We spend a lot of time on our feet as London Walks guides, and we’re always keen to hear stories about shoes and boots.
This is why we posted a story here on Saturday regarding the Canadian Finance Minister and the tradition of his wearing new shoes to make a budget announcement. Catch up with that post here: New Shoes For The Money Man.
Daily Constitutionalist Chris Shellard writes in reply to that post, having done a little bit of research into the matter:
"I was intrigued by your story and so I emailed my friend in Canada to ask about it. Here is what he said:
'Well, the tradition of wearing new shoes by the Canadian Finance Minister is not something that has a known origin nor is it something that all Finance Ministers have practiced.
The first recorded "new shoes" was for the 1960 budget. It has probably happened more often than not since, but even some Ministers would buy new shoes one year and not another.
Once the Minister just resoled old shoes (obviously indicating a time of more restraint). Provincial ministers have seemed to follow a similar practice with new shoes however, with most seeming to purchase them with the media in toe.'
I think he's being funny with the spelling of in toe as he is a retired English teacher so would know better!
Hope that helps
D.C Editor Adam replies:
It does help, Chris thanks for taking the time!
Taking a quick glance down through a list of Canadian Finance ministers, I notice that they seem to be afflicted with the same problem as we in the UK when it comes to our Chancellor of the Exchequer: not one woman has held the post.
I was making just this observation on a Westminster Walk a while back, when a woman in the group added: “Perhaps if a woman had been in charge of the money then we wouldn’t be in such a mess right now!”
A fair point, I thought!
We’ll be dealing more with politics next month when we’ll be turning our blog and our London Walks Podcast over to the theme of Political London.
Thanks again Chris!
P.S. Here's how The Wall Street Journal covered Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's trip to the shoe shop.