"I shop at Waitrose because I can’t stand being surrounded by poor people." That was one of the Romney-like responses when Waitrose, an upmarket UK store, ran a disastrous Twitter campaign.
“I shop at Waitrose because I can’t stand being surrounded by poor people.” This answer set the tone as Waitrose shoppers responded to a Twitter campaign.
Waitrose is an upmarket store, only found in upmarket neighbourhoods – and with highly upmarket prices. Yet it is successful and the marketing department launched a Twitter campaign asking customers to tweet their endings to the sentence, “I shop at Waitrose because . . .” They were hoping for pats on the back and useful data to help them plan promotions.
The answers revealed that shoppers know very well what Waitrose stands for. It is an elite organisation, totally out of touch with the main stream. The perfect place for Mr & Mrs Romney to browse!
Here are a few more sample responses, “I shop at Waitrose because when you fill up with helicopter fuel there is a 10% discount off champagne. Well, there is a recession on.”
“I shop at Waitrose because Clarissa’s pony just won’t eat ”Walmart “value hay.”
“I shop at Waitrose because the Queen likes their swan burgers.”
“I shop at Waitrose because then people know I’m rich and automatically better than them.”
For the grammatically minded, “I shop at Waitrose because at the checkout they say “10 items or fewer, not less, and these things are important.
Of course Waitrose had to say they “enjoyed” most of the responses. But the important point is that in the US and UK, the top and bottom parts of society are growing further and further apart. Even in the recession the top half is doing very well, prospering from benefits like low interest rates and mortgages – while people on average incomes struggle to get on the property ladder.
Through tax havens round the world the rich have more opportunities to dodge taxes and guard their wealth. The comments by Romney about freeloaders who live off the state reflect a wide spread attitude amongst the wealthy, who are fed misinformation about the less well off.
The huge irony about the Romney Presidential campaign is that it is beginning to fall behind – in the race to attract funds. Romney is running out of money as backers read the writing on the wall and rush to back Obama. There is still a long way to go but on current form that simply means Romney has more time to fall into traps – and dig plenty of his own.
In the UK, David Cameron’s government is revealing that it is out of touch and out of its depth – failing to deal with the recession. Voters in the US are being given a a worrying picture of what life would be like under President Romney.