In all her 60-plus years as Queen, Her Maj has never allowed the cameras in to formal dinners to record her eating. Those who have witnessed it claim she has all the table manners of Henry VIII, troughing it in extreme, in between knocking back extra large G&Ts. Though we have no way of verifying this.
Clearly, Brenda is a wise old bird. Not for her the awkward pictures with a bacon sandwich. It is clearly a lesson from which all politicians should learn.
And that includes gaffe-prone Gavin Barwell, the “Don’t Mention the Tories” candidate in Croydon Central, whose stage-managed photo-op with Boris Johnson last week took in plates of fish and chips and liver and bacon at the New Café and Restaurant in Lower Addiscombe Road.
From reports of the event, it appears that those media who were invited along – Inside Croydon was not; a badge of honour – were not able to ask much in the way of serious questions of policy. But those who organised the Mayor of London’s visit to Croydon don’t seem to have asked many questions of the venue.
Barwell took the likely next leader of the Tory party to a Croydon caff which has just a 1-star Food Hygiene Rating, according to the Food Standards Agency.
The last inspection of the cafe was less than a year ago; 1-star hardly inspires confidence.
“The rating given shows how well the business is doing overall but also takes account of the element or elements most in need of improving and also the level of risk to people’s health that these issues pose,” the Food Standards Agency says. They add that the checks are “essential for making sure that food hygiene standards meet requirements and the food served or sold to you is safe to eat”. Or less so, you’d assume, with a 1-star score.
The FSA says: “Those with ratings of ‘0’ are very likely to be performing poorly in all three elements and are likely to have a history of serious problems. There may, for example, be a lack of sufficient cleaning and disinfection, and there may not be a good enough system of management in place to check and record what the business does to make sure the food is safe.” Presumably, those with ratings of ‘1’ are not much better.
Maybe this is the kind of establishment which Barwell, a governor of the Whitgift Foundation, envisages will fill the Westfield shopping mall once the £1 billion redevelopment is completed, some time after 2020?
One thing that Barwell’s “team” did manage to do was ensure that the posters and banners used for the high-profile visit of the London Mayor did not include any mention of the C word. Their campaign-long policy of not mentioning that Barwell is a member of the Conservative Party was strictly maintained, as if the former Tory Central Office apparatchik and Conservative-led Government whip is ashamed of being a Tory.
Given that, let’s hope, for gaffe-prone Gav’s sake, that the Mayor of London didn’t have a dose of Boris Belly over the weekend.
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