In a country fascinated by ‘class’ and social demographics, politicians might consider working towards ridding our obsessions with categorisation; instead they ardently group us, almost encouragingly so, to judge feelings among the electorate. It is they, along with Channel 4, who seem most concerned with segregation.
This was displayed recently by Labour’s Caroline Flint, who told the Winning With Women conference that ‘Worcester Woman’ was turning into ‘Aldi Mum’. Basically Dawn down the road – the one with the Audi A3 who hosts makeup parties and always gets her Caribbean holiday snaps out from three years ago.
One of the key tools with
which to pinpoint the nation is the Supermarket Sorter. Yes, we are a nation
defined by which store we shop at. Perhaps it’s the easiest way to determine
and to judge. And it works, probably. I doubt very much Emma Watson shops at
But we don’t really need to predict. Many of our celebrities have further reflected the UK’s broadcasting of food buying division. Jamie Oliver championed Sainsbury’s for so long, apparently one of the more ethical. Kerry Katona used to try and make us host parties adorned with frozen spring rolls and mini pizzas from Iceland.
I find it funny though that sectioning society off is that simple. Are we really that pointed, obvious in our ways? It appears we are.
It was funny to read a prominent MP paint our lives basing so much on where we go shopping. I imagine she had a good time writing a social story after spending a morning standing outside the budget store (almost certainly didn’t go in though): "Price-conscious, financially insecure, struggling with rising food costs and soaring energy bills, Aldi Mum is an unashamed bargain-hunter who stocks up on the basics at the supermarket but opts for Aldi for the Parma ham and prosecco." It’s like a Harry Enfield sketch.
In a world where many ignore fair trading and quality to enjoy Friday night German-Italian banquets, we are only amplifying where our allegiances lie more. And as a result politicians are coming up with increasingly ridiculous, yet arguably correct analyses of potential voters. I thought I’d help out a bit by finishing it all off:
‘Proudly Morrisons’ – traditional, hard-working and sensible. It’s always been the simple, decent Market Street for them. VOTE: UKIP or Labour
‘Ocado Dreamer’ – not quite as pushed for cash, but still hard up. They shop at ASDA on the sly but talk about recent Ocado purchases, consisting mainly of novelty items, on Facebook. VOTE: Recently Conservative.
‘ALDI Mum’ – as described by Caroline Flint. VOTE: Going back to Labour?
‘WAW (Won’t Abandon Waitrose)’ – also feeling the squeeze but refusing to let go of times past. Clearly still okay for money and not as hard up as ALDI Mum – but a main shop at Sainsbury’s, or even Tesco, and ‘topping up at Waitrose’ could be seen as a little desperate. VOTE: Lib Dem or Conservative
‘Food porn at M&S’ – dining on Heston Blumenthal’s delightful tea smoked salmon and sipping his tea-infused gin, they have no problems. They escaped the pinch because they’re probably 10 years older than WAWs. Or worked that little bit harder at university? VOTE: Conservative
‘Harrods, dahling’ – perhaps using the likes of M&S and Waitrose too, they frequent Harrods as often as most of us go to Pret. Duck pâté and quail's eggs are not a special treat, they’re a necessity. VOTE: “We don’t, dear; we’re in Bordeaux on a vineyard tour.”