Ah, that hat.William Hague’s painful personal statement has failed to quell the media fascination with his private life, which is unfortunate but only to be expected. Sally Bercow and others are right to say that he was given duff PR advice, true, but that hardly justifies yet more prurience and three-way interviews between journalists.

It’s been rumbling on for days, after all, and there is no actual story here. The rumours about Hague started years ago, and all inhabitants or political bubbles love a chance to get old rumours off their chest, but there’s nothing that could be described as actual substance to them.

In fact, it’s almost Westminster’s favourite game, given the sheer number of politicians who’ve been the subject of sexuality rumours. For the egregious Paul “Guido Fawkes” Staines, and many others, even the Guardian – see the last line here – this latest effort again reeks of nudge-nudge wink-wink homophobia. They’re too well-dressed, see? It’s politics by way of Are You Being Served? No doubt the Tory machine will respond the way they know best, and the traditional Fawkes-hunting will be in full cry (Jeff insisted on that, by the way).

The specific allegations being made are also profoundly stupid. Imagine, hypothetically, you’re a senior cabinet member, you’re married but in the closet, and you’re having an affair with a special adviser. Let’s also assume you’re of above average intelligence, which the Foreign Secretary clearly is, baseball caps notwithstanding.

Do you get a room together? Really? Surely you’d get a nice double to yourself and have your lover come by to “discuss tomorrow’s campaign events”. You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to see the allegation doesn’t stand up. No-one in their right mind plans a happy love life around twin beds. That’s a room booking you only make when it doesn’t even occur to you that people would think anything of it.

Apart from utterly misplaced prejudice, it’s not clear why Staines and others have gone for the Eurosceptic Hague, but he’s certainly an interesting figure. Like John Swinney, he bounced back from an unsuccessful stint as leader and rebuilt his reputation on the front benches. Both men are now effectively the number two figure in their respective governments – apologies to Nicola and Nick. In fact, Hague may be the only coalition Minister who had been gaining in credibility in office.

Once the flurry of nonsense has passed, that trend will continue, and the empathy for his situation will be what remains of this story. Morus is right. If you like a flutter, it’s time to back Hague for next Tory leader, which might encourage comparisons with Salmond rather than Swinney. Just think how furious Redwood and Tebbit would be.