When the 'cost of living' meme sprang up, emanating from the Labour party's policy and publicity arms, it was immediately recognised by a spread of commentators as a diversionary tactic from the economic arena, which Labour had been chronically losing and had finally recognised this as a permanent feature of the political battleground.
They were never going to succeed in that policy area, so they did what Lefties always do in such cases – apply a diversionary tactic, seeking to manipulate the debate and, thus, public opinion. The result was the out-of-the-blue 'cost of living' strategy.
It isn't really working, as – apart from the very youngest of voters – most of us have lived through the Labour years in government as providers and shoppers, often catering for whole families (though not forgetting childless couples and those who, like me, live alone).
Our shopping costs rocketed during the Labour years, and have settled down somewhat since they went. Remember: I worked at ASDA and was very familiar with the everyday prices, such as (say) bread and eggs. When I was working there, back in 2001, a branded (e.g. Kingsmill or Hovis) sliced loaf, 800g, was 75 pence. By 2010 it had shot up to £1.25 and is now £1.30. Note the minimal difference since the change of national government.
Similarly, six large free range eggs (which is what I regularly bought) were 69 pence back in 2001, but are now £1.40. This has remained essentially unchanged during the past three years: the huge rises occurred entirely during the Labour years.
No doubt external factors will be blamed by some for all of this, but those are facts that I have noted over the years as someone with perhaps a more 'professional' interest in the subject (once in the business, one never entirely switches off that mode of thinking!) than most.
Although this isn't in and of itself conclusive, it does provide a strong indicator that fits in so well with what has traditionally happened in other countries with Left-wing governments. For example, it was a standing sort-of joke during the Soviet Union years that a ticket to the (heavily subsidised) Bolshoi Ballet was cheaper than a loaf of bread. The way things were going here in Britain, if it hadn't been for the change of government back in May 2010, we could have ended up with a similarly acutely humiliating situation.
The bottom line is: recognise Labour's approach for what it is – an obvious attempt at diversion away from the economic argument that they have at last realised they cannot win – and also understand that, despite all the Goebbels-like Big Lie that they are putting about, Labour are just as seriously untrustworthy on the 'cost of living' platform that they are seeking to shape and manipulate purely to suit themselves, not the country.
We are now all sufficiently grown up, I hope, aided by what I and a number of others have been divulging over these past several years, to see through all of that.
Interestingly, the whole topic was mentioned only a couple of times, and then only in passing, by Labour at last night's Council meeting here in Medway. I rather gained the impression that, although it is a card that they need to play, locally Labour don't have much confidence in it as a vote-winner for them...