Melanie McDonagh Melanie McDonagh

Our rulers don’t seem to care that the National Lottery fleeces the poor

Now the latest on the Politicians Keeping In Touch front. It’s funny how it’s the wives who take the brunt of the endeavour. It was Samantha Cameron yesterday who had to parade at the Tory party conference in a teal £42 polyester dress from…no question, then, of Mr Cameron being asked to take a turn in an M&S suit. Alas, Mrs C did what every sensible person does who has to wear something from Asos or Florence and Fred (and may I say, given their modest cut when it comes to fabric only skinnies can carry this off) and replaced their belt with one of her own. It was a matter of minutes before the eagle-eyed girls in the fashion departments of our finest newspapers outed this slim black number as from Emilia Wickstead, retailing at £196. Which may or may not cancel out the fact her shoes came from TopShop. Funny that: Miriam Clegg wore TopShop shoes too for her husband’s big day, only with a Zara dress – so in touch!

How things change: it seems like only yesterday that Sarah Brown and Sam Cam were doing their bit at party conference in chic pieces from Erdem or Rifat Ozbek — Turkish-British designers who emphatically do not retail for £42. One can only hope that Asos doesn’t turn out to be one of those companies that contract out their manufacturing to companies in countries with below-par working conditions, because that wouldn’t be a good look at all.

We’ve already put politicians — the London Mayor, the PM, the Deputy PM — through their paces on the usual questions of how much a pint of milk costs (depends whether you’re buying organic) and how much a value loaf is (and is there anyone who actually thinks that Samantha Cameron is going to be eating carbs in the way of Tesco Value White Sliced?), the sole effect of which will be that they’ll send their researchers out to Sainsbury to check out these things before they get interviewed by anyone in future.

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