He may be a semi-literate, bulldog-faced pugilist who would probably be outwitted by a pair of socks. His stand-in role at prime minister’s questions may bring to mind a large strawberry cheesecake put into bat against skilled fast bowlers, who are using it as aiming practice. With hammers. But I had to smile at John Prescott’s outburst yesterday.
Having been royally wound up by William Hague (standing in for Big Dave), Prescott, alluding to the Conservative Party’s anti-debt ad campaign which compels young people to “ignore the tosser in you” (never understood this one, I must say. Presumably it’s a play on words, but to my mind there is only one real definition of the word ‘tosser’), said:
I do not know which person this man was modeled on from the Tory frontbench. But let me tell him, I always thought that party was full of them and that is why they lost three elections.
Touché. Is it unparliamentary language? Is this appropriate? Do we care? Well, the speaker didn’t intervene, so it seems that this word is now permissible and, to be frank, it’s a pretty fitting epithet for most of them, whatever side of the Commons they sit on.