egg throwing: a great British tradition of protest from the London crowd of the 1790s to the ‘Battle of Wood Green’ 1977

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2017 by kmflett


Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall, two characters associated with the far-right political party known as UKIP, have been hit by eggs thrown by protesters today while campaigning in Stoke on Trent. Oh dear!.

I think we will be waiting a while before Farage (he’s the one with the ‘brains’ here) makes mention that egg throwing is one of the most traditional forms of British political protest.

E.P Thompson in the Making of the English Working Class records that when a perjurer was placed in the pillory in the 1790s the London crowd pelted him with eggs. Yet when a political radical suffered the same fate a few days later the crowd brought him glasses of wine to drink.

In more recent times egg throwing has been officially recognised as a legitimate protest. An anti-fascist arrested for throwing an egg at a National Front march in Wood Green in 1977, known as the ‘Battle of Wood Green’, was acquitted as the judge noted that it was indeed a traditional form of political protest.

John Prescott, also egged on the campaign trail, didnt agree (he whacked the egg thrower) but ultimately a point is made and no harm is done beyond making the person egged look silly and a dry cleaning bill


3 Responses to “egg throwing: a great British tradition of protest from the London crowd of the 1790s to the ‘Battle of Wood Green’ 1977”

  1. Much like the “punch a nazi” meme, it is still a form of assault being used to silence unwanted speech. While it is easy to ignore when the unwanted speech is offensive, it opens the door for when it is your speech that is unwanted.

  2. also David Irving was egged on the back by an Anti Nazi League supporter on the final morning of his Holocaust denial trial in the High Court. Jacket-less he then lost the case!

  3. The egging of Irving is featured in the current feature film “Denial” which is excellent and has a happy ending!

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