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Thursday, 13 October 2016

Unilever thuggery exposes danger of allowing these corporates such power

Unilever's economic thuggery in using its position as a global corporate whose grasping tentacles reach into every British home to try to rob the people of Britain will fail. The British are not tolerant of this sort of Blackmail from grasping offshore conglomerates - as Unilever will discover. The global corporate has control of the following brands

Colman's mustard - You can make this yourself with yellow mustard powder at just £5.10 /kg from Real Foods at just a fraction of the cost of Unilever's price

Lynx chemical sprays - by making Lynx unavailable in the UK, Unilever are actually doing the nation a huge favour as our unwashed teenagers may actually start to smell of something other than cheap, pungent and very nasty chemical aerosol.

PG tips - Teabags really are made from floor sweepings and dust from tea boxes, a blend of the cheapest and crudest teas sold at exorbitant prices. Again, try Real Foods (no connection) for quality teas at bulk prices

Pot Noodle -  At the risk of a generation of students having to do more than boil a kettle to make dinner, like Lynx the disappearance of Pot Noodle from our shelves will actually benefit the nation

I can't believe it's not butter - Or I can't believe shoppers are so gullible as it's called here. Use butter instead - it's healthier than this factory made chemical gloop. 

Lyons ice cream - is a mix of emulsified lard and sugar in equal proportions with entrained air. I wouldn't feed it to a dog. Find an ice cream actually made from real cream. 

and finally

Marmite - Not a fan, but there's nothing for it but for the government to take the Marmite factory under state control as an emergency Brexit measure with product price control and guaranteed availability. 

Seriously, this is a grievous attempt at economic thuggery by a loathed global corporate. We should now do everything we can to dis-assemble and destroy the evil monster of Unilever back to its component parts. The company cannot be allowed to go unpunished.


Anonymous said...

Vegemite is the answer

Daedalus Parrot said...

It seems hard to believe that any part of the manufacturing process of Marmite could be dependent on the pound's exchange rate.

I thought it was made from simple domestic ingredients.

markc said...

Arrgghh............ Vegemite is never the answer. A pale, brown, Antipodean imitation of the World's Noblest Breakfast (or any other time) Spread.


{Takes a Churchillian stance} Marmite at all costs, Marmite in spite of all terror, Marmite however long and hard the road may be; for without Marmite, there is no survival!{ /Churchill }

anon 2 said...

Well me, myself, personally: I liked Bovril.

Hope that's not going to prove upsetting .....

markc said...


Unilever is Dutch. Sooner or later all its revenues become euro, and £1 now buys fewer euro. Hence price increase to protect euro revenues. Doesn't matter where the stuff's made. Your pension fund and mine will be reassured to see Unilever doing it.

Not speaking up for Unilever, but just pointing out the obvious. Will there be the same fuss when BMWs and Mercs go up in price? Tesco, like Unilever, is playing a game - this time, not squandering the chance to be seen as the Good Guy after years of being painted as the corporate bastard exploiting the poor by the same media.

Sen. C.R.O'Blene said...

Eeeh bah goom, their profits are mostly from t'mustard left on side of t'plate!

Just eat less, or better still, never - er - eat (EAT ?) pot noodles, which are akin to shredded old newspaper (usually The Grauniad, it's softer), and don't use the mustard in a washing up bowl to get rid of colds, just grin and bear it.

Why can't the usual sensible people in the UK understand that you just don't need any of Unilever's items. I blame Waitrose!

Barnacle Bill said...

Perhaps a Brexit boycot of Unilever's products to show the robbing bastard corporations that we will not stand for this daylight pocket rustling?

Whilst I am a Marmite lover I have been using Morrisons own brand yeast extract because it is cheaper. Earlier this year there seemed to be a heffty increase in the price of Marmite. Hence my changing to a cheaper but similar tasting product. To save the pennies for my pocket and not Unilevers'.

I shall certainly be "tutting" if I see any shopper reaching for a Unilver product on my next visit to the shops.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that we have a government that will not act on the instructions given in the biggest democratic vote in the history of the nation.

Bankers and corporates are banking the dividends of our governmental dithering.

What we should be doing is making hay before the other EU nations start to realise that we are doing the right thing and diminish the advantages of being the first, by jumping on the bandwagon, before the whole shebang goes up in flames.

Fascist empires never last, and if they don't end in war, it is only by luck.


MrMole said...

I always imagined that Pot Noodles(c) were made by a teenage production line vomiting into the pots, before they are sent off for drying and sealing.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but the product tastes like its made this way.

john savage said...

I buy my tea from the Chinese supermarket (mines a Wing Yip).
Green Jasmine and black Oolong about £10 kilo. Other teas are available.

john savage said...

I once parked on the road between the brewery and the Marmite factory in Burton. Just under the big pipe connecting the two.

Anonymous said...

Well said. Those are my reactions, too. I shall look at the range of Unilever products [ ] to see whether I usually buy any of them (none on the first three pages of that web site), and then consider a mini-boycott. I must say 'National Marmite' is a most amusing suggestion, reminiscent of war-time National Margarine, National Flour and National Dried Egg all of which I just remember.

Anonymous said...

I've long boycotted Tesco for it's aggressive marketing and buying up ground just to stop other supermarkets, so in this dispute I'm certainly not on their side.

Poisonedchalice said...

