March 19, 2017
Roots of the expression here, for those who have forgotten:
Hoping to shut down “open outcry” trading, where deals are shouted across the pit, the Greenpeaceniks ran onto the trading floor, according to the London Times, “blowing whistles and sounding fog horns, encountering little resistance from security guards. Rape alarms were tied to helium balloons to float to the ceiling and create noise out of reach.”
But London traders, just after lunch, are more likely to be powered by two or three pints of strong ale than the milk of human kindness.
The trespassers were set upon by traders, most of whom were under the age of 25. “They were kicking and punching men and women,” said a photographer, according to The Times of London. “It was really ugly. … They followed the [Greenpeace] guys into the lobby and kept kicking and punching them there. They literally kicked them on to the pavement.”
“The violence was instant,” reported one aggrieved recipient of a rain of blows to the head. “I’ve never seen anyone less amenable to listening to our point of view.”
“Sod off, Swampy!” shouted one tardy trader, steadying himself against the railings of the balcony of the pub across the street as his colleagues threw the protesters bodily onto the sidewalk. (Swampy was an enviro-protester who gained fame by living unbathed in a tunnel for eight months.)
Meanwhile, other traders inside the building were punching and felling men and women with a politically correct lack of sexual discrimination. Those who had already been punched onto the floor were shocked to look up and see traders trying to overturn heavy filing cabinets onto them.
A laconic spokesman for the IPE said, “We are dealing with the situation.”
An appropriate response, and one that prefigured the Trump/Brexit era.