There are three ways to approach real life if you are a politician. You can be genuinely in touch with local people and real life issues. Alternatively you can make a virtue of your other-worldliness and be seen as a bit of a character (a bit like Boris, in fact). But the one that never seems to work is to be out of touch and yet still pretend to know about real life.
Step forward 'Gaffe-er in Chief' John Howell (the Henley by-election candidate) who needed a written memo to tell him how much a pint of milk and a loaf of bread costs nowadays when he was taking part in a radio hustings today. See the photo and, inset, a blow up of the prices section. Click on the photo for a larger version.
Amongst all the spin and attack lines on his crib sheets were the words:
pint of milk - 52p
loaf of sliced bread - £1.19
For all that Mr Howell tries to make a virtue of having lived in the area for 20 years, he doesn't seem to have made it as far as a supermarket recently.