As new household spending figures hit a two-year low and families suffer the the worst income squeeze since the early 1980s, the Camerons have caught the national mood by, erm, showcasing their newly-fitted £25,000 second kitchen.

Both BBC Online and the Daily Mail today carry a photo of Samantha Cameron and Michelle Obama in the flat above Number 11 Downing Street. High-end household items are neatly arranged and framed with a wide shot calculated to exhibit the Cameron’s designer kitchen and pique the interest of lifestyle editors.

With the BBC enlisting the assistance of Ideal Home Magazine, the design is covered in a level of detail which could only result from a Number 10 briefing. Items captioned by Auntie and the Mail include:

  • “Fancy Nancy sofa, from £1,431”
  • “Kahrs Walnut flooring, from £70 per square metre”
  • “Corinian white worktop, from £310 per linear metre”
  • “Rancillo coffee machine, £500”
  • “Floating shelves from [Sam Cameron’s] mother Lady Annabel Astor’s furniture company”
  • Not one, but “two Apple iPads”

Gallingly, the photoshoot comes after Number 10 refused freedom of information requests for designs and  cost of installation despite Cameron’s previous promises to pay for expenses exceeding Downing Street’s maintenance allowance and concerns around the terrace’s Grade I listed status.

As the full impact of spending cuts starts to bite, Scrapbook cannot fathom who would think this is a good idea.

How out of touch can you get?

  1. Dan Knowles says:

    Amusing, but a moments reading would have revealed that the picture came out because the White House publish all this stuff online. So erm, no, they’re not deliberately showcasing their (admittedly wildly expensive) kitchen deliberately because they’re so out of touch. Sorry.

  2. @Dan: Yes, we saw the White House picture credit before we wrote this up.

    Let’s assume, for a second, that shopping/home editors would have been able to deduce the genesis of various items. To think Number 10 didn’t have significant input into which photos were taken and released is naive, frankly. It is clear as day that this photo is designed to generate luvvie coverage of the Camerons’ kitchen in glossy supplements.

  3. Erm, I would have thought that Number 10 knows that the Whitehouse publishes everything and therefore the pictures would come out. In which case, they could have refused the photo shoot in the hideously expensive kitchen. The fact that they didn’t is proof enough of their insensitivity to the national mood and austere times.

  4. Dan Knowles says:

    Okay, points taken – they probably did brief it and my response was too hasty.

    That said, not sure it makes them particularly insensitive to austere times – it’s absurd to expect our PM, who everyone knows is a millionaire, to be forced to slum it all the time in the public eye.

  5. I understand that allegedly the total installation cost around £80k – about the amount the Save the Children Fund is trying to raise to build a neo-natal clinic in one of the poor Kenyan townships – to which charity Mrs C was recently appointed roving Ambassador. (Her husband of course has been busy redirecting British development funds to Afghanisatan and Iraq) . This can have nothing to so with Mrs.C.s professional career as an interior designer surely! ? As this now belongs to the taxpayer, anyone fancy joining me for supper at No 10?

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