In a surprise move yesterday, the British Chancellor announced in the Budget that there would be a sugar tax introduced on soft drinks that carry a large amount of that substance.
The shock that the public, and indeed many of his own political party, received from this announcement was as nothing compared to the shock received by those in the industry.
A nice cup of tea with no sugar in it and an apple that doesn’t have a great deal either.
In an interview earlier this morning, I was privileged to speak to the anonymous CEO of a major soft drinks company, Mr Satan Moneyglutton. Weeping copiously, he explained to me:
‘For long years we have been told that what people want are chemical compounds devoid of any nutritional merit, packed full of sugar, and now I feel that we have been stabbed in the back.
‘On the best advice from the governments of the day, we undertook our duty, I would almost say our mission, which we take very seriously indeed, to create a nation of fat people with poor health and rotten teeth.
‘And now the accumulated wisdom of years is being ignored. If these drinks are now said to be so bad, then why are they so effective at causing children to lose concentration and run up the walls of classrooms and become disruptive?
‘If they are so bad, then how come we manage to get such a large proportion of the public addicted to them? Our products are industrial success writ large.
‘This is nothing more than an attack on enterprise and the free market. Why no tax on water? Or tea or juices? I suppose the Chancellor prefers fine teas to a nice bottle of ChemoSludge *TM.
‘And it is socially divisive! This will hit the poor the hardest, since this is where we make most of our profits. We know that the poorer the family, the less likely they are to be well educated, and then the more likely they are to purchase our elixirs. This is where this horribly unfair tax will hit.
‘We were given no warning, no sign of this change of mood. Where will it all end? First they try to destroy the reputation of our lovely healthy tobacco industry, and now this. Honestly, I fear that the government’s next target might even be our ObeseBurgers *TM.’
At this point, the line to the Cayman Islands went dead.