Amidst the run-of-the-mill news broadcast on Radio 4 today (the usual stuff : public finance deficit up; inflation up; economic prospects down; UKIP wins by-election as Britain lurches further to the right; and so on), one story of truly earth-shattering proportions was sneaked into the bulletin. I say sneaked in, because it is clear that the BBC has been nobbled by the government to hide the news away in order to reduce the possibility of widespread civil unrest in the event that the public cottons onto it in a big way.
There is a worldwide cocoa shortage, and it’s entirely possible that we will run out of chocolate in the near future. Let me repeat that : there is a danger that chocolate supplies will be exhausted within a matter of months. (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/nov/21/cocoa-crisis-world-chocolate-stash-melting-away).
I am just old enough to remember the power cuts and three day week that resulted from the oil crisis of the 1970s. Productivity slumped, the country was brought to its knees and inflation sky-rocketed as oil prices exploded. Let me tell you : that will seem like a picnic compared the impact on the UK economy if the chocolate supply is interrupted. Every office I have ever worked in relies on the stuff to help its inmates make it through the long dark hours between 2pm and 5pm. Commercial life without the sugar rush and general feel-good kick that choccie provides will be simply unbearable.
Apparently, contingency plans are being forged at the highest levels to seek to prevent a total meltdown (geddit?) in the chocolate supply chain, but some companies have already started making their own plans. Apparently, Mars is so worried that next week they may start bringing out bars that will only help you work!*
* (c) Sandi Toksvig – The News Quiz : it was too good not to include. See here if you’re too young to get the joke : http://pigpog.com/2006/09/20/a-mars-a-day-helps-you-work-rest-and-play/