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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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: Customer Service Supervisor

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well establis...

Recruitment Genius: IT Technical Support Engineer / Helpdesk Engineer

£16500 - £22500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued growth an exce...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A full-service agency based in ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £21,000

£16000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to company expansion a fant...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy