Here's food for thought

People in Politics A FEW weeks back, I suggested that supermarkets should halve the price of food instead of offering two for ones.My primary purpose was to help the elderly, especially single pensioners, who cannot possibly get through 1kg of trimmed green beans but would welcome the halving of a 500g pack.

Graham Dines

People in Politics

A FEW weeks back, I suggested that supermarkets should halve the price of food instead of offering two for ones.

My primary purpose was to help the elderly, especially single pensioners, who cannot possibly get through 1kg of trimmed green beans but would welcome the halving of a 500g pack.


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This sensible approach, if I say it myself, would not cost Tesco, Sainsbury's and the rest any more than the 241 offers and reduce the appalling British habit of binning uneaten food because too much was bought in the weekly shop.

Gordon Brown has taken up my proposal - well, I can't really claim the credit but at least I was three weeks ahead of the Prime Minister in publicly urging buying restraint.

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The PM said this week that “unnecessary” purchases were contributing to price hikes that have left many people struggling to pay bills. He said waste could be reduced by storing fruit and vegetables better to stop them going off, and planning meals so goods are used up rather than ditched.

A UK Cabinet Office report yesterday found that rising food prices will hit the poor significantly. The poorest tenth of the population lay out 15% of their income on food while the wealthiest tenth pay 7%. Those on lower incomes also spend proportionally more on staples such as milk, eggs and bread, which have seen the biggest price rises over recent months.

Families in the UK are throwing away a total of 4.1 million tonnes of perfectly good food every year, costing each around £420 annually, according to the 10-month study.

I CAN predict with complete confidence that the Conservatives will not will the Glasgow East by-election. Scotland's biggest city treats the Tories as aliens from another planet and although part of this constituency did elect a Tory MP in a by-election in 1948, Glasgow East is home to Celtic Football Club, a haven of Irish republican Catholicism.

The main battle on July 24 will be between Labour and the Scottish Nationalist Party, which has a good record of winning by-elections off Labour. Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond claims its campaign is off to a “flying start”.

Should Labour lose to the SNP, Gordon Brown will come under enormous pressure - not just from the media but also from his own MPs - to consider his position.

He's unlikely to set foot in the constituency before polling day, hiding behind the convention that prime ministers do not campaign in by-elections. Given the history of by-elections in the last 50 years - the party in government invariably loses to opposition parties -, prime ministers do not like looking like losers.

Aliens or not, David Cameron yesterday did venture into Glasgow East, along with former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, who based his social justice commission report on evidence he collected in the city. However, I doubt if they'll be able to stop Tory candidate Davena Rankin from finishing fourth, at best.

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