Championed as a victory for the public sector, Gove’s demotion to Chief Whip was greeted with cheers from the left, but was the teachers’ strike the final nail in his coffin, or mere coincidence?

Despite the Conservative party’s disdain for strike action, it is unlikely that it had any ultimate impact on whether Gove was sacked from office — sorry, not ‘demoted’ or ‘sacked’, but simply ‘moved across’. With Michael Gove’s demotion (let’s call it what it is) to Chief Whip, we see his position filled by a woman. Yes! A woman! With ‘Cameron’s babes’ allegedly ascending the political ladder due to their anatomy, not a lot is known about the new Education Secretary. Gove’s position however became toxic, way before the strike.

With less than a year now to the next election, Nicky Morgan’s impact will hardly be noticeable, with many decisions pre-determined before she took the post. Private school educated and Oxford alumni, Nicky Morgan personifies a career politician.

Audaciously Cameron is planning for a future government, whilst simultaneously bringing female faces to the frontline in Prime Minister’s Question Time; presumably to rival Labour’s all female shortlists. Being both courteous and an ally to Cameron — it seems, is not enough to cement a place in Cameron’s cabinet. Old timers such as moderate Ken Clarke were also banished.

Unlike vast swathes of the public, I was not shocked by the revelations of Michael Gove’s sacking. In his 4-year tenure as Education Secretary, he managed to entice exactly the sort of action the Tory party despise: unity and solidarity amongst left-wing factions. Large pockets of the nation were also in support of the unions, despite having to cough up to babysitters. Not just content with waging war with unions, Gove had also made significant enemies with the Lib Dems and was also at loggerheads with Ofsted as reforms were ferociously forced through.

Condemning last week’s strike action, as ‘undemocratic totalitarianism’ from the NUT, will prove to be Gove’s last important action as Education Secretary. Regardless of whether or not the strike should have taken place — it did, and was orchestrated expertly — with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets. If Gove and the government really had a problem with union turnout before the strikes, they would have made voting possible online.

Last week’s strikers fought against a dismal 1 percent increase in salary, a figure not nearly matching the inexorable inflation currently taking place within the capital. Pay has declined since the coalition took over, with half a million public sector employees below the Living Wage, along with an 18 percent decrease in pay for workers. These actions were necessary revolutions in Gove’s eyes to make sure that education was reinvigorated to his standards and style of teaching. Yet teachers were angry, the public were on their side; so he had to go, despite David Cameron believing Michael’s time in office had been a success for the Tories.

With Christine Blower declaring that the strike was an action that would ‘stand up for education’, something had to give. With more strikes foreseen in the build up to the election, Cameron sacrificed an ally, to salvage his political campaign. With Gove regarded as one of the most recognisable, but also one of the most insufferable politicians in the national domain; only 22 percent admitted to liking him in a recent poll. Cameron’s reshuffle therefore was an astute move that could well pay dividends in the build up to the election.

When strikers begin to strike, they will target a fresh victim, in the electorate’s eyes, a victim who had nothing to do with education reform; Nicky Morgan. Despite a prerequisite of her appointment being that she support all aspects of education reform (she did also vote for all of Michael Gove’s reforms), she can sit back and watch the new Chief Whip receive the flack, whilst she simply waits for her turn in the hot seat.

Strike action did not displace the ex-Education Secretary from his post: the public did. The strike was merely the last nail in an already heavily shut coffin, there’s only so much of an onslaught the public will take in regards to our educational system and teachers. Cameron had to act — and he did, shame the same can’t ever be said about Ed Milliband.

Under Nicky Morgan more strikes will more than likely take place, but how the public reacts to them will be the more interesting of debates. With Morgan’s chasms somewhat unknown, it’s hard to know how radical or how right-wing she is. Regardless, if she doesn’t capitulate to the public sector’s demands she will face extreme battles; but at least for now, Gove possesses the scars.

DISCLAIMER: The articles on our website are not endorsed by, or the opinions of Shout Out UK (SOUK), but exclusively the views of the author.