A journalist springs into print to tell David Cameron he's got no reason to apologise for liking Morrissey:
Personally, I am tremendously heartened when a political leader actually demonstrates genuine and quite sophisticated cultural tastes, instead of getting spin doctors to compile their iPod playlists for them (with every song a political message). Or, like Gordon Brown, dropping clunking references to contemporary popular favourites such as the Arctic Monkeys and Harry Potter when we all know he is really ensconced in his study reading economic history and perhaps listening to a 'Best Of' classical compilation that his wife bought him for Christmas.
When I ran into David Cameron at the BBC once, I asked him what was the last CD he bought. Without a moment's hesitation, he named a new album from an obscure Californian band called Modest Mouse, who had been working with Morrissey's old Smiths' collaborator Johnny Marr (who played every date on Red Wedge's original tour). I am not sure what credibility it gives him to tackle global economic meltdown, but he is certainly the hippest party leader.
Of course, this applause for being "hip" - daddio - might be slightly less of an endorsement since it comes from Neil McCormick, in the Daily Telegraph. It's a bit like having your shoes praised by someone wearing socks and sandals.
And, really, does liking The Smiths make you hip? They split twenty-two ago. They ran out of steam before Thatcher did. It might mark you out as being able to spot a good tune, but it's identical to telling someone in the year the Smiths split that loving The Byrds showed you to be up to date with the hottest trends.