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Ballot boxing.
May 16, 2001 3:12 PM   Subscribe

Ballot boxing. John Prescott, the UK's Deputy Prime Minister and Tony Blair's right hand (or should that be left jab) man was involved in a skirmish today while on the campaign trail, seemingly throwing the first punch. Politicians seem to be addressing the issue of voter apathy in more erm, 'innovative' ways these days.
posted by Markb (23 comments total)

"I believe that someone is now being questioned by the police, and it would be quite improper and quite wrong to add any further comment."

Just got into a discussion with someone just now about whether this constitutes common assault . . . surely it's Prescott who should be questioned? Or do politicians suddenly have powers to go around punching anyone? I hope not, because I might be in line again.
posted by feelinglistless at 3:18 PM on May 16, 2001

And you guys are supposed to be more civilized than us? At least we're apathetic and not violent...
posted by owillis at 3:22 PM on May 16, 2001

He always did strike me as tha kinda bloke who won't take shit like that from anyone. Someone pelts him with eggs, he wacks them. Fair enough, i gotta respect that, and i think a lot of the British public would too. Someone threw an egg at me i'd drop them on the spot no matter what my job was.
posted by Kino at 3:30 PM on May 16, 2001

' guys are supposed to be more civilized than us? At least we're apathetic and not violent...'

Oh yeh, owillis, whose 'us'. From what you've said there 'us' would be anyone susceptible to stereotypical nationalistic clich├ęs and prone to making rash judgements about a nation on the basis of an isolated incident.
posted by Kino at 3:36 PM on May 16, 2001

From the story, it seems some jerkoff was throwing eggs at Prescott. In which case I say Prescott had every right to bash the coward's face in.
posted by aaron at 3:49 PM on May 16, 2001

I agree with aaron. This is still a funny story though. Prescott has a reputation as the 'fat and stupid one' and seeing him get involved with this is extremely amusing.

Then again, Labour are hardly the Nazi party, and there's not really many reasons that you should be throwing eggs at them. Sure, Prescott is a twit, but violence begets violence.
posted by wackybrit at 3:59 PM on May 16, 2001

Kino: forgot to use my <sarcastic> tag...
posted by owillis at 4:07 PM on May 16, 2001

And you guys are supposed to be more civilized than us? At least we're apathetic and not violent...

Apathetic indeed. Which is why, I suppose, we haven't gotten rid of the less than civilized and less than non violent practice of the death penalty. The UK's way ahead us there...
posted by lpqboy at 4:07 PM on May 16, 2001

Had I been in Prescott's position, I'd have done the same. It wasn't as if the egg sailed through the air, then he chased after the thrower; he got it in the left eye at really close range (about 18in) and threw out a fist in a split-second response.

And heh, it was a bloody hunt supporter who chucked the egg. If you can't take it, fella, don't dish it out to foxes.

(A friend works for DETR, and has lots of respect for Prescott. He's dyslexic, which partly accounts for his ability to turn a sentence into an obstacle course, but he's also very smart, desperately frustrated by Prudent Gordon in his attempt to get anything done, and hamstrung in the public eye, to some extent, by being the bluff northern antithesis of Mr Tony.)

Thankfully, though, today has forced the pols out of their PR cocoons.
posted by holgate at 4:08 PM on May 16, 2001

Owillis : Someone else fell for it too.. phew!. < sarcastic> maybe u should be more careful who you call violent, cuz we f***in well aint, you **** < /sarcastic> :)
posted by Kino at 4:17 PM on May 16, 2001

He's dyslexic, which partly accounts for his ability to turn a sentence into an obstacle course, but he's also very smart...

Gee, who does that sound vaguely like? Oh, that's right, the guy I'm thinking of is a Republican, and thus must be demonized at every occasion. Don't mind me, carry on. (Not aimed at holgate of course, who is usually above such trifle.)

I saw on the BBC news this evening that Blair got nailed by a pissed-off heckler, and then some police union starting booing somebody else. Maybe this might be an interesting election after all.

I can't get used to party "manifestos," either. It sounds so ... Communist.
posted by aaron at 8:46 PM on May 16, 2001

Here's an animated gif (210k) of the incident, nabbed from the Sun's website.
posted by viama at 3:23 AM on May 17, 2001

If anything, the police should be questioning that man about his wicked mullet!

