Mass Hysteria over Marmite!
Over the last week, for reasons that seem mostly based on sentiment, the (not very) United Kingdom has descended into a state of hysteria. The reason for this? The pound has taken a battering since Theresa May announced a more or less firm date for triggering Article 50 in 2017. This, in turn, has triggered an imminent shortage of Marmite. Honest! The UK is in a state of total panic because after months of the apocalypse not happening it finally appears to be here! You see, Unilever, the owners of the Marmite brand, wants 10% more off Tesco for its product range as Brexit has ruined Unilever’s profit margin because the pound has dipped over the last week. Tesco has refused, because its diminishing clutch of customers will just go to Aldi or Lidl for their yeast extract sandwich spread, and Tesco has enough problems with retaining customers as it is.
There are so many flaws with this scenario:
- If Marmite costs too much in Tesco I’ll go to one of the leading discount supermarkets and buy a similar product there. The big supermarkets are already taking a pasting (excuse the pun) and they simply cannot afford further competition.
- If that product, which is also probably made by Unilever still costs too much I’ll just buy jam. Whatever fills the gap will cause big problems that nobody foresaw.
- If every single similar product in every single competing supermarket becomes unaffordable, then I will use ham. Again, the public has proved that they are sick of being played for fools. If Unilever is trying to inflict a bloody nose on the public to teach them a lesson they should be very wary of a misfire.
- Don’t make me laugh! Nobody likes Marmite anyway…
Seriously? Is this the strongest comeback that Project Fear can muster? And is it really all that relevant at this point in time? Has nobody heard of Aleppo? Anyone bothered about the atrocities going on in Syria while we wonder if life will ever be the same again if we have to start using own name brand products in the future? It seems we only care about real life tragedies for a day or two when major media outlets remind us with horrific close-up footage of bombings of residential areas, or dead children covered in rubble. It would not be the first time that awful news is buried underneath a massive none-story…
Back in Blighty however, the liberal left are absolutely furious! The pound has crumbled to its lowest level since 1985. Can anyone actually verbalise WHY they are furious though? Because the middle classes might be facing a Marmite shortage in Tesco? Or is it because their annual trip to Europe may or may not cost a bit more next year? I find the arguments and logic used by the Remainers very selective and ignorant of the all the implications.
The prime minister of Britain is being badgered into revealing exactly how we are going to leave the European Union. She rightly refuses to give away her full game plan to Brussels, and so everybody is getting themselves into a right state. Like petulant children that have been scolded and told no. The phrases ‘Hard’ and ‘Soft’ options have been invented, which crudely refers to if we are going to weasel a half-arsed effort at kinda, sorta leaving some of the EU, but not all of it (soft, obviously), or if we are (apparently) going to selfishly commit seppuku by ripping open our financial well being with the knife of Brexit. The Remainers have lost the referendum and are screaming ‘I told you this would ruin the country!’ into Brexiteer faces. We are now the Zimbabwe of Europe and civil war is on the way. Prices are going to go through the roof, while Marmite and holidays to Spain will become distant memories.
Just one thing… the FTSE 100 is at a level very close to its all-time record high. If the economy of Britain has collapsed, which is exactly what is being strongly implied, why have the share prices of the top 100 companies in the UK gone through the roof? Because that is the balancing fact in this equation that the naysayers have not been able to properly explain yet. Is it because it proves their argument wrong?
You could extrapolate many differing and conflicting theories about why this is occurring, but if the previous chancellor of the exchequer and nearly every single bank and financial institution in the land totally misread the financial markets a mere three months ago, then they have no right to impose their views on the British public this time round. They speak from a position of extreme prejudice and selfish motives. You could also say that maybe they have learned their lesson and are actually betting on Britain staying a prosperous country after Brexit, and are investing heavily in the financial markets before any major bull market begins. This makes sense and explains the constant rise of the FTSE 100. It is climbing for a reason – because people are buying. So at least one demographic of investors believes in this country’s future. No pessimist can dispute that. Except maybe George Osbourne.