I do not understand why my father, the other Tom Winnifrith, puts himself through the torture of reading the Guardian since he admits that it is riddled with factual errors and that its opinions are generally idiotic. I think he does it at home to please my rather politically correct step mother before scuttling off to the White Bear to read the Daily Telegraph at leisure and with pleasure.
But in reading the Grauniad a few weeks ago my father could not help but spot some glaring errors in one of its daily articles lambasting Michael Gove (who naturally has the full support of my father). So my father penned a letter pointing out the basic factual errors in the Guardian diatribe. It goes without saying that the Guardian has neither printed the letter nor corrected the errors. Pravda!
My father’s letter reads:
Dear Sir or Madam,
In deriding the unfortunate Mr Gove Michael Rosen refers to Horatio in Lord Macaulay's poem. There seems a little difficulty about the name. Horatio is Hamlet's friend and the first name of Admiral Nelson of whom like Macaulay Michael Rosen presumably learned at school.
But Macaulay appears to have been studied less thoroughly. His Horatius is not "putting down rebellion" or "hacking away at insubordinate chiefs and their troops" and thus clearly bad like Macaulay putting down the Indian mutiny and those suppressing the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya.
These are Rosen's analogies but are not very accurate ones. Macaulay's Horatius was fighting the Roman tyrant Tarquin and his foreign Etruscan allies. Should he not have done so? And should not Mr Gove be entitled to defend the teaching of facts against the teaching of attitudes which then distort the facts as Michael Rosen has done.
Even the ranks of Guardian readers can scarce forbear to jeer not at Mr Gove but at Michael Rosen.