Boris Johnson, Tim Tam and diabetes

Boris Johnson is a showman, at least in the political field. He knows it and he uses it to distract from the reality. He loves to create impactful and misleading headlines that mass media repeats until his next outburst. Of course, his frivolous message also rebounds in every social media which many people use as the main and only tool to keep themselves updated on current events. Bless them!

Boris conveys an impromptu speech which is the same as his cheesy clothing and a bizarre hair style. But, nothing is by chance, everything that he does is meticulously prepared in advance. Every expression, every look, every interaction with people and journalists… Yes, every single headline that Johnson generates has a purpose: to pervert the reality and to hide the essence of it. It requires a platform which he unfortunately has, a great talent and an amazing strategy that operates 24/7.

Boris tim tam
Boris shows Tim Tam biscuit in a short video on Twitter

Empty, impactful headlines have provided a good result and even brought the victory to Tories and their leader so far. It explains their conquest of 10 Downing Street in General Elections, in December 2019. Perhaps, everyone remembers the Johnson’s slogan at the time: “Get Brexit Done”. It was direct and delicious to swallow. But, what about the post Brexit deal’s content? What about new regulations? What about borders with the EU? What about the free of movement within the EU? What was really behind the “Get Brexit Done” slogan? Definitely, what kind of deal will be put in place with the EU? No agreement has been agreed until now and it seems that it’s still all in the air at the moment. “No deal is better than a bad deal”, was yet another great deceptive slogan that Johnson’s predecessor tirelessly parroted in the media.

If “Get Brexit Done” confused and tilted the balance in favour of Tories last December, the Tim Tam biscuit campaign has almost the same purpose. And remember, there is no room for any improvisation. His words are extremely calculated. What seems an innocent example to explain a potential trade deal between the UK and Australia post-Brexit era, may cause more harm than good. Once again, PM’s modus operandi looks clear: make jokes to confuse people, via twitter, and conceal the real unhealthy deal or, who knows, deals.

The UK doesn’t need to import the poisonous Tim Tam from Australia. The UK already has its own unhealthy version, the McVitie’s Penguin. If this is what future Jonhson’s deals will bring to the UK, then the damage an overall health of the British people will be even more serious. Both confectionary products contain almost equal unhealthy ingredients: toxic sugar, refined oils, some artificial E-numbers, an extra topping of unpronounceable preservatives and of course more sugar that’s concealed with different names such as glucose-fructose syrup or natural flavouring.

Tim tam family Tim tam ingredients2

Britain produces and consumes enough unhealthy pastries, there is no need to import more, especially from far away. The UK neighbours, France, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Portugal or Spain, manufacture their garbage too and are much closer than Australia. Plus, an EU membership, whether the PM believes it or not, also has some benefits. For example, when you import unhealthy biscuits from the EU, there are no tariffs. But, if you import from Australia, perhaps there may be some reduced tariff that needs to be paid and that will directly benefit the UK Treasury. Of course, in this case it would also mean a more expensive product for the UK consumers, in addition to immeasurable health damages.

Penguin Penguin ingredients

Regardless whether it comes from close or far, it’s totally unacceptable that the PM uses his social media channel to “promote” unhealthy eating habits. Even to explain a trade deal. He should feel ashamed for his Tim Tam campaign. It shows a lack of respect for the NHS staff and other health care workers. Many dedicated health professionals work endlessly by trying to teach people what to eat in order to improve their health and to overall prevent the silent “pandemic”: diabetes. Johnson didn’t improvise anything about Tim Tam when he showed it in front of the camera. His 24/7 perverted strategy doesn’t stop ever. Clearly, his act has “freely” promoted these Australian biscuits. Not even the best publicity campaign would have so easily reached their target. And who knows, it may have been a paid advertisement. Nothing is random.

So, in this particular scenario, it would be reasonable to question if Boris understands the real risk of diabetes. Does he have the updated diabetes figures for the country? Does he know how many people suffer from this chronic disease? How much it costs the National Health Service (NHS) a year? And also how many other complications diabetes causes? At this point, is there any sense to spend millions on preventive campaigns against diabetes when the PM promotes unhealthy biscuits? Didn’t anyone in Jonhson’s Cabinet Office think about it? What about his health as the PM?

Diabetes UK
“The cost of diabetes” graphic from a Diabetes UK report

The numbers speak loudly and, according to the Diabetes UK charity, 4.8 million British suffer from diabetes at the moment. The forecast doesn’t bring a positive outlook and the British charity believes that “if nothing changes, more than five million people will have diabetes in the UK by 2025”. A few years ago, Diabetes UK published a comprehensive report called “The cost of diabetes”, with some shocking figures. It covered 2010/11. The NHS spent £10 billion each year to treat diabetic patients. So, can you imagine how much extra cost was required after 10 years?

Diabetes uk
The cost of complications of diabetes from a study Diabetes UK

How long can the British people be deprived of the opportunity to have Arnott’s Tim Tams at a reasonable price? Johnson asked jokingly in his video on twitter. Well, surely the country would prefer to be deprived of Tim Tam if it means that the health of the nation doesn’t deteriorate even more with this unhealthy imported garbage. And for sure, the country may be asking how Tim Tam would contribute in the fight against diabetes and what kind of deals the PM will achieve for other sectors?

If this initial toxic deal with Australia makes Johnson proud, I dread to hear his next exciting announcement. In the end, chlorinated chicken will be a reality too. America is also calling for a deal and the PM is “improvising” a new “well calculated” campaign. A campaign empty of content and deafening noise and blunt headlines.

One Comment

  • Satinder Kumar

    Great article. I enjoyed reading it. Never has it been more important for us to keep healthy and our risks of obesity and diabetes low. Juan you write a great piece highlighting the confusion this government continues to create for us. Political deals and economics bartered for our health!

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