Most of what Unilever sells are "commodity" products. So the only thing to consider when buying a household commodity is price. All commodities that rank as cleaning / disposable stuffs are now sold in discounters such as Home Bargains or Aldi and the price per kilo is way better than anything sold in Tesco, or other supermarkets. As for edibles, there are credible alternatives at much lower prices available in the discounters.

That only leaves Marmite; and for me, Marmite has the same ranking as Branston Pickle and as such cannot be imitated. But there are *loads* of other outlets for these, so no worries.

James Higham said...

The great Marmite war has begun.

Cull The Badgers said...

There's more than a bit of 'Violet Elizabeth'about you today, your Majesty.

How many people will be out of a job if Marmite shuts here. Would your tantrum be worth it?

And how do you split a business with about 400 brands into its component parts and maintain continuity of production worldwide?

Raedwald said...

CTB - fair point.

But Unilever are clearly playing politics - this is no more than a corporatist PR blow in support of staying in the single market. All UK manufacturers that use imported ingredients or that compete with export markets for domestic ingredients will experience cost increases over the next year or so with the £ as it is - but these will feed into a deflationary world and increases will be slight and gradual. And Unilever will have hedged for xchange rate movements already.

So it's just a global corporate using its economic size to play politics. They can hardly complain if they get hit back. And to discourage the others, we should hit them back hard.

With the exception of Marmite, none of their brands cannot be substituted by those from other suppliers. There will be no drop in consumption and no overall change in UK employment - any Unilever redundancies will be balanced by new jobs in the successor suppliers. If anything, as production is repatriated from elsewhere in the EU to take advantage of the cheap £, overall employment will increase.

The losers will be Unilever's shareholders - amongst them many UK pension funds. They will then decide how much they approve of the Chief Exec playing Brexit politics with their investment ...

Cuffleyburgers said...

Radders - looks like their move will be a shot in the foot as the products concerned seem to be utter crap of the sort which have plenty of competition.

This smacks to me of a political move, which quite possibly originated in Brussels.

Anyway, undue lobbying power besides Unilever is bound by the same law as anybody else and nobody is forced to buy their products at gunpoint.

So I'm less concerned by them than I am about Teresa May's Industrial policy rantings or some of the ravings we see in the Brexit debate (from both Remoaners and Hard-Brexiteers who want to leave tomorrow without bothering to negotiate).

Unilever, Monsanto etc need to be brought into line, but the law to do it exists already.

So much more interesting is the story behind he headlines which we are not seeing. Yet.

Raedwald said...

Cuffley - agree.

And as for Teresa May's workers rep on the board sort of stuff, I'm not too excited by it. My old firm introduced something similar with a formal role in governance for the senior TU bod. Then held all the consultative meetings at 3.30 pm on a Friday. Not once did a meeting exceed thirty minutes ...

Anonymous said...

For the hard of learning.

Article 50 states:

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

United Kingdom European Union membership referendum

The Question:

Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

The Result:

Leave - 17,410,742

Remain - 16,141,241

(voter turnout: 72.21%)

That is all


RAC said...

Being that marmite appears to be the only product that cannot be beneficially done without,I propose a special tax. The brewery waste products tax. If war is what they want I see no point in going into it half heartedly. Once bankrupted the marmite factory can be bought for a knockdown price, re-branded as OurMight and repatriated to the British people

Cuffleyburgers said...


Well I think we are all aware of that.

Leaving the political control of the EU does not necessarily mean leaving the single market, and there are very stong arguments to be made that in order to avoid an unnecessary economic hit and to ensure as much continuity as possible in our (purely economic) links with our European neighbours then at least for an interim period we remain in the single market.

As we are all aware the situation on the continent is increasingly fluid and it is harder than ever to see six months ahead let alone 2 years or five. It might be a new Greek crisis, an Italian bank clusterfuck, a Deutschbank/Commerzbank collapse and bail out or bail in. A Front nationale government in France or more turbulence in Turkey leading to a glut of migrants...

It is entirely possible that in a year from now the whole outlook and range of possibilites for a non-EU UK to relate to the countries currently member states, will have opened up so there is a lot to be said for a considered approach.

Of course I entirely agree about the political separation - that's what I voted for. Same as you and same as Radders.

Anonymous said...

I had a look at a comprehensive list of products that Unilever make, and with the exception of Colman's mustard, I don't use any of them. I'm sure I can do without Colman's, which I thought was produced in the UK, anyway. So along with marmite, a byproduct of beer brewing, the Unilever tactic is Remoanian in character.

Anonymous said...

Cuffleyburgers @ 16:04

I appreciate your considered reply, however the single market is the four factors: capital, labour, goods, and services between the members and on that they (Brussels) will not budge. And they want more, the unified market:

' the last stage and ultimate goal of a single market. It requires the total free movement of goods, services (including financial services), capital and people without regard to national boundaries.'

And I don't want us to be caught inside when that happens. The Remoaners are baiting the trap right now. Tough it out and the prize is freedom and trade and best of all a home to call your own.


DominicJ said...

Lets not get carried away

The job of any board member is to "Maximise shareholder wealth"
Thats all they are doing

Was it underhanded and deceitful, yes, of course, so?
Its no different than when Tesco announces its cutting the prices it has agreed with suppliers by 5%, and its retroactive for 6 months as well.

Do we really want to encourage politicians to grand stand about "fair" price increases, and god help us follow through with price controls?