Isabel Hardman Isabel Hardman

Labour kindly highlights Waitrose’s free coffee scheme

At least when the Conservatives blathered on about chocolate oranges, they had the excuse that Britain was feeling pretty good about itself. Today, the party that brought you the cost-of-gymming crisis has taken up a new campaign which just shows how noble and powerful opposition can be. It’s already being branded Labour’s CostaCoffeeCrisis, but it involves an attack on Waitrose for the heinous crime of offering its customers free coffee.

The FT’s Jim Pickard has the story that Labour shadow communities minister Andy Sawford has written to every MP with a local Waitrose asking them to campaign against the offer (which is available through the myWaitrose loyalty scheme, something many people didn’t know about until Labour helpfully pointed it out). He has asked MPs to write to the company’s managing director to argue that ‘his company is acting in a way that will further destroy the British high street’.

Perhaps he could also write to Nescafé to complain that their very cheap jars of instant coffee are damaging the British high street, too, because consumers can – brace yourself – make their own cut-price coffee at home rather than buying an overpriced beverage in a coffee shop.

Now, it probably is quite annoying for independent coffee shops that there’s a big guy in town (but haven’t we been here before?). But there are, dare I suggest it, a few other rather rubbishy things that the government is doing that Labour could be spending time and energy trying to get cut through and coverage on. When you focus on an amusing and pointless campaign, you detract attention from all your important, worthy, or vote-winning campaigns.

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