Thursday, July 06, 2006

Prescott after a resignation

Back in May 1994 I posted this anecdote on my anthology blog Serendib. It describes what Sir Anthony Eden did after he resigned as prime minister over Suez. What was then a pleasing trivial connection may be about to become a grand irony or a satisfying closure.
An exhausted Eden resigned on January 9 1957 and he and his wife set sail from Tilbury to New Zealand (which had been a staunch ally) on January 18. The ship was the RMS Rangitata and the Edens' cabin steward was John Prescott, who sometimes fought on-deck boxing matches for the entertainment of the passengers, sometimes won them, and sometimes was presented with his prize (beer or wine) by the ex-prime minister or his wife.
As someone has said, there is a play to be written about an elderly Eden expounding his wisdom to the young Prescott.