Rod Liddle

Reconnecting with a left hook

Reconnecting with a left hook
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At last the Labour Party is reconnecting with its core working class vote, and this time in an engagingly direct manner. Paul Farrelly, the MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme punched a newspaper seller in the sports and social club of the House of Commons, leaving him with blood pouring down his face. They also grappled on the floor. It is not recorded, but I hope Harriet Harman or Tessa Jowell were also standing by screaming: “Leave ‘im Paul, jus’ leave ‘im – he ain’t bleedin’ worf it.” The victim, Bjorn Hurrell, has said that he will press charges.

Over the weekend Mr Farrelly was telling anyone who would listen that he had been “provoked” and had acted in self defence “just like John Prescott did that time”. And also “I must have had a bad pint, like.” Actually he didn’t say the last bit. But the continual references made to Prescott are interesting. Farrelly remembers well that Prescott, by and large, was considered more sinned against than sinning when he tried to lamp a fat bloke who threw an egg at him. However, even though he claimed it at the time, what Prescott did was not “self-defence”, it was something else – retaliation. Which is a very different beast indeed, m’lud.