What Does Lettuce Have to Do With Liz Truss?

What Does Lettuce Have to Do With Liz Truss?

One of the most beautiful parts of the internet is the way jokes can proliferate through several people’s brains, ultimately resulting in a several-layers-deep meme that an outsider will likely never completely grasp. In the wake of Liz Truss’ resignation from the role of United Kingdom Prime Minister yesterday, Twitter was sent into a collective hullabaloo as users generated memes and punchlines about the widely-hated politician’s exit. But those on the fringe of the intersection between geopolitics and meme culture were likely stupefied at how Liz Truss, the Daily Star, and Harry Styles wearing a green jacket could be related.

Who is Liz Truss?

Liz Truss is the former prime minister of the United Kingdom as of her resignation yesterday. The conservative politician lasted a mere 44 days in office, making her tenure as leader of the U.K. the shortest the country has ever seen. It’s not exactly a secret that Truss was widely despised not only by the U.K. public — a YouGov survey found that Truss was the most unliked prime minister as reported by the Telegraph — but also by her own constituents.

In her (brief) time as prime minister, Truss made some questionable moves. Notably, the conservative politician offered up a budget proposal that would give a hefty tax break to the rich. The value of the British Pound also sank. Following a portfolio of incompetence, conservative politicians began to question and express their disapproval of Truss as their leader.

Truss subsequently officially resigned from her role as prime minister on October 20, her exit happening well before the rotting of a head of lettuce.

What does lettuce have to do with Truss’ resignation?

Truss’ time as prime minister was so farcical that British tabloid the Daily Star posed a question: Does a head of lettuce have a longer shelf-life than Liz Truss’ time in office? To test this question, the outlet set up a live stream that broadcasted a feed of a head of iceberg lettuce sitting on a table. The live stream has since ended, but you can view some of the archive here:

The caveat here is that while Liz Truss assumed the office of prime minister on September 6, the Daily Star did not begin their lettuce rotting experiment until October 14. According to the New York Times, the lettuce gag was inspired by an October 11 article in the Economist, which suggested that, amidst the ongoing political turmoil in the U.K., Liz Truss would only last an additional week in office — roughly the shelf-life of a head of lettuce. The Daily Star then set up their live stream and found that at the end of it all, the lettuce did in fact last longer than Truss’ remaining time in office.

The internet has since been captivated by the Liz Truss Lettuce, which in the wake of Truss’ resignation has received its own Wikipedia page. The Liz Truss Lettuce experiment is truly a representation of the ingenuity and creativity of humankind trying to make sense of an ongoing political circus. The lettuce is not just a head of iceberg, it’s a rallying cry for those looking for something to believe in.


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