As Conman trougher in chief Eric Pickles MP launches the online boutique of the party of the few not the many HERE there emerges a story of utter misrepresentation from the Cons. As @chrispLOL tweeted.
Hats off to Mirror journalist Susie Boniface and sidekick Francesca Cookney for a brilliant Sam Cam Sham Scam tm expose. Far from being an off-the-peg number for Everywoman, retailing at just £65, Sam Cam's dress choice for her hubby Sham Cam's #conman09 speech was not exactly off the peg. Not quite.
Instead it was the result of a humungous effort by perhaps hundreds of working people, running round chasing their tails.
Sam Cam decided that her common touch would best be demonstrated by the brown with cream polka dots 1940s number as modelled by Myleene Klass for M&S (Tess Daly "blog" or flog!? and below right). She arranged for M&S to be approached with demands along the lines of "I must have that dress!".
A nationwide search ensued for this Everywoman dress - made in a tiny edition of 2,000 - not even enough for one each for the millionaires who would enjoy George Osborne's "family and friends" Inheritance Tax offer. But, so the story goes, not one could be found. Using normal channels at least. But that was not the end of it:
According to M&S sources Samantha asked their chief executive Sir Stuart Rose to help when she bumped into him at a social event.
Sir Stuart, who attended a Tory fundraiser in June and is tipped for a ministerial position in a Cameron government, was happy to be her knight in shining armour. He ordered staff to search the company’s 600 UK stores for one of the elusive dresses.
Suppose this was one CEO at one hour (£2,000) and one SMT team at five hours between them at £100 (£500) supervising ten regional managers at two hours at £50 (£1,000) 600 store managers spending an hour at £20 each (say £12,000) supervising 1200 underlings at two hours at £10 (£24,000) ... we get a running total of £39,500.
And phew, as far as the M&S myth making goes, this turned up one no-mates Conderella example - a size 14 sample - stuck in a bottom drawer somewhere.
Clearly after the nationwide dress hunt costing hours of M&S staff resource there came what is being described as a an in-house pattern maker making the thing fit "size 10" Samantha. Let's allow £500 for that. £40,000 for a £65 dress? You couldn't make it up! LOL's seamstress daughter is doubtful whether this is even the same fabric or anything approaching the standard cut. Everywoman? My fat size 20 arse!
Those "£29 Zara shoes" were so down-to-earth that Sam Cam could hardly walk in them so may be the genuine article! Or perhaps there's a tale there too?
Can't help noticing that belt also? Any ideas?
Here's the ever so apolitical Stuart Rose talking to The Mirror:
After her appearance at the conference Sir Stuart said: “We are delighted, of course, and it’s a great endorsement but the company makes no political donations whatsoever. Ours is a totally impartial company.”
Famously Mr Rose was so "impartial" on BBC Question Time that he was a complete waste of a chair. Though of course M&S had a shop at #mancon09 this year.
And none at other party conferences.
Wonder how much they didn't donate exactly for that sales opportunity? And was making room for this the reason the Cons wouldn't allow the Blood Donor Service houseroom?
Or were they afraid the blue blood would out? Hat tip: Alex Foster/LDV