Matt Hancock’s brain fade, mashing up Daniel Radcliffe and Marcus Rashford, is perhaps a timely warning of what can befall a politician who affects too easy a familiarity with sport and popular culture. With rare exceptions, pop culture and politics really don’t mix – especially association football.

Who can forget, for example, David Cameron’s excruciating confusion about which football team he “supports”. Having picked, apparently randomly, an historic Brummie club within easy reach of a clutch of Labour-Tory marginals, Aston Villa, he once tried to illustrate a point at a policy launch about cultural identity and Britishness with the line: “Of course, I’d rather you supported West Ham.” Apart from sharing club colours (claret and blue) and an occasional tendency to hang close to the Premier League’s relegation zone, the Hammers and the Villa don’t have much else in common. At any rate, Mr Cameron goes to see them rather less than does Prince William, a more devoted old Etonian follower of theirs.

Gordon Brown’s passion for third-tier Scottish champions Raith Rovers was genuine, but it did neither him nor the team much good. To their credit, neither Theresa May (who likes her cricket and Geoffrey Boycott) nor Boris Johnson feigned any love of the beautiful game.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

We’re all doomed. But at least we can buy compost again

Well, it’s clear what we have to do then: go outside, but don’t go outside, start to socialise again but not with more than one person and not at a distance of less than two metres, and go to work…

‘Happy Days’ stars Don Most, Anson Williams reunite for ‘Harvest Time’: ‘It will surely surprise people’

Fox News Flash top entertainment and celebrity headlines are here. Check out what’s clicking today in entertainment. Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here. “Happy Days” stars Don Most and Anson…

Andrew Woodcock Why Tories’ HS2 rebellion has run out of track

Boris Johnson’s announcement that the first stages of HS2 are to go ahead came as a bitter disappointment to a number of Conservative MPs with constituencies sited along the route of the high-speed rail line. HS2 cuts through several of…

MP calls for ‘system change’ after police stop

An MP has called for a “system change” after she was stopped while travelling in a car in east London. Former shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler accused police of racial profiling after the stop on Sunday. Labour MP Ms Butler…