Edwina Currie - Or Should That Be "Eggwina"?!

From the "Sun", 18/11/1988: junior health minister Edwina Currie was famous for opening her mouth and not engaging her brain. Here, she avoids a parking ticket, but there is more than a touch of "let them eat cake" in her advice to a humble traffic warden to buy silk long johns, £26 a pair from Harrods! Somehow, I grew to like Edwina. I don't really know why. The 1980s were far more varied than simply "greedy". By 1988, the decade had gone from being a poor, recession hit deelybopper wearing, Rubik's Cube twirling geezer, to being a garish, big haired, big shoulder-padded, extragavantly fund raising yuppie, to being an absolutely off-its-rocker old weirdo, playing host to the likes of acid house and Edwina...

One of the big political scandals of the late 1980s involved Junior Health Minister Edwina Currie and her assertion that most of Britain's egg production was infected with salmonella. Cue hasty resignation and lasting fame.

I blamed all the fancy food we commoners were able to scoff in the 1980s. We were getting dead posh as the decade progressed, eating grub we'd never had before, some of which involved undercooked or even uncooked eggs. Before the 80s, your best chance of getting egg-related quilly-quobbles was if you took Fanny Cradock's advice and made an omelette that was "wet in the middle", as she insisted: 

"Then it's really delicious!" 

My word for it was "poison". 

But in the 1980s we, the great unwashed, ate things like fresh mayonnaise, soufflé, Oriental soup with uncooked egg dropped in it, and all kinds of other strange and wonderful eggy things.

I personally believed there was little wonder we were having problems.

Was there something to what Mrs C said about salmonella? Some readers of the Sun, 22/12/1988, certainly thought so... 

The arrogance of farmers is unbelievable. They pollute the water, the food-stuffs, the atmosphere and now chickens.

Because they are too mercenary to feed unfortunate battery hens with anything other than the ground-up bodies of slaughtered birds they have created a salmonella crisis.

They even have the gall to ask for compensation because Edwina Currie told a few home truths... 

Battery hens had been a controversial issue long before the 1980s... 

Why this sudden hysteria about eggs causing salmonella? It is simply because Edwina Currie talked about it.

In the Sixties people like myself warned that eggs could be a health risk.

At last the hen may be getting her revenge. The problem will not go away until these poor caged birds are kept in a more humane way, where they are not able to peck at sick or dead hens... 


I cannot understand why, after poisoning a number of people, the egg industry should see fit to sue Edwina Currie. She acted in a responsible fashion by exposing the industry for what it is, and those who have issued writs are contemptible. 

Still, not everybody was convinced that the eggs woz bad... 

I am 90 years old and have eaten an egg every day of my life. I have only had to see my doctor once in the last 20 years, and that was with flu. Not much wrong with eating eggs, I'd say...

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