Mr Gove was as surprised as anyone when Mr Cameron won the election.
After all, Mr Gove knew better than anyone how useless Mr Cameron was. Well, Mr Gove knew better than anyone about everything. That was what made Mr Gove what he was.
Still, winning the election made Mr Gove happy, and he was smiling as he went in to see Mr Cameron, looking forward to being given a new job. Mr Gove had not really enjoyed being Chief Whip: it wasn’t nearly as interesting a job as the name suggested. He had particularly disliked being stuck in the toilet when something important happened: it reminded him too much of his school days.
And when Mr Cameron offered him the job of Lord Chancellor, Mr Gove was especially pleased. The robes. The regalia. The history. The law. Magna Carta. Truth. Justice.
It made Mr Gove’s heart sing.
Not that Mr Gove knew very much about law.
That did not matter, Mr Gove knew that. He had known almost nothing about education, and look at what a success he had made of being Secretary of State for Education. And anyway, no-one knew less about law than Mr Failing Grayling had.
And Mr Gove knew the only thing that mattered: Mr Gove knew what was Right and what was Not Right.
So Mr Gove got to work. He sat before his new, mahogany desk, and looked at the big stack of boxes in front of him. Boxes full of documents of all kinds. And Mr Gove began to read. And he read, and he read, and he read.
He read analyses by civil servants of the devastating impact to access to justice of Mr Failing Grayling’s cuts to criminal legal aid.
He read memoranda about the failings of the privatised court interpreter service, and of how trials had broken down as a result of it.
He read a legal analysis of Mr Failing Grayling’s Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Act, describing how it was one of the most poorly drafted pieces of legislation in living memory and would have no positive effects whatsoever.
He read communications of many kind about Mr Failing Grayling’s ban on books in prisons.
He read about how even Mr Cameron’s brother had convinced a judge that the cuts had meant an important trial could not go ahead.
He read so much that was Not Right. And Mr Gove started to get angry. Very Angry.
Mr Gove decided it was time to Lay Down The Law. There was so much that was wrong in the Department of Justice. All that he had read had convinced him of that. So much that was Not Right at all.
And Mr Gove knew exactly what to do. He knew what his priorities were. He knew what the real problems were, and what needed to be dealt with right away, as a matter of urgency. He knew. So he turned to his secretary.
“This is Not Right” Mr Gove shouted. “This is Not Right.”
“This civil servant began a sentence with ‘however’,” he shouted, jabbing his finger at a memo about access to justice. “This one used the passive voice when he could have used the active,” he cried, holding out a letter about the problems with the privatisation of the probation service. “And there are contractions all over this report,” he went on, pointing out the ‘don’ts, doesn’ts, and can’ts in an analysis of the proposed restrictions to judicial review.
“Someone has even used ‘impact’ as a verb here,” he said in that soft, low voice that his secretary knew was the most menacing of all, as he pushed a report of the problems encountered in drawing up the new British Bill of Rights across the table.
And then he smiled, a grim, serious smile. “Come on,” he said. “We have work to do. Take a memo.”
And Mr Gove laid down the law.
Words by me, art by @kaiserofcrisps and me.
For the other episodes of Mr Gove and his friends, click here