Michael Gove speech: How late it was, how late – why the earth asks us to act now
A special place
“It is a particular pleasure to be here at Kew – one of the greatest examples of the UK’s soft power that I know. As we all know, it is a centre of scientific excellence, it’s a home for nature in all its bounty and beauty, it’s a magnet for visitors and an example of Government, civil society and private investment making a decisive difference to improve our global environment. And I would like therefore to thank the director Richard Deverell, and in particular the outgoing Chairman of this amazing institution, Marcus Agius, for Marcus’ inspirational leadership here and in his ten years here has seen it flourish and grow. I would also like to congratulate Marcus’ successor, the hugely accomplished Dame Amelia Fawcett on her appointment – I know she in turn will be a brilliant leader of this wonderful place.
A warning that echoes ever day
When I was a much younger politician, I was fortunate enough to meet the deputy prime minister of New Zealand. Now for me at the time it was a privilege – less so, I imagine, for him.
I asked him, ‘What is the one golden rule in politics?’
And he said, ‘Well, Michael, remember this: it’s always later than you think.’
It is indeed. ……