It would have been easy for Boris Johnson's latest expenses scandal to have been missed by a pandemic beleaguered, Christmas party-sickened public. He even welcomed a new daughter, born with impeccable political timing, at the height of it. We’re all so very distracted right now, who can get their head around the maths?


But unlike other dry, detail-focussed party donor rows, this one involves the nation’s favourite troubled department store – which means shit got personal. Because whatever you make of Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds’ £30k interiors allowance – or the fact they saw necessary to go over it by a stonking £58k from a rich benefactor, an undeclared donation that landed the Conservatives with a £17,800 from the Electoral Commission this week – there’s little doubt the crucial moment in which the row struck a chord across Britain came with the uttering of three little words: “John Lewis nightmare”.


For many voters, of course, John Lewis furnishings remain deeply aspirational. Furniture that comes without the flatpack fight? No offence Ikea, but yes please. So, in dismissing the store as plebian, the occupants of Downing Street finally offered forensic evidence of, let’s be honest, outright snobbery, as well as a total detachment from most peoples’ reality.


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