Mural of Manchester United and England’s Marcus Rashford (Image: REUTERS)

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BACK in the 1960s the Prime Minister was so respected in my neck of the woods that a pub was named after him.

The Pipe and Gannex was a warm gesture to our local MP, Harold Wilson, who made the people of Huyton proud. How times change. Today, in another part of Merseyside, they’ve twice renamed a pub after the current Prime Minister but the gesture contains less warmth than an abandoned igloo.

The Three Bellends in New Brighton was a shout out to the gross incompetence of Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and Dominic Cummings during the Covid crisis.

It’s now been renamed The Two Helmets, in recognition of the fact that one of the bellends, Cummings, has been sacked. Soon I expect it will be renamed The One Cock, in recognition of Johnson sacking the other helmet.

Because, thanks to the sacked bellend, we know the PM thinks the helmet who runs the NHS is “totally f***ing hopeless”.

Mind you, he also tells us that the PM hates his job as it’s “too much like hard work” and wants to leave soon to “make money and have fun”.

What a state the political leadership in this country is in. As Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said this week: “This is probably the least talented Cabinet in history… Most of them you wouldn’t give a job packing supermarket shelves.”

And the top of the Labour Party isn’t any better. When Keir Starmer can’t win back working-class voters from an Old Etonian elitist who thinks a salary of £250k a year is “chickenfeed”, he is clearly floundering.

The leadership vacuum in politics looks even grimmer when you contrast it with the actions of a
group of young people who not so long ago were looked down on as grasping, bling-obsessed ­hedonists. Professional footballers.

Throughout the pandemic many players dug deep to help those who were struggling.
Jordan Henderson made last week’s honours list for starting up the Players Together ­initiative which encouraged his fellow pros to give generously to the NHS.

Raheem Sterling, who also received an MBE for his charity work, announced a foundation to push kids from deprived backgrounds up the social mobility ladder so those at the bottom can see “there is
something better to England”.

Chelsea’s Reece James donated £10,000 to The Felix Project, which supplies food charities in the
poorest areas of London, and Wilfried Zaha handed his rental properties to the NHS.

And Marcus Rashford, who forced Johnson into two humiliating U-turns over feeding the poorest kids during school holidays, has looked more statesmanlike since last March than any politician.

This week, the 23-year-old used a Euros press conference to talk about the need to make more people aware of food poverty in Britain. His work standing up for the poor and voiceless has shamed the political class.

Which is why, instead of having his name put on a pub sign in a derogatory manner, a huge mural of him has been painted on the side of a Manchester cafe with the words: “Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest role in your purpose”.

The same pride and purpose is being shown by the England team who continue to take the knee to highlight racism, in the face of fierce criticism.

They are what leaders look like. The helmets of Westminster take note.