Not only did the Prime Minister quote the First Secretary of the State’s teenage address to the conference aged just 16 by employing the phrase “some of you won’t be here in 30 years time”, but he did so my mimicking his Yorkshire accent.
“All right, I won't give up the day job,” he said, no doubt to sighs of mixed relief and disappointment.
“Now, when he was a teenager he didn't only address the Tory Party conference, he read Hansard in bed and he had a record collection that apparently consisted of one album by Dire Straits and dozens of speeches by Winston Churchill. His dad said: 'He was just a normal happy boy.'
“All I can say is this: that boy became an amazing parliamentarian, a brilliant foreign secretary, our greatest living Yorkshireman and someone to whom I owe an enormous debt of gratitude - William Hague.” And his labelling of Hague was the “greatest living Yorkshireman” has become the subject of much debate on Twitter. Not least because he’s forgotten that women (like Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis, artist Dame Barbara Hepworth and Britain's first astronaut Helen Sharman) also live in Yorkshire. But also because these five fine individuals are very much still living and breathing:
1) Sir Patrick Stewart
A legend on screen, on the stage, in real life and on the internet. He’s also a life-long member of the Labour Party. Which might have put the PM off a tad.
2) Alan Bennett
You know, only one of the country’s most influential living playwrights. Knows a thing or two about writing a script.
3) David Hockney
There are few more influential British artists of the 20th century than this lad.
4) Geoffrey Boycott OBE
The former Yorkshire and England cricketer and one of the country’s most successful ever opening batsman. First person whose name comes up when you type ‘greatest living Yorkshireman’ into Google, too. Well. He was before all this Hague nonsense.
5) Jarvis Cocker
Erm, HELLO CAMERON? A Sheffield-born indie demi-God who publicly blasted Gordon Brown, then declared there was “no credible alternative” for the UK other than a Conservative government? You missed a powerful PR trick there, son.