In Victoria Of England (1936), Edith Sitwell tells us
the Queen’s sympathies were aroused when, towards the end of August 1892, Mr Gladstone had a miraculous escape from the sinister attentions of a cow. It appears from a letter written to the Queen by Mrs Gladstone that this highly reprehensible animal rushed at Mr Gladstone and threw him upon his back, after which she stood over him, glaring in a most threatening manner. Mr Gladstone glared back, and some moments had been spent in this mutual pursuit before the statesman, who, according to his wife, had never lost his presence of mind for a moment, was able to rise to his feet and dart behind a tree – whereupon the cow forgot him immediately and strolled away. The cow was shot.
In this respect, if no other, David Blunkett is the Gladstone de nos jours.