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Monday 17th December 2012 | 14:59
Uncle Eric Pickles is often depicted as the Government's very own Albert Arkwright from Open All Hours.
Proud of England's nation of shopkeepers, the Communities Secretary today put his money where his mouth is and opened a Pop-Up shop in the foyer of DCLG's Eland House.
With M&S open just yards away, the plan is to make the most of the footfall in this bit of Victoria and help businesses sell their wares to the public.
It's all a far cry from the days when John Prescott opened up the building more than a decade ago (the 'Prezza Pens' are still a collectors' item...for the wrong reasons)
Pickles opened the shop, naturally dubbed Pickles Plaza, this morning with a call to other departments to follow suit. He said Defra could open a fishmongers and DoT could let you top up your Oyster.
But the best gag was when he said the Treasury should open its very own cashpoint - so the public can get some money out of HMT rather than have it all taken from them.
Then again, it could be worse. The DCMS are so keen to impress the Chancellor that they are actually moving into a Treasury building (100 Parliament Street, shared with HMRC, has some spare space) from next Spring. No one will have any excuse for overspending there...
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