The Conservatives have today published one of the best pieces of research I have seen them do in some time – a “cost of living” report to coincide with David Cameron campaigning in London today. Following on from a spread in The Sun last week, it focuses on what inflationary pressure means to families. Butter: up 37%. Eggs: up 34%. Bread: up 28%. Milk: up 17%. All since Gordon Brown became Prime Minister. Can we blame Brown for such high inflation? Not really. But this blows a hole in his risible claims to be providing record low inflation.
With this research the Tories are brilliantly exploiting Del Brown’s addiction to statistical chicanery. We explain his various inflation tricks in Brownie no1. He gets away with his “Brownies” when the public is none the wider (i.e., extent of national debt etc). But when he claims to have achieved low inflation while the cost of groceries is soaring the public starts to smell a large, whiskered rat. The wider Tory point is this: you’re suffering, we understand, yet Brown claims you’ve never had it so good so he can’t be trusted. For as long as the PM is addicted to fake figures which jar with people’s experience, he is wide open to this powerful charge.