I'm trying to think of a US equivalent to the current media storm raging in the UK over whether or not the Prime Minister has ever eaten a Cornish pasty. Corndog-gate, maybe?
Anyway, the story goes like this: under new tax regulations, consumers of take-out snacks will now be subject to a 20 per cent Value Added Tax on their purchases if those snacks are still warm when they consume them. (But will be exempt from the tax if they allow them to cool, apparently).
One of the victims of this new tax will be the Cornish pasty. This is a delicious baked pastry fold containing diced potato, diced swede, and chunks of peppery lamb in a rich gravy. The pastry has a crinkly ridge, allegedly - so the old story goes - so that farmhands and factory workers with filthy hands could use the ridge as a kind of handle which they'd chuck away at the end.
Regular consumers of Cornish pasties (generally not hedge fund managers, top lawyers, prime ministers, you won't be surprised to hear) felt victimized by this. So Prime Minister David Cameron felt compelled to announce that he too was a pasty eater. He then made the mistake of trying to name the last place he ate one - and was exposed as a fraud.
What is it with politicians and their silly attempts to pretend to be men of the people? We don't need them to be authentically working class, we don't require that they be down with the kids or have cool musical tastes or even know the price of a loaf of bread. What would be nice though, if they tried to avoid doing stuff that ends up making our lives more constrained, poorer, more regulated, less happy. Is that really such a big ask?