Why poundshops were always bollocks

THE poundshop may soon be a thing of the past, as few items still cost £1. Britons are predictably upset, but the truth is they were always bollocks. Here’s why.

The maths doesn’t work

Not every product retails for exactly £1. So even if some are sold at a slight loss, many will have the price hiked slightly to make them a nice round £1. You could have a shop called ‘Stuff Sold For What It’s Actually Worth’ but that doesn’t sound like a bargain to morons.

It helps if you have stunted tastes

Do you eat a monotonous diet of the same famous-brand products every day? If so, Poundland et al are for you. Fancy a dinner of Heinz cream of chicken soup, Fray Bentos beef and onion pie, and that rarest of treats, a Cadbury Wispa? Thanks to poundshops you can eat like an unadventurous pensioner who’s just glad rationing is over.

Disappointing toys

Poundshops sell ultra-cheap unlicensed Chinese knock-offs, eg. superhero action figures called ‘Metal Suit Jet Hero’, ‘Incredible Green Man’ and ‘Scarlet Magician’. They’ll have huge holes in them from the moulding process, a tendency for limbs to fall off, and deformed faces that will either give kids nightmares or lead to a career in reconstructive plastic surgery.

You gets what you pay for 

A pack of 20 biros for £1 is superficially cheap, but not if they last three per cent as long as a pack of five normal ones for £1.50. Otherwise sane people are thrilled by poundshop deals, when they’d instantly realise Springsteen tickets on sale for £2.50 is a teensy bit too good to be true.

Seasonal crap 

At Easter, Halloween and Christmas the poundshops declare war on the environment. Suddenly they’re full of one-use plastic shite like Easter bunny door ornaments, nylon spider’s web, a talking Rudolph reminiscent of The Exorcist, and so on. In the future, bands of cancer-ridden survivors will wander the scorched wastelands, ruing the day they ruined the Earth for a glow-in-the-dark six-inch skeleton for, you guessed it, £1. 

Smug bargain hunters 

Twats singing the praises of poundshops are pretty dull if you’re not obsessed with cheap ginger biscuits. Middle class ones slumming it are the worst because they act as if they’ve been on a massive, possibly dangerous, adventure. It’s worth remembering Dr Livingstone was famous for exploring the Nile, not getting 12 tins of Whiskas for 20p less than Asda.

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A day in the miserable childhood of Liz Truss

LIZ Truss has been accused of distorting accounts of her Northern childhood. Here the surely-this-is-a-joke leadership candidate recounts her impoverished upbringing. 

7am. Get up. This was Yorkshire in the dark days of the 1980s, when Labour’s Harold Wilson was wrecking the country. In my family, we children slept one to a bed. It was terribly lonely. My only friend was a Speak and Spell.

7.20am. I go downstairs for breakfast. Spartan rations were the order of the day. A single glass of orange juice, cornflakes, two fried eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, three slices of toast per person, and that was your lot. But we knew there were even poorer families who couldn’t afford fried mushrooms.

9am. Go to school in the Leeds ghetto of Roundhay. I was 12 years old but already aspirational and ready to deliver for Britain. I clearly remember saying: ‘Mrs Sheridan, I want to go to Oxford, like that weird maths girl on Wogan, and become prime minister at 15.’ 

Mrs Sheridan looked at me patronisingly, the way people do when I’m delivering an important speech about cheese. ‘Before you go to Oxford, maybe you should get out of remedial maths,’ she said. A typical socialist teacher, trying to crush gifted children’s ambition.

1pm. Lunch. We often had trifle for dessert, but delivered in equal portions to all children, regardless of how aspirational they were. This wasn’t a school, it was a socialist experiment.

3pm. Drama. The task is to dress up as your hero or heroine. I choose Margaret Thatcher, pussy bow and all. There are titters, even from the drama teacher, Mr Logan. I say: ‘You can laugh, but one day she’ll be Prime Minister, and then you’ll be sorry!’ 

Mr Logan takes me to one side and says, ‘Mrs Thatcher has been prime minister for several years, and yes, we are sorry.’ It’s indicative of the low standard of education I was receiving that I wasn’t aware of this already.

5pm. Homework time. They still haven’t managed to teach me my times tables properly. This is a disgrace. The teachers were all too quick to write off kids like me from a five-bedroom detached hovel in one of the most under-aspirational areas of Leeds.

What I’ve learned from my schooldays is that an exceptional child like me can overcome adversity. I’d love to see the look on my teachers’ faces when they find out I’m going to be prime minister. Probably disbelief, fear and confusion. It seems to have that effect on people.