There’s a classic Spitting Image sketch which features Margaret Thatcher and her ministers having a meal in a restaurant. The waitress asks Margaret Thatcher what she’d like to eat. She goes for the steak: ‘I’d like it raw please’. ‘And what about the vegetables?’ the waitress asks. ‘Oh, they’ll have the same as me,’ Thatcher replies.

Fast forward 35 years and it is the present Prime Minister herself who has become ‘vegetabilised’. This started with a piece in The Economist, of all places, which compared Liz Truss’ tenure to that of a salad staple. ‘Truss entered Downing Street on September 6th,’ the periodical noted. ‘Take away the ten days of mourning after the death of the queen, and she had seven days in control. That is the shelf-life of a lettuce.’

This leafy baton of political commentary was then picked up by the Daily Star, who nipped down to Tesco to buy a 60p lettuce to discover which would last longer – the lettuce or the Prime Minister. They even set up a live web stream for people to watch the Lettuce v Liz face-off: at the time of writing, there are 430 people watching a slowly decaying iceberg.

To quote a friend who I saw at the weekend, the reason for this ridicule is because the Prime Minister and her policies have lettuce all down. And once you’re associated with a foodstuff in the court of public opinion, it is all but impossible to claw your way back. Voters never forgot that image of Ed Miliband and his bacon sandwich. Edwina Currie’s career, meanwhile, was similarly scrambled.

In the early 1990s, fans of the England football team watched as the glory of Bobby Robson’s Italia ’90 team gave way to Graham Taylor’s brief but disastrous tenure. At the 1992 European Championships, England crashed out after a defeat to Sweden. Taylor, whose managerial mistakes included substituting Gary Lineker when England needed a goal, was pilloried in the press: SWEDES 2 TURNIPS 1 reported The Sun. From then on, the England manager was Turnip Taylor in the tabloid press: That’s Your Allotment was the headline when he eventually resigned.

Turnips, funnily enough, have their own history when it comes to political protests. Vespasian, the unpopular first century Roman proconsul of North Africa, found himself pelted with turnips by the unhappy citizens of Hadrumetum. Ouch. In this country, the perception is that rotten tomatoes was the ‘go to’ foodstuff for showing displeasure, though it’s a practice that actually originated in New York’s theatreland in the 1880s.

One wonders if, the next time she appears in public, whether today’s protestors will combine the tomatoes and lettuce to give Liz Truss a salad dressing down?