It's good to see that the 10/90 is still in fashion in Northern England as well-- in fact that's one of the finest mullets I've seen in years!
posted by FPN at 3:34 AM on May 17, 2001

Yes, it was a split second reaction thing, he just turned and lashed out, without even seeing who it was. He got lucky, it was a bloke with a mullet. I'd be willing to bet that 32% of the population will back him in hitting the bloke just for having a mullet.

But what if the thrower had been a woman, or an Asian or Black. "Bluff Northern Politician Thumps Woman" or, "Deputy PM In Racial Assault Horror" would have been the result. You can take it as read that he wouldn't still be here if that'd happened. Prescott got lucky.

As for the other incidents I feel that labour are going to have a hard time if they try to base their appeal on competence; not being the Tories however...they'll win by a street on. Much to my distaste.
posted by nedrichards at 3:40 AM on May 17, 2001

But what if the thrower had been a woman, or an Asian or Black.

He would have been forced to resign, especially if the protestor was female. Because all women are meek and feeble and have anxiety fits at the mere thought of being exposed to violence.

Remember, kids, never hit a WOMAN. But you can hit a man, if you like. They can take it.
posted by MarkC at 4:13 AM on May 17, 2001

Personally I have a curious sort of respect for Prescott. He lashed out in anger, which shows he has emotions.

As opposed to the inanely grinning Blair who tried to debate with a woman over her partner's cancer care. Blair was scarily unmoved by the obviously upset woman and simply tried to put the best spin on the situation.

Prescott will be sacked but he should be elected.

Oh, and it was Wales not England. (christ, I'm even defending Welsh mullets now)
posted by fullerine at 4:14 AM on May 17, 2001

It's good to see that the 10/90 is still in fashion in Northern England as well-- in fact that's one of the finest mullets I've seen in years!

North Wales, not Northern England, though it's close to the border.
posted by kerplunk at 4:19 AM on May 17, 2001

Hang on a minute, in an earlier thread we're all saying how terrible it is that kids are allowed to roam the streets hitting people, then in this one suddenly Prescott's OK because, well, he's dyslexic and it was a hunt supporter after all?
He's a leading politician, he lashed out indiscriminately at a member of the public because they broke an egg on him (broke, not threw, the egg was already broken when it hit him), something which happens to most politicians several times in their career (egg and flour throwing at politicians has a long history in this country).
If it was anyone else brawling in the street they'd have been carted off to the magistrates court, how come Prescott gets away with it? Because he was provoked? Joe Punter wouldn't get away with that defence so why should he. If I were to be seen on TV whacking someone, even someone with an appalling mullet, I'd lose my job and be doing community service before you could say double standards.
Besides, he deserves a good pasting for the M4 bus lane alone.
posted by Markb at 5:08 AM on May 17, 2001

Markb-- from what I saw, the egg was thrown at quite close range, and his response was close to immediate. Egg throwing may have a long and dignified history, (saps if I know) but it did not appear that Prescott had time to think.

That being said, it wouldn't trouble me if he were sacked. Politicians ought to be prepared for the worst, and hold themselves in check even when attacked.

However, I wonder if the "apalling mullet defense" might work in this case. I know it's been quite successful in certain regions of America.
posted by FPN at 5:23 AM on May 17, 2001

Salam brothers,

props to the guy. Hitting someone for having a mullet if in no way similar to hitting any other human being.

That guy choose to have a mullet. He gets up in the morning looks himself in the mirror. And then goes out with a mullet. Once a month (maybe longer) he'll go his barber and say "it'll be a mullet please". He deserved it.

This incident alone has convinced me to vote for Prescott and Labour. What a glorious day, when finally the mullet threat to our country is being dealt with by our Deputy Prime Minister.

No other haircut has caused such devestation to our community and way of life. We must set-up a UK mullet recovery group. Mullets must be stopped here and now!

posted by Rips at 6:42 AM on May 17, 2001

Clinton was hit by an egg today. He laughed it off.
posted by owillis at 1:18 PM on May 17, 2001

ok, my england bit was because prescott is. I do know where Rhyl is (even though, on reflection, looking at what I've just written makes me look like a smarmy fool). Oh, and he should go, there is no excuse for violence (even though we all do it).
posted by nedrichards at 1:48 PM on May 17, 2001

that wasn't clear at all. sorry. He's a northern englishman. there. that's better.
posted by nedrichards at 1:49 PM on May 17, 2001

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