Alan Dee: A £10 burger? That’s a bit rich for my taste

Opinion - Alan Dee
Opinion - Alan Dee

Having a pop at the Chancellor of the Exchequer is about as ticklish a task as shooting fish in a barrel, so I’m not having a go at him. Well, not just him.

But the storm in a teacup fuss about his choice of in-office supper has opened up a whole new world for me.

For those of you who missed it, the minted MP for Tatton and squeezer of the nation’s wallets tried to portray himself as a down to earth man of the people as he worked on his latest cavalcade of cuts by posing for a picture that showed him working at his desk late into the night, a half-eaten burger by his side.

Critics who have little time for a seriously posh privately-educated and deep pocketed career politician slashing services he’ll never need left right and centre were quick to point out that the Chancellor was not chowing down on a fast food serving from the nearest chain outlet, but tucking into a Byron burger.

Now I’m sure I’m not the only person who had never heard of a Byron burger until a week ago – there are a fair few branches in London, a smattering in other major cities, and you can also bump into them in Cambridge or at the Bluewater centre if you are ever forced there against your will.

The biggest talking point last week was that the Chancellor’s choice of burger, from an admittedly upmarket chain, would have set him back just under £10. Compare that to the price of a Big Mac, whined the critics. That just shows how out of touch he is.

Maybe, but if anyone is out of touch here it’s probably me.

I had no idea that anyone would have the brass neck to charge the thick end of a tenner for a burger, or that anyone would be comfortable coughing up such an outrageous sum for a snack.

What’s more, the Byron burger is just one of the items on this particular chain’s mouthwatering menu.

Portion of chips to go with that burger, anyone? That’ll be £2.95, sir.

And that’s just for basic chips – there are posher versions that will set you back £3.25.

There aren’t that many burger joints round my way that will offer you courgette fries, either. Another £3.25, since you ask.

You’ll get some sense of how this isn’t an everyday burger joint when you see that the dessert options include Eton mess, there’s a wine list and you can nibble on olives while you wait if you don’t mind parting with another £2.75.

It’s not something that’s going to weigh heavy on my mind. It’s like caviar and foie gras – I know they exist but they’re not to my taste.

And why should George worry? I dare say that the bill for that burger will be appearing on an expense claim at some time in the future, won’t it?