Monday, October 19, 2009

Don't Be Conned: Sam Cam £65 Dress Cost £40,000?

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


PoliticalHackUK said...

I'm sure that it is just coincidental, but wasn't a certain Sir Stuart Rose on that list of potential Tory peers last week?

As I say, just a coincidence.

jailhouselawyer said...

"Suppose" and "say" are like if and buts and may not be an accurate reflection...

Chris Paul said...

Well yes JHL. We cannot know. It could easily be more. It could easily be less.

"Suppose" and "say" signal the estimation, based on the narrative given by Sam Cam and Stu Rose to the press, and that's surely the best anyone can do?

Allegedly 600 stores were scoured. And a dress was then remade from a sample. Made to measure for Sam Cam. Goodness knows what fittings and so on were involved. How much carbon was burned as M&S jumped to attention for the heir to Blair's missus, caught short with nothing to wear.

You do the math any which way and the result will be that this dress was a who;le lot dearer than £65 and there was nothing ordinary about it.

Even an hour of Rose's time and a day for a top seamstress in her studio - i.e. assume the "search high and low" mallarkey is just spin or lies - and we get into a 4-figure sum by any calculation.

Not an Everywoman dress at all. Could hardly have been more special than having the CEO of a plc chasing his whole staff to sort the woman - supposedly dressing down - out with off the peg chic.

And there's that belt too. I'd wager that was not cheap.

The whole thing was a charade. Like the terrible lo-cal speech.

Anonymous said...

Why is Chris Paul still such a cunt?

Anonymous said...

Will Chris Paul delete this comment? Probably - as I also think he's a CUNT.

Chris Paul said...

Basically matey your comments are offensive to the general reader and being as you are #frit unattributed.

I don't mind myself.

As this calling CP started on Cardiff_blogger twitter feed with the same dear noun and continued on my blog very soon after some readers will make connections.

Benny Austwick and or his daft friends need to get some lifes or at very least accept that when you step over the line of decency and equality and start using racist terms you will get twatted.

So please do stop this "cunt" business. It's not big and it's not clever. Just a signifier of being really thick and/or insensitive, and of the Tory party remaining the nasty party.

I will probably come and remove your arse gravy in due course but really with your own words you do condemn yourselves.

The Grim Reaper said...

Chris, one question. Who seriously gives a shit about how much her dress cost or how she obtained it? Don't you remember the stories about how much Cherie Blair - she of the letter-boxed mouth - used to spend on having her hair done?

Chris Paul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Paul said...

What matters here is not whether someone spent £50 or £100 a day a week or a month on hair care ... it is that whereas a previous Cam speech was spun as "without notes" and that is what the press carried about it this one was spun to a huge extent about Sam's "ordinary" dress. Getting the whole M&S organisation to spend who knows how many hours between them delivering an "off the peg" dress is a hell of a story when Cam and Coul have spun this £65 "ornery" nonsense.

And of course the "twisted ankle" tale on the chap who had had three heart attacks and four other limiting health conditions was the in-speech confirmation that the out-speech behaviour - dishonesty - is highly relevant to any appraisal of the Tory offer.

Anonymous said...

Sam Cam looked crap and Sarah Brown looked lovely. They're all paid a reasonable wage and dressing down in such an ostentatious way is just asking to be hauled over the coals.

Well said Chris. Let's hope someone picks up the concept of costing this dress and runs with it.

Chris Paul said...

Phew. The Mail also had the dress story. Near verbatim. Being briefed out by either Con HQ or M&S. Or the Mail basically copied it from The Mirror ... Mail also had a piece showing Sam Cam's average get up is around £2k. All very interesting.

Pretence of being frugal is sick making actually. She's very rich and this amounts to a let them eat cake moment. In its small way.

jailhouselawyer said...

Tories get a dressing down!