Tuesday, 24 June 2008

John Howell: Not In Touch

There are three ways to approach real life if you are a politician. You can be genuinely in touch with local people and real life issues. Alternatively you can make a virtue of your other-worldliness and be seen as a bit of a character (a bit like Boris, in fact). But the one that never seems to work is to be out of touch and yet still pretend to know about real life.

Step forward 'Gaffe-er in Chief' John Howell (the Henley by-election candidate) who needed a written memo to tell him how much a pint of milk and a loaf of bread costs nowadays when he was taking part in a radio hustings today. See the photo and, inset, a blow up of the prices section. Click on the photo for a larger version.

Amongst all the spin and attack lines on his crib sheets were the words:
pint of milk - 52p
loaf of sliced bread - £1.19

For all that Mr Howell tries to make a virtue of having lived in the area for 20 years, he doesn't seem to have made it as far as a supermarket recently.


thechristophe said...

heh, reminds me of the 'Can I go to the bathroom' note that Pres. Bush wrote to Condi

Tristan said...

I do the shopping for my house, yet I couldn't tell you how much a loaf of bread or a pint of milk costs off the top of my head.

Am I out of touch?

The reality is that I am in a reasonably comfortable financial position (neither rich nor poor by today's standards - although like 99% of people in the UK amazingly rich by historical standards).
This means that the actual cost of basic items like that don't matter (if they were more expensive or I had less money they would of course).

Chrissie said...

Yes Tristan, you are out of touch. Good for you that you've managed to get yourself into that position where money doesn't matter but it is not one that most of us share. I have to mentally tally up the cost of the items in my basket to ensure I have enough money to pay when I reach the checkout. Other people I know who earn an average wage or are doing ok but have kids to support are in the same position. We struggle to have anything left in the bank at the end of the month and the price of basic food items is something we certainly take notice of.

Stephen Glenn said...

£1.19 for a loaf of bread of course reflect the Henley housewifes prefer wholemeal bread. Up here, despite personal preference to wholemeal, you need to know the price of a white batch loaf which is cheaper and can still be got for around 55p as a supermarket own brand which is what the scottish shopper watching the pennies will be prepared to fork out.