I know the young man from The New Forest, Colm Lock, whose egg spattered face was all over the national newspapers last week. Whilst some might say it was his own contributory negligence for loitering in the vicinity of the Tory Party conference in Manchester, I told him that he should wear it as a badge of honour.
I am afraid that I missed all the demonstrators: these are folk who do not rise early, and as I was always up with the lark and into the secure zone before 9 AM, there were never any demonstrators about.
By all accounts however, when they did get there they thoroughly enjoyed themselves hurling abuse at almost any passer-by. There were a couple of left wing media commentators who were really quite hurt to be called ‘Tory scum’. When they hurled more than just abuse their aim was often no more accurate: Boris Johnson had the best line, demanding the reintroduction of ball games in schools to revive these essential skills, given that the mob had missed him with every projectile that they had thrown.
On that basis perhaps Colm Lock’s egg was just a luck strike. Nevertheless, he can be justifiably proud of it. I recall the pride that I felt when I was struck by an egg in Wednesbury Market when I was fighting the West Bromwich West constituency in the 1992 general election – it was on the same day that John Major also took a direct hit with an egg. I took the view that, whilst I was in no danger of actually winning the seat, if I was important enough for someone to take the trouble to buy an egg and throw it at me, then I really had made my mark politically.
The spectacle of the demonstrations does however, beg the question of what has happened to the ‘gentler’ politics which Jeremy Corbyn announced that he would be ushering in?
It has been fascinating to watch a body of Labour supporters retreat into their comfort zone, readopting the ideology and modus operandi that served them so ill in the early nineteen eighties, but at least they appear to be enjoying themselves – whatever the electoral consequences might turn out to be.