The traditions dates back many generations, with the first recorded story being told by Victorian prime minister Sit Robert Peel.
He stood in parliament during an election time debate on workers’ rights and quoted 11-year-old Henry, a chimney sweep he met in London, who said introducing limits to working age would be taking food from his family’s table and that the beating made him work faster.
“It’s important we don’t look out of touch,” Harold MP Spencer Chadwick said uncomfortably at a meet and greet in Tesco Extra.
“I spend over four and a half years trying to hide from these plebs, but I wanted to come out pre-election and show how down to earth and a man of the people I am.
“It has become easier over the years as the price of instant hand sanitiser has come down. If I meet a person, with a personal name, and a sad story to back up what I stand for the all the better.
“That said, if I only meet boring normal people who don’t seem affected by anything then I can just make one up, like Mary, the housewife with offspring who thinks the number of immigrants is affecting her rheumatoid arthritis. See, I just made that up.”
Ed Miliband’s advisors have warned him against using some of the people he has met over the past few months as examples.
One advisor told us: “It’s a great tool to use if you have met a muggle to talk about who has been out of work for the vast majority of the year, and only worked for one day, on a zero hours contract.
“But if he uses that example then someone may point out Father Christmas isn’t real, and that will break his heart.”