The chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has prompted a collective cringe on social media after he baited Stormzy with his own rap lyrics on Twitter.
Big man ting!— Daniel Hannan (@DanielJHannan) November 26, 2019
In reaction to the grime artist’s public declaration of support for the Labour party, Michael Gove earlier told TalkRadio that said Stormzy had made his political views clear already “when he took to the stage at Glastonbury wearing a stab vest”.
He added: “He is a far, far better rapper than he is a political analyst.”
This article was tweeted by Labour MP Angela Rayner who said: “And Michael Gove is crap at both.”
The war of words could have stopped there, but in a tweet that was subsequently shared more than 1,200 times Gove said: “I set trends dem man copy.”
The lyric comes from Stormzy’s breakthrough hit “Shut Up”.
MP Daniel Hannan, widely considered the “brains of Brexit”, also chipped in with a piece of slang: “Big man ting.”
Much of the reaction on social media has been a basic, collective cringe, with Twitter user Dan Rebellato saying: “I just convulsed with horror so sharply I’ve pulled a muscle in my neck.”
While Twitter user Daniel Brennan said: “I’m going to delete Twitter off my phone and it’s this tweet’s fault.”
Twitter user Tom Johnson said: “As Stormzy references go, personally surprised Gove didn’t pick: ‘fuck the government and fuck Boris’.”
Others have suggested that the tweet was in poor taste, with Labour’s David Lammy highlighting the use of “crass stereotypes”.
“Michael Gove sanctioning crass stereotypes after telling an intelligent, successful young black man to stay out of politics,” he observed. “Challenge stereotypes, don’t compound them.”
Freelance journalist Otto English said: “If the Tories are genuine about stamping out racism in public life perhaps they should start with Michael Gove.”
Writer Michael Brookmyre tweeted: “Just Michael Gove indulging in the verbal equivalent of blackface.”