Oliver Letwin wants to prevent the common man enjoying his cheap holiday in Malaga and now Philip Blond, the so-called “Red Tory” wonk who markets himself as close to the Cameroons, wants to prevent common people buying olives. His thank-tank Respublica wants to tax larger shops more and subsidise smaller local shops. Guido sees a lot of red and very little Tory in his proposed tax on success.
Combine this nonsense with the Cameroon fetish for localism and you will raise the cost of groceries for everyone, fine if you are a Notting Hill trustafarian, for the squeezed middle-classes this will just add to the cost of the weekly shop. Local deli’s and organic butchers are all very well, but they are not cheap. Don’t forget Dave’s mate Zac and his eco-friends will have us all suffering from scurvy so long as we reduce our carbon footprint – there will be no imported fruit from Africa and the Caribbean if they have their way.
Imagine a Green-Red-Tory grocery store: Philip Blond behind the counter demonstrating natural goose fat hair creme, Zac offering samples of Dorset Strawberry Champagne, “sorry we have no bananas”, carbon footprint banned, ditto lemons. Handmade Melton Mowbray pies a plenty, no foreign exotica like peppers, or even pepper. Perhaps some celebrity cheese at £20-an-ounce, a home-baked loaf of artisan bread for £10 and a dozen local organic free-range eggs for a fiver. Nothing spicy or imported. This is the logical outcome if these out of touch Tory romantics get their way. Plenty of local cabbage and potatoes.
Food price inflation is bad enough as it is without Blond trying to undermine the competitiveness of the supermarkets, who will inevitably just pass on increased costs to consumers. Blond and Zac are a danger to the affordability of basic needs to consumers with their attempts to foist a Tory form of autarky on us all. If Blond wants to open a grocery store good luck to him, no need to hobble the supermarkets in the process. Guido doubts he will do much business…