Saturday, 10 October 2009

Bespoke suits and Champagne

Mr Cameron gave his key note speech to Conference wearing a hand made navy single breasted suit from Richard James of Savile Row. The suit was accompanied by a purple tie from TM Lewin of Jermyn Street and a pair of black lace up shoes from Jones the Bootmaker chain based in Eastbourne.

So what you may ask. Well after all the kerfuffle about Mr Cameron appearing with horror of horrors Champagne. Is it not a bit rich that he appeared at conference wearing a suit that would cost us £3,500, a tie that costs between £30-£50 and a pair of shoes that cost about £150.

According to Conservative Central Office Mr C got his suit for a snip at £1,185 last year. But according to a spokesperson at the tailors the suit cost £3,500 and they knew nothing a bout a discount. They also mentioned that while their off the peg suits are made in Mauritius they do not employ cheap labour. That of course begs the question why make them in Mauritius then?

The point is that we are all expected to tighten our belts and work until we drop while Mr Cameron puts on the pretence of being an ordinary person. Why did he not give his keynote speech in a donkey jacket and pair of hobnail boots then? Mr Cameron clearly thinks it’s ordinary to get a suit hand made and measured at his work in the Palace of Westminster as long as he does not pay the full whack of £3,500, that’s ok. That’s him economising is it?
PS, Happy 43rd Birthday for yesterday Mr C, thats a great day to have a birthday on I should know.


  1. Hum... so Lenwin pay the going rate for highly skilled tailors which must be many tens of thousands a year, but they pay it in Mauritius. Must be some fabulously wealthy needlemen out there then, huh?

    Your point is well made Munguin. For the likes of Mr Cameron drinking vintage champagne, where any of us would have a bottle of supermarket wine, and the wearing of suits worth a third of the annual pay of a shop assitant in Dundee, are normal.

    Life in their class is as distant or even more so from the life of the ordinary Scottish man or woman as mine is from a peasant farmer in Nepal.

    He may, for all I know, try to understand what life is like for people who went to the local comprehensive and a red brick uni, or no uni at all; people who have to count out the money every week or month to make sure that there will be food on the table on Friday; people who spend their lives listening to next door's telly because the walls and floors and ceilings in their cheap nasty houses are paper thin; people who have to pick their way over syringes and used condoms as they head off for work; people who have never, not once, in their whole lives, just for fun, smashed up a restaurant and got daddy to pay for it.

    Of course he will have learned much. He went to Eton and Oxford, two of England's most prestigeous seats of learning, but I wonder how that will fit him to really understand the problems that face the people in Scotland. Not much I suspect.

    It's not the politics of envy. I woundn't wear that suit, shirt, tie or shoes in a million years (although that much money would buy a lot of jeans!). It's the worry that he's as far away from me as I am from that Nepalese farmer. I may try to learn about him, but I'll never undertand or feel what his life is like.

  2. Tris: It's Richard James that pay the going rate for their off the peg stuff from Mauritius. They said that they don’t use cheap labour. By that I suppose they mean these sweat shops in Bangladesh that Primark allegedly use. But clearly expensive Labour in Mauritius in still dirt cheap in comparison to UK labour. But then it’s only off the peg. I bet Mr James himself went to the Palace of Westminster to measure Mr Cameron after all he is going to be the future Prime Minister. Kind of begs the question:”why did the tailors not know about the supposed discount?” maybe he can put “by order of the PM” on his off the peg stuff from now on, you know just under “made in Mauritius”. That could be how DC negotiated such a banging deal.

    Looks like we will be going back to the rule of our betters whether we like it or not. Eton Oxbridge, silver spoons in mouths, cousins of the Queen the whole 9 yards. Just like Sir Alec Douglas Hume the only difference being he would not care tuppence if you saw him quaffing a Jeroboam of vintage bubbles and would make no pretence at being merely ordinary. Figure out yourself which one is the hypocrite.