Beleaguered supermarket chain, Tesdabury's found itself embroiled in yet more controversy last night after it emerged that the under-fire company has been systematically spying on its customers and then misusing the information it has acquired in doing so. The firm have been using the credit and debit card records of it's paying customers to identify products based promotional opportunities since 1999 but past measures were believed to be perfectly appropriate and of mutual benefit to all parties. However, the company recently began using information about the individual spending patterns of its customers to question and interfere in the lifestyle choices of millions. After news broke of the latest blunder of the increasingly accident-prone supermarket giant, hundreds of thousands of irate shoppers began gathering outside the doors of branches great and small, in an attempt to engineer a mass boycott of what was until recently one of the nation's most popular grocery suppliers.
Seemingly spontaneous protests erupted against the supermarket giant from very early on Saturday morning after it was discovered that the company has written to huge numbers of customers to invite them to take a test for Type 2 Diabetes at a discounted rate. The condition, which is otherwise known as "Eating Too Many Chips and Way Too Much Chocolate Syndrome", is now thought to have reached epidemic proportions on both sides of the Atlantic. In what it later dubbed a philanthropic attempt to stem the tide against the illness, the Tesdabury's Group drew up a mammoth mailing list of potential victims of the disease, using credit and debit card details of items purchased to identify those it felt were spending too much of their cash on crisps, coco puffs and junk food generally. In seeking to justify the policy, the company's PR Department released the following statement:-
"It was for the customer's own good. If these people had been buying yoghurt and low fat cottage cheese, we would have sent them discount vouchers for food rather than medical tests. But it would be irresponsible to enable those at risk of Type 2 Diabetes to continue eating when they should be fasting. Every last piece of fattening substance consumed by these very selfish people represents a potential drain on the National Health Service and supermarkets such as ours want to help weed out the worst culprits. If nothing is done, then the nation's entire health care system will collapse and everyone vehemently denies wanting that. In fact, our company can confirm that it is considering simplifying matters by the imposition of blanket bans against habitual buyers of chocolate or any other offending item, particularly when it is clear that those seeking to make the purchases have a low income and are failing to take sufficient exercise. We have withdrawn our wheelchair trolleys in some stores, because they were being abused by suspected Diabetes 2 types who can't be arsed to walk around the aisles unaided and kick of every time staff ask to see written evidence of good health and sound blood sugar levels".
RIOTS AND LOOTING ANTICIPATED
There has been a furious reaction in some quarters to these latest developments. Across the country, police fear that they may lose control of a situation where angry customers are surrounding Tesdabury's car park areas in huge numbers and are refusing to budge until they are offered discounts on calorific goods and services that are more to their liking. Most law enforcement professionals have vowed to use water canons, truncheons and rubber bullets to disperse the increasingly enraged crowds of pickets and would-be junk food shoppers but this softly-softly policy will only be used on protesters in the more affluent areas of the nation. Government ministers have warned that those demonstrating outside stores in working class areas (especially if they live in social rented housing and do not vote Conservative) will be dealt with more firmly, using a combination of machine guns; small tanks; surface to air missiles and germ warfare items of dubious origin. A spokesman for the Ministry for Starving Out Benefit Cheats and Scroungers had this to say:-
"We particularly want to target single mothers, especially those who get taxi's everywhere and appear to have enough money to buy food to last themselves and their unwanted offspring an entire fortnight, even though they are on the dole and leeching off long-suffering taxpayers. If Job Seekers Allowance was truly their only income, they could not afford to keep the lights on, never mind eat properly, Also, why didn't any of them die of hypothermia in those unusually harsh winters we experienced during the first few years we were in office? The fact that these plebby people are still alive suggests to this government that there is no poverty in this country; only lead-swingers and shop-lifters".
MP'S HIT OUT AT DEMONSTRATORS
MPs on both sides of the aisle took turns to articulate their horror at the extensive scale of civil disobedience that has been on display throughout the nation following the Tesdabury's Group's latest pronouncements. Speaking about the protests generally, the Right Hon A. Pigg-Bigot MP insisted that those congregating outside Tesdabury's stores are 10 per cent anarchist trouble makers and 90 per cent benefit-devouring dead-legs. The Tory backbencher went on to tell the House of Commons;
"We regard the potentially riotous assemblies outside those Tesdabury's stores located in the crappiest areas as a legitimate opportunity to get rid of some of these scroungers by shooting them in a fire fight. This will help the nation grapple with it's all important deficit woes. These people should either be killed or made to use inner city soup kitchens and food banks in exchange for mowing my lawn. The fact that they are getting away with not having to do either means they must be minted, especially if they are habitually shopping at Tesdabury's and all have Type 2 Diabetes, even though they refuse to be tested for it. Not being funny or anything but the fact that most of them are still alive as opposed to dead of malnutrition was frankly not what was hoped for or expected when we first embarked on this journey together almost five years ago, now".
Whilst there are concerns that the crisis may still escalate, Tesdabury's have moved to diffuse the situation somewhat. In his only remarks on the crisis so far, Chief Executive, Dr I. Shop-At-Waitrose seemed to extend an olive branch to those calling for his legs to be chopped off by claiming junk buying customers are welcome to shop in the store as long as they purchase Rive-ta and not Mars Bars; can prove they have taken a Diabetes Test before entering and are prepare to pledge that their under-class arses won't nick anything once admittance is granted. The test of whether these are sufficiently conciliatory words to diffuse the situation is expected to become clearer after nightfall or if it starts raining.
By I. Liesalot