Maybe tinned tomatoes are cheaper in Legoland…

Lego ProstituteOh Danny!

From the Telegraph, a full month before the silly season, an amusingly cringeworthy non-story:

As Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander is supposed to ensure that Britain does not spend beyond its means as he helps implement the Coalition’s austerity plan.

But the senior Liberal Democrat was left embarrassed when he found himself unable to balance the books when he joined in a children’s shopping challenge.

Pupils from Cauldeen Primary School in Inverness all passed the test for buying food for one person for a week within a £10 budget.
However, when Mr Alexander went through the checkout at Asda’s store in the Highlands city, his bill came to £11.16 – more than 10 per cent over budget.

Instead Jamie Mackie, Mr Alexander’s constituency assistant, took the blame for misreading the price of tinned tomatoes while helping fill his basket.

We had a wee look at the tinned tomatoes on the ASDA website. How was that even possible?You go for the cheap own brand stuff. We should definitely be told what was in the rest of the basket.

Ah well, in the heat of the moment, we’ve all done it, and we feel sorry for that poor staffer. The last thing you ever want to do is land your boss in it.

You just have to wonder if tinned tomatoes are cheaper in Legoland. If you are wondering what on earth I’m talking about, a few weeks ago, Danny discovered the Adventures of Lego Danny Alexander blog. This will be why the Treasury, in an attempt to bring a bit of humour into the independence referendum campaign, did a list of 12 things you could buy with the  £1400 “UK Dividend”illustrated by lego figures which might have worked had it been, you know, funny and if you actually knew about the Lego Danny Alexander thing which was a bit of an in joke. Anyway, the Treasury had to take it down after Lego objected.

We think it might be useful for Danny to go supermarket shopping with the woman who called into Nick Ferrari’s show last week to talk about how she went without food when her kids needed new shoes, or to pay for a school trip. He might then have more awareness of the realities of life for many people who, despite the Liberal Democrat tax cuts, are still struggling. That might focus his mind on how best to help these people and give way to some radical ideas for our manifesto.

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  • How odd that blame always goes downward, credit upward.

  • How very ungallant of Danny Alexander !

  • Why did he need help filling his basket in the first place & really, how bad do you have to be to be incapable of adding up £10 of goods ?!

  • I’d guess it would have been better if he’d just owned up to an error in mental arithmetic – enough people can sympathise with that – rather than admitting he couldn’t fill a supermarket shopping basket without the help of an assistant.

  • Building on Ian’s comment, you also need to read the label: often the cheapest tin of tomato’s/beans etc. will will contain an larger quantity of ‘water’ than slightly higher priced varieties.

    Similarly with bread; here I’m a little surprised there hasn’t been an announcement by the ASA as it it obvious that both the supermarkets in their shelf labelling, pricing and promotion and the manufacturers in their packaging are in collusion to confuse people. As it is only by reading the label on the bag can you be sure that you have actually picked up an 800gr loaf rather than a 750gr loaf.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 25th Jun '14 - 10:09am

    Chris, if you actually read the Telegraph story, you’ll see that Danny didn’t say anything about it.

    Ian, my husband makes it his life’s work to go round and identify these often misleading supermarket promotions..

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