Mirror columnist Brian Reade recalls an unpleasant afternoon spent in the Tory has-been’s company as her bizarre obsession with food continues: “I once had the dubious pleasure of taking Edwina Currie out to lunch.
Although I was interviewing her to publicise a book she’d written, she demanded we eat at the swish Savoy Grill, ordered some of the most expensive food on the menu (Pate de Foie Gras, Filets de Sole aux Langoustines and Delice de Chocolat) and barked at me not to worry about the cost as the Mirror were paying.
I did. Because it was £156. In 1996.
She talked a lot about food during the food. About balancing strawberries on penises and smearing chocolate cake on naked lovers (she was referencing her book but in hindsight it might have been John Major).
But, then, Edwina’s always been obsessed with victuals.
This was the woman who was sacked from the Cabinet for saying too much about eggs. Who, as part of her many shots at TV reality fame, went on Hell’s Kitchen and annoyed the hell out of us (especially when Gordon Ramsay chose to force a knife through a lobster’s head when hers was in closer proximity.)
And grub has inspired her latest cry for attention as she repeatedly pours bile on food banks and all who use them.
When they first came to public notice she claimed there were no hungry people in Britain (neatly forgetting political has-beens so starved of publicity they humiliate themselves to within a TV camera-shot of death).
She then argued people only use them because they’ve wasted all their cash on dog food and tattoos.
And now she claims these “pernicious” places have left working-class streets without grocery stores because everyone’s eating free at the food bank.
Oh dear. How desperate has Cruella become when she needs to reinvent herself as Katie Hopkins’ senile grandma?
Anyone who has ever spent a few heartbreaking hours at a food bank knows the humiliated users have been referred by police, health visitors or doctors, after hitting rock bottom.
They are given vouchers for emergency three-day supplies of the most basic value-brand food. And they’re only allowed three visits a year.
It is pitiful to all but the pitiless, like Currie, who reminds us what lies in the cold heart of the Thatcherite.
How they enjoy punishing the poor (since the Bedroom Tax came in food bank use has tripled) demeaning and demonising them.
She typifies a right-wing I’m All Right Jack, grab what you can and let those who can’t rot, mentality. And the hypocrisy is priceless.
Take grabbing what you can. In 2007, Hugh McCallion, a colleague of Currie’s when she was an unknown politician on Birmingham City Council, shared his memories of her.
“Edwina’s capacity for food was legendary,” he said. “On one occasion she devoured two plates of sandwiches and put the other one in her bag. On another occasion, at a reception, she filled a large plastic bag with left-over food. A colleague remarked, ‘You must have a big dog’. She replied: ‘I haven’t got a dog. These are for my husband and kids’.”
How pernicious is that? How many shops would shut if everyone, especially those with money, lived off hand-outs? And isn’t it time someone wrote a no-holds-barred drama based on Currie’s life? Called Shameless.” (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/edwina-currie-happy-demonise-food-3098755#.Uu12KfsV9wG)