I HAD to wait to do my shopping at the Co-op the other day.
They were bringing in the easy-spread Lurpak.
Eight security guards in bulletproof vests, guns just visible.
They cleared a path with tear gas and brought the tub in through the front door on a golden tray.
Staff then fixed a padlock on the butter and shoved it in the fridge.
Unless it gets nicked, it’ll still be there this time next week. We can’t afford stuff like that.
OK, I joke. But not very much.
If you’re the one who does the shopping in your house you won’t be surprised to see the inflation rate has gone up. Again.
It wasn’t meant to.
But the prices of everyday items in our supermarkets KEEP on rising.
Did you know, for example, that a big tub of the aforementioned Lurpak spread, in Sainsbury’s, costs two quid more than a jar of Waitrose caviar?
It actually does, incredible though that is to think.
I love a bit of butter, me.
But if those prices keep going up I’ll have to resort to the old method of putting a little flavour on my toast.
I learned it from being a bairn growing up in the North East — you rub the toast vigorously on your socks, best if you’ve worn the same pair for a week.
The biggest offender is Lidl — no, don’t blame me, different spelling.
According to consumer champion Which?, its prices have gone up by a stonking 24.4 per cent over a year — almost a quarter.
Aldi follows close behind with a 22.7 per cent rise.
Some of the stuff that we need for our everyday living has doubled in price over a year.
And the average increase across major supermarkets is 16.5 per cent.
It’s one good reason why we can’t get inflation down.
That’s why it should be a problem for the Government.
It’s all very well telling workers the country can’t afford their pay rises.
But if that’s the case, then the country can’t afford to put up with supermarkets coining it at our expense.
It’s called greedflation.
Basically, what happens is this.
Responding to rising prices, the super-markets put up the price of, say, the big-selling cereal brand, Sugar Free Krispy Gibbon Flakes, by 20p — and demand isn’t affected.
So they say to each other: “If the mugs will pay 20p more, I bet they’ll pay 40p more.”
And up goes the price.
The stores swear they’re not doing this.
They shed tears and say they’re trying to “protect the customer”.
But it’s notable that the biggest rises, across the board, have come in their own-brand, “essentials” etc ranges.
That’s the stuff we really can’t do without.
At least one supermarket boss, Tesco’s John Allen, has warned that the prices are rising too rapidly in our supermarkets.
A shot across the bows from the Government would not go amiss.
But we could send out a message to the big retailers by doing a lot of our shopping at local corner shops and greenrocers’.
Not as convenient as a waltz around your local supermarket, I know.
But the only thing supermarkets respond to is a fall in profits.
NO WAY BACK, BORIS
THERE’S nothing Boris Johnson likes more than a bit of attention.
He’s going to have a lot of it this week.
Back before the media answering questions about that wretched Partygate affair.
He’ll put up a good defence.
There’s plenty of evidence that an awful lot of the stuff flung at him has been politically motivated spite.
So he’s fighting his corner well.
But none of that means we actually want the bloke back.
You had your chance, Boris.
An 80-seat majority, which was a credit to your leadership.
But then, sadly, you blew it. Time has marched on.
And so have the British people.
THE list of places not to visit for a holiday if you are gay increases almost weekly.
Next up, Uganda.
The government there has just introduced the death penalty for homosexuality.
Truth be told, I’m not sure Uganda was terribly far up anyone’s list of holiday destinations.
Nor, indeed, one or two other places where the punishment is similar – Iran, Yemen, Mauritania and so on.
Truth be told, pretty much all countries which threaten the death penalty for gay people are impoverished, badly run s**tholes you wouldn’t touch with a barge pole.
BEAUTIFUL ORCHARD…OR A BUS LANE?
CONGRATULATIONS to Cambridge City Council for planning a nice new, “green” bus lane.
This will, the councillors insist, reduce the city’s carbon footprint.
In order to build their bloody bus lane, the council will have to bulldoze hundreds and hundreds of beautiful apple, pear and plum trees.
The Coton Orchard is said to be environment- ally important. But that doesn’t bother the councillors one bit.
If ever there was a case of not seeing the wood for the trees . . .
THE Met Police is not “institutionally racist”.
It undoubtedly has racists in it.
Just as it has, I dare say, homophobes and misogynists.
But in calling the Met “institutionally racist”, Baroness Louise Casey is suggesting it is actually run in a racist manner.
If anything, it is institutionally ANTI-racist.
Casey needs to be a little more careful with language.
A THUD WORLD STATE
EVER since I can remember, people have been screaming at councils to get the potholes mended.
Hell, The Beatles sang about it 56 years ago.
It’s one of the pleasures of living in the UK – the decent chance your car will snap an axle on the way to the shops.
It’s because councils think they’ve got far grander things to do, of course.
But I’m sure the situation has got worse because a whole host of councils have decided they hate cars.
Given the plans some councils have for effectively banning people from driving to one part of a city to another – in Canterbury and Oxford, since you asked – would it surprise you hugely if a radical council actually started DIGGING potholes to p*** off the drivers?
HOW lovely to see Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping cosying up to each other. Sheesh, get a room, you guys.
Xi told a press conference that Russia and China were bringing in changes “not seen in 100 years”.
What, two totalitarian countries trying to terrorise lots of smaller ones?
I think we’ve seen that a little more recently than 100 years ago.
THE world’s blandest pop star, Ed Sheeran, has been talking about his “struggles” with drugs.
He says he used to do them a lot.
But he kicked the habit when his friend, Jamal Edwards, died after overdoing coke.
Ed didn’t say what drugs he’d used.
Night Nurse, I guess, from his music.
Is Ed telling us that he didn’t know drugs were dangerous until Jamal died?
Is he trying to be simultaneously cool (“I used to drugs, me.”) and squeaky-clean (“I don’t do drugs, me.”)?
UH-OH, trouble ahead.
American conservative lobbyist Roger Stone has claimed that a “demonic porthole” opened above the White House when President Joe Biden moved in.
He told a radio show that it was “swirling like a cauldron”.
And you thought the Americans had enough to worry about with all those Chinese balloons?
But then again, maybe they weren’t China’s balloons.
Maybe they were Satan’s. And he wants them back.
Anyway, if you’re in America, see a swirling demonic portal to hell, and are not actually in Cleveland, Ohio, give the authorities a call.
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