Almost overnight, a new national icon was born. Robust, determined and tough as nails, a humble lettuce – with a little help from the Daily Star – has helped topple a government and been catapulted to stardom. Hollywood producers may already be scrambling to sign the rights to the biopic.
The Star’s quirky stunt has transcended politics, captivating the general public as millions tuned in for livestream updates to see who would wilt first: the Prime Minister or a head of lettuce.
For all the chaos of the last week or two or three, it is easy to forget where this salad themed insult originated. You would be forgiven for thinking The Star was the sole puppet master in this escapade (see yesterday’s self-published ‘How Daily Star’s Liz vs lettuce livestream went global and made Truss wet laughing stock’ piece) but the veg links actually came from higher brow sources.
A devastating Economist lede on October 11th first drew the now immortal link between Truss’ seven days of authority and the rough ‘shelf-life of a lettuce’. The ‘Iceberg Lady’ image surged through social media generating sniggers and despair alike.
Sporting a reputation for intellectual, nonsensational, independent reporting, The Economist’s intervention here proved critical. When tabloids are pinching ideas from financial magazines and uniting the press in declaring a leader’s incompetence, the writing tends to be on the wall. Add in a humorous physical representation of Truss’s already terminal woes and the game was up.
The world’s media soon followed suit from the New York Times to Spain’s El Diario, offering their own spin on this most British battles of endurance. The last word went to the former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev (of course) who tweeted, “Bye, bye Liz Truss, congrats to lettuce”.
So, is there life after Liz for the lettuce? The Press Gazette nabbed the exclusive first interview with the successful salad’s spokesperson, Daily Star editor-in-chief Jon Clark. Clark explained that our leafy hero “is currently weighing up her options and is thinking of going into politics full time”. He also addressed some global reporting inaccuracies that branded his paper left-wing, explaining they are ‘not anti-Tory or anti-Labour’ but ‘anti-idiot.’
Our question is does the lettuce now become an accepted unit of measurement for the length of Prime Ministerial premierships? Maybe this is the UK’s version of the American ‘Scaramucci’ aka ten days in office.
But lettuce not forget our fallen leader. A converted ‘Romainer’ who seduced the right of the party but managed to alienate everyone else. Truss will be consigned to history as the UK’s shortest-serving prime minister alongside the lasting image of a triumphant lettuce – the Neil Kinnock lightbulb head of the 21st century.
Or perhaps lettuce Liz is breathing a quiet sigh of relief today as her pork market past can finally be put to bed.