Andy McSmith's Diary: It’s all about knowing your target (super) market, Dave

 

David Cameron picked an odd location to air his view that you are more likely to have an interesting conversation in Waitrose than any other supermarket. “I have got a piece of supermarket sociology, which is that there is something about Waitrose customers... they are the most talkative,” he told the staff today. “I found that if I shop in Waitrose it takes me about twice as long, as everyone wants to stop you and have a chat. Whereas in other supermarkets I find I can dart round very quickly and get everything. It is something about your customers, they are very talkative, engaged people.”

He said this during a visit to the North-west, presumably hoping to persuade people in that region to vote Tory. There are a lot of people living in the region, but very few Waitrose customers.

In Manchester, which has a population of more than half a million, there is one ‘Little Waitrose’. Within a 10-mile radius of central Manchester, there are two Waitrose superstores, one in Altrincham, the other in Cheadle, where Cameron made his comments. The nearest Waitrose to Liverpool city centre is  12 miles away, in Formby. You will not find a Waitrose in Oldham, Rochdale,  Bury, Bolton, Blackburn, Burnley, Stockport, Preston, Wigan or St Helens, to name but a few.

So by the David Cameron test, there are virtually no talkative, engaging supermarket customers in any of the major conurbations in the North?west. Great way to win support in the area.

Minister or manager?

In the wake of Cameron’s comment, other Tories have been anxious to make clear that they shop where the masses shop.

The Commons leader, Andrew Lansley, told MPs: “When I visited Tesco as a new MP, I was accosted by a shopper on the grounds that she recognised me. However, she thought that she recognised me as the manager because I was the only person there in a suit, and that I would therefore know where she could find her washing powder.”

Oh deer, what happened?

Sellafield, our oldest and most expensive nuclear plant, has two new  security fences.

Unfortunately, they were built on either side of the habitat of three roe deer that could not get out. What to do? The Whitehaven News reports that Sellafield Ltd have shot the deer.

An age-ALDE problem

The Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament have an awkward problem.

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) – the group which includes the Lib Dem MEPs – have one member in Austria, Angelika Werthmann, who has decided to run for re-election as a candidate of the Alliance for the Future of Austria. The Alliance was founded by the late Jorg Haider, a rabble-rousing Nazi sympathiser. The other members of ALDE have urged Werthmann to resign to spare them this embarrassing association, but she has refused.

A taxing start to his career

At the age of 24, 17 years ago, the current shadow treasury minister Chris Leslie was the nation’s youngest MP, whose previous job was to mind the photocopier in Gordon Brown’s office.

It now emerges that his political activism goes back even further, to when he was aged 16, and had his headteacher’s permission to go to Bradford Town Hall to watch the council set the Community Charge – or poll tax – for the first time. The leader of Bradford Council at the time was Eric Pickles. “In one of the News at Ten opening shots I was spotted throwing paper aeroplanes down at Eric Pickles,” Leslie tells The House magazine.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
News
Lois Pryce... Life Without a Postcode. Lois lives on a boat with her husband.. Registering to vote in the election has prooved to be very difficult without a fixed residential post code. (David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing