2007 - 2022

The History of the Sausage Roll in Constitutional Politics

Those who have watched the Veganuary-inspired meltdown of Piers Morgan into a meaty testosterone-filled rage, or observed England’s finest yeomanry protesting at Gregg’s, may be ignorant to the longer-standing importance of hot pastry goods to Britain.

Sausage Roll Rage may seem like a new phenomena, but its origins are indeed ancient. Brexit, for so long associated with chlorinated chicken, hormone-treated beef, ractopamine pork, chicken litter as animal feed including the birds’ faeces (currently banned by Brussels bEUrucrats), or stockpiled Fray Bentos, was of course famously triggered by the Gammon demographic: puce middle-aged men who had cultivated a sense of entitlement fused with a bewildering set of imagined grievances who appeared with inexplicable regularity on the BBC’s flagship Question Time programme armed only with a 1950s sense of race relations. Roll Britannia will come as no surprise to anyone but Sosmix-filled Millennial Snowflakes and Veggie Remoaners.

It was in this context that the Sausage Roll began to symbolise everything that was both Great About Britain and under relentless attack from the Immigrant Hordes. Years of political correctness had all but banished the simple British snack from school menus, replaced instead by the tasteless delicacies of the metropolitan elite. If Brexit means anything it’s a return to good old-fashioned British grub.

The precise moment take-away food and pork-based buffet items became totemic to the Great Nations politics is unclear.

Some have it that the origins go back to the United States of America, where so many of our “fast food” crazes emanate. They suggest that the origins of the importance of Food as Political Symbol comes from December 4 2016, when the Washington DC restaurant Comet Ping Pong came under attack by supporters of the Pizzagate theory that the emails of John PodestaHillary Clinton’s campaign manager, contained coded messages referring to human trafficking and an alleged child sex ring.

Others suggest that the phenomena dates back only as far as 2017 when Gregg’s were forced to apologise for their nativity display in which the Baby Jesus was replaced by a pork-filled pastry product. At the time SKYNews explained:

“The image has been deemed tasteless rather than tasty by pressure group the Freedom Association, with chief executive Simon Richards describing the image as “sick” and those behind it as “cowards”.

Richards tweeted: “Please boycott @GreggsOfficial to protest against its sick anti-Christian Advent Calendar.”

Still others – dubbed the tray bake revisionists – explain that the phenomenon can be traced to 2011, when the fast-food outlet at the centre of the political storm was not the redoubtable Greggs of recent infamy, but the altogether swankier Subway chain. Sharp-eyed readers and historians of the politics of take-away will recall that just after embracing Margaret Curran, Labour leader Iain Gray was to get stuck in a Glasgow Subway hemmed in by protests led by Sean Clerkin. The fracas would end Gray’s career, lead inexorably to the Scottish indyref of 2014, and arguably to the Brexit debacle.

Other cultural historians reject this thesis as fantasy, and instead point to the porcine nature of both the darkly comic Black Mirror Comedy-Meets Real Life tv drama based on allegations of Prime Minister David Cameron’s penchant for piggy, or the seminal moment when Ed Miliband’s inability to eat a bacon roll ended his own bid for Downing Street.

But Bella can exclusively reveal the true origins of Sausage Roll Rage go back not to Pizzagate or Greggs or the fevered imagination of Charlie Brooker, but to the wisdom of a young man named Ryan.

Ryan – dubbed Sausage Roll Boy – was the centrepiece of a Better Together advert in which he explained the essence of Britishness, the very core of the Union and single-handedly saved Dear Old Blighty from the Separatist Jocks back in 2014.

For those of you who may have forgotten Ryan’s pearls of pastry-flecked wisdom here he is again…


It’s time to take back a roll.


Comments (11)

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  1. John Cawley says:

    Food, like everything else, is political. Orwell wrote in The Road to Wigan Pier – “When you are unemployed, which is to say when you are underfed, harassed, bored, and miserable, you don’t want to eat dull wholesome food. You want something a little bit ‘tasty’. There is always some cheaply pleasant thing to tempt you.”
    Roy Keane used ‘prawn sandwiches’ as a shorthand for the middle class capture of Man United, and by extension, modern football. There is a (probably) apocryphal anecdote about Peter Mandelson mistaking a tub of mushy peas for guacamole. In this tale, there is a point being made about the inauthenticity of New Labour and the tension between Mandelson’s sophisticated metroplolitanism and the party’s working class roots.
    Never mind Cameron and pigs, what about Osborne’s ‘pasty tax’ which imposed VAT upon hot takeaway food such as Greggs sausage rolls. That tin ear for what mattered to ordinary/working class/poor (select according to your politics) people provides a clue to the deadly combination of ignorance, malice and the sociopathic lack of compassion that led to such wonders as the ‘rape clause’ and Universal Credit.
    The sausage roll is more than a savoury snack, it’s a sociopolitical and cultural minefield. That’s why Piers Moron and the gammon brigade are kicking off about it. I prefer a Greggs pie to be honest, but only after I’ve poured the grease out.
    Someone said you are what you eat. If you look at any street in any urban area, as well as the bookies, there is the obligatory Greggs, the kebab shop, the Chinese and there’ll be a McDonalds or a KFC nearby. In lieu of manufacturing jobs, Mickey Ds and KFC provide employment opportunities for young people. Fighting about the cultural meaning of Greggs selling vegan sausage rolls provides a semblance of influence in lieu of any real power.
    Finally, if you needed any reminding of just how much of a wrong un Trump is, check out the picture of him eating KFC. He is using cutlery. Impeach him!

    1. Ah – the pasty tax! Damn.

  2. Squigglypen says:

    Well it wis a wet Sunday night an’ a thocht I’ll look at Bella Caledonia ….I wis doubled wi’ laughter…an that wee sausage roll in the crib?
    …priceless….fair cheered me up….noo time tae get back into ma strait jacket..thanks BC.

  3. Chris Ballance says:

    Pies and porkies too – as Frank McAveety discovered when the “urgent government business” which made him late for Arts Minister’s Questions turned out to be eating a scots pie.

  4. Graeme Purves says:

    No matter how much it pains you Mike, I feel that it is important to explore the potential ‘links’ between Brexit Britain’s sausage roll cult and Jordan Peterson’s all-meat diet.

  5. Willie says:

    Who cares about the perfidious sausage role.

    Long live the Scotch pie, the Forfar Bridie and their Celtic cousin the Cornish Pasty is what I say.


    1. Willie says:

      Agus Marag Dubh ‘s’ Marag Gheal gu brath!

    2. Graeme Purves says:

      Scotland has an alternative to this sausage roll madness if we choose to take it. For me, the white pudding supper is the perfect vegetarian meal.

  6. Chris Connolly says:

    The problem goes back to the 1970s. Before then the idea of sticking bits of dead animals’ unmentionable bits into pastry was uncontroversial, but then Gary Glitter brought out his two big hits “Sausage Roll, Part 2” and “I didn’t know I loved you till I saw your Sausage Roll.” And we all know what Gary Glitter was like, don’t we?

    1. This is a key point. I thank you.

  7. Christopher White says:

    Generally speaking, sausage rolls are always tasty. The fact that, in cross-section, they have a disturbing resemblance to a cat’s arse is just unfortunate.

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