Friday, January 06, 2006

David Cameron going after the important issues

UK: Discount chocolate oranges.... This is the new leader of the conservative party of the UK?

David Cameron, Conservative leader, on Wednesday launched an outspoken attack on retailers, singling out WH Smith for offering cut-price chocolate oranges. He accused it of irresponsible marketing that made people fat. His remarks, in a speech on health policy, sparked concern that the Tories had embarked on a campaign against big business to win votes from Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Mr Cameron said the consumer industries could do more to promote healthy lifestyles. “Try to buy a newspaper at the train station and, as you queue to pay, you’re surrounded by cut-price offers for giant chocolate bars... As Britain faces an obesity crisis, why does WH Smith promote half-price chocolate oranges at its checkouts instead of real oranges?” he said. The comments caused bemusement at the retailer and embarrassment among senior Tories with City links, one of whom said it was a mistake to target WH Smith in this way. The company denied acting irresponsibly, saying it also sold dried fruit. “I am not quite sure why he picked on us. We offer customers a whole range of products so they have a choice,” it said.
Nice to see personal responsibility and common sense are now out of the conservative party platform.
A party frontbencher defended his latest remarks, saying Mr Cameron wanted to dispel a perception that “the FTSE 100 tells us what to do and that we are somehow in hock to them”. Lord Bell, an acolyte of Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister, said: “What he’s doing is reading research saying the Conservative party is a party of rich people and businessmen and he’s trying to make it a party of everybody. He’s saying he won’t support business slavishly.”
By making the party look like a fool going after cheap chocolate oranges? You want to rail against evil business, try to whip up frenzy some other way that doesn't make you like a total moron.

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