed.

This mole has long been a fan of such insight into Gove's domestic life. Lest we forget his lederhosen-style swimming trunks, ukelele skills, love for Dairylea Dunkers, and that there are as many pictures of Margaret Thatcher in his office as there are of his wife and children. Knowledge that cannot be unknown.

I'm a mole, innit.

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