Images of John Prescott being pelted with an egg whilst campaigning in Rhys, North Wales in 2001 resonated true this evening when I saw a video of Tory Peer, Baroness Warsi suffering the same, humiliating attack.
Warsi was on a ‘walkabout’ in Luton when some protesters appeared and threw eggs at her. What I thought was particularly interesting was the Baroness’ response. Instead of trying to get indoors and away from the angry protesters as you might expect, Warsi attempted to reason with them. This was in stark contrast to Prescott’s ‘Rocky’ impersonation where he landed a clean punch to the offender’s chin before wrestling him to the ground as if he had stolen his last piece of cake.
Although the Tory Peer appeared angered by this most recent attack, she kept her cool remarkably well. Warsi, who was named Britain’s most influential Muslim woman in 2009 could be heard saying to one of her minders “I think we should actually deal with it”. The Baroness did her best to answer the questions of the egg throwers but, rather predictably, they did not afford her the same patience as she gave them.
Baroness Warsi’s calm response to this confrontation is a fascinating demonstration of British democracy. Being an unelected member of the House of Lords Warsi is not directly accountable to the public, yet she put herself in the firing line to argue her point and submit herself to further abuse from the ‘egg men’. Yes it would have been funny to see her flailing fists towards the protesters as Prescott so famously did but, as it was, her reaction was both intriguing and reassuring.
By Nick Higgins