I don’t know much about the recent Kraft take over of Cadbury’s; a British company gets sold to an American one, a factory in Keynsham will close, and there’s been the usual moral outrage by papers like the Daily Mail.
In fact, the Daily Mail went so far as to launch a Keep Cadbury British campaign, targeted at the Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson. Valiant as such efforts were though, they were under-carpet-swept and the deal went through in February this year. It can’t be easy for the powers that be at Mail HQ, balancing those free market philosophies against acutely nationalist agendas, especially in cases like that of Cadbury, where such political sways rub uneasily against each other. Not to worry though, moral outrage is moral outrage after all, and it all makes sense somewhere down the line, doesn’t it?
If you happen to be losing your job at the Somerdale factory there’s plenty of reason to be devastated. Finding a job and keeping the Sky box on just got that much harder. Similarly, if you’re an avid aficionado of British products, perhaps because you’re a little bit of a nationalist yourself, or perhaps because you simply see the sense of buying lettuces grown in Eastbourne and not Egypt, maybe you sense some lost opportunity for this island of ours to be bordering on self-sufficiency, then I’d say you’re well within your rights to moan and groan about the way the Cadbury’s story has panned out. Cadbury sentimentalists are just another group in the long line of those ignored by globalisation and its cash-kill cousins; there’s no more time and there’s certainly no pity. The soon-to-be redundant workers can only be grateful that they won’t starve to death, or have their homes destroyed in the aftermath. There are plenty worse places in the world than a recession hit town near Bristol after all. But I digress.
I don’t know how many Daily Mail readers joined the campaign, or how many more sat slumped into a Starbucks sofa or their IKEA kitchens, bemoaning the fate of Cadbury’s, but they and their ilk that did, with their vegetable trays full if Israeli potatoes and Portuguese mushrooms, their fridges freshly topped up with New Zealand lamb and out of season strawberries, their wardrobes dutifully filled with designer French and Italian clothing, would do well to stop and think.
The Cadburys-Kraft deal is just one in a very long line of international purchases that has seen Britain stripped of its companies, factories, stable employment and ultimately, any sense of control. The reasons are varied, yet they stem from one place; from us. The governments we have voted in, the decisions and agreements we have allowed them to make, our spending patterns, our obsession with low prices, trend and technology, our fickleness and disloyalty to our own nation’s products; these are the actions that have led us to where we now stand, a small fish in a global tug of war between lonely fat cats who vacuum up companies from across the globe in a war that will play only on and on, without end.
If you’ve been part of the Keep Cadbury British campaign, I suggest it’s time to put your chocolate where your mouth is. If it means that much to you, boycott Cadbury. Better still, boycott Kraft, and write them a letter to tell them why. In case you’re wondering, that means no more Capri Sun, oh and no more Dairylea, Jacobs’ crackers, Kenco, Maxwell House, Philadelphia, Pretzels, Terry’s Chocolate Orange or Vegemite as well, oh and that’s only about five percent of the Kraft products list, try this link, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Kraft_brands, and good luck.