George Osborne couldn't remember the last time he'd bought a pasty (he was too posh to set foot in a Greggs, they said). David Cameron was all too keen to recall his pasty purchase – at a train station shop that turned out not to exist. The unsavoury row over the proposed "pasty tax", or VAT on hot food from shops, has added to the sense of detachment between the Government and the man on the street. But when did he last buy a pasty?
"Pasta?" asks Adam from Palestine, in a dry cleaners off High Street Kensington in West London. No, pasty. "Pasty? I never had." Richard, a removals man, is clutching a McDonald's bag. "I had one about a week ago," he says. "We often stop for one because they're quick and easy." But he can't remember exactly when, or where, he bought it. "Before I had my false teeth," Michael, a retired financial adviser, says. "False teeth only go up and down, but real teeth almost massage your food. I couldn't eat a pasty now."
Two women, probably made in Chelsea, agree it was some time ago. "I can't ever remember eating a pasty," the one with the smaller pearls says. "I probably had one last summer on holiday in Cornwall," the other says. They sympathise with Osborne, the subject, appropriately in a week that has stretched credulity, of a tweet by Simon Blackwell, a writer for BBC satire The Thick of It: "Osborne's team now giving him a PowerPoint presentation about Greggs pasties. 'They're akin to a small boeuf en croute, minister'."