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The culture war is a box of matches the UK government can’t help playing with | Marina Hyde

Like with everything else, the race report has been deployed to stoke maximum division. No good can come of this low-effort politics

Classical liberal, thought leader, guitar-bothering divorce meme Laurence Fox launched his campaign to be London mayor this week, standing for the Reclaim party. What’s he reclaiming? Probably not his deposit. Remarkably, the actor read his big launch speech off some paper, which is surely the equivalent of not being off-book for opening night. You can’t help feeling it would have taken the edge off Laurence Olivier’s Henry V if he’d had to get a couple of prompt cards out before addressing the troops at Agincourt.

Still, I expect we get the Laurences we deserve. “I am here to reclaim your freedom,” read Fox. Again, learning his lines for Braveheart allowed Mel Gibson to make a similar promise, at the same time as controlling the skittish horse he was riding and still having a fist free to raise in the air at the end. Not being word-perfect sadly closed off that avenue to Laurence Fox. Any British politician raising a fist full of crumpled A4 looks like they’ve just appeased Hitler.

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