May 29, 2019 7:07 am Leave your thoughts
It’s National Biscuit Day today – dunk one in your mug to celebrate! While you put your feet up and nibble a favourite, we’re here to entertain, with some completely true stories of the times these lovely, sugary snacks hit the headlines.
The Jaffa Cake Court Case
You have to envy the judge and jury in the case of Jaffa Cakes v The Man, 1991. At one point in the proceedings, the defendants brought in a 12-inch replica of a Jaffa Cake, as evidence. What point were they trying to make? It all hinged upon the knotty legal issue of when a biscuit isn’t a biscuit. McVities (who make Jaffa Cakes), argued that a Jaffa Cake was a cake, not a biscuit. The Inland Revenue begged to differ (and were keen to add VAT to them – cakes are exempt, but chocolate-covered biscuits are not).
The jury considered the cake/biscuit from all angles. They thought carefully about its sponginess (like a cake) and the fact that when it goes stale, it hardens (like a cake). They mused, on the other hand, about the fact that everyone knows it’s really actually a biscuit. Then, presumably, they considered the adverse publicity and remembered that the eyes of the world were on the case. They decided it could remain a cake.
The Biscuit that Brought Down a Prime Minister
It was almost a decade ago, but for many, it’s still fresh in the memory. Gordon Brown, during a webchat with the parenting site Mumsnet, refused (repeatedly) to reveal his favourite biscuit.
Many, many hours later, following requests from all possible forms of media, he finally plumped for ‘anything with a bit of chocolate on it’.
His indecision on the subject came just a mere seven months before he departed office, to be replaced by David Cameron, who had been absolutely clear that he favoured oatcakes, and Nick Clegg, who was prepared to agree to either Rich Tea or HobNobs, depending on who was asking.
Theresa May, it’s rumoured, will go for any biscuit that doesn’t have a hard border.
The Policeman Who Took the Biscuit
Back in 2016, tensions flared at the Kingston Operational Command Unit (aka police station) in south-west London when a police officer was accused of taking a tin of biscuits belonging to a colleague. Compounding his crime, he’d apparently then lied about it, showing ‘a fundamental lack of integrity’, according to the Force’s lawyer.
While most Britons would agree that hanging would be too good for him, a disciplinary panel hearing was the first step. At the hearing, the policeman in question said that he had been planning to share the biscuits. He offered to replace them – and a nation slept more easily in its beds.
The Biscuit Student Loan Affair
Students, who once lived only on lentils and public money, now live mostly on vegan, gluten-free biscuits and their parents’ salaries. Rightly indignant about this state of affairs, and suspecting that universities siphon their fees away from fripperies like laboratories and into their wine cellars, one student put in a freedom of information request to find out just how much Exeter University spent on biscuits in one year. The answer – almost £6,000 in 2015 – was calculated by the Independent newspaper as being equal to seven-and-a-half HobNobs for every student in residence.
It was a storm in a teacup: almost immediately, it was time to go out for a drink and the students forgot all about it.
In 2016, Chinese artist Song Dong began moulding a cityscape out of bourbons and plain wafer biscuits (throwing in a few Rich Tea, as well), crafting stadiums, high-rise offices and blocks of housing.
Helped out by students (see The Biscuit Student Loan Affair above), the project was designed to show the ‘greed and desire of the human race’. At the end, participants got to scoff the lot.
It’s a tough job, it seems, but someone has to do it.
On a serious note
Biscuits aren’t serious, usually (and neither is this blog), but if you had to plump for the most serious biscuit of all, you couldn’t do better than a digestive. With a reasonable helping of fibre and self-denial, these are biscuits with pretensions to health. As today is also, as it happens, World Digestive Health Day, we’d like to raise a dunking mug to our own wonderful, reasonably healthy, fibre-rich digestives from Doves Farm!digestive biscuits, Doves Farm, gluten free biscuits, Island bakery, Jaffa Cakes, Lemon melts, mumsnet, National Biscuit Day, National Digestive Health Day, organic biscuits, Prewetts, Quadruple Chocolate Chocolate Cookie
This post was written by Yzanne