Chocolate is a religion to many.
No, it actually is, the Incas thought it had magical qualities and brought them closer to God.
And who’s to say they weren’t right?
Certainly not me, Nor Daddy’s Little Girl.
Who as a six-year-old so enjoyed her visit to Cadbury World in Bourneville, Birmingham, that she went back for seconds.
The three free bars that you get as part of the tour may have had something to do with her ardour.
Which brings me to why I’ve got chocolate and particularly Cadbury in mind this Monday Moaning.
Well, after devouring the Brexit machinations in the Sunday newspapers I needed a feelgood fix, the equivalent of a choccy fix, a column.
Barbara Ellen, in the Observer, looked promising, with a poke at parents who won’t let their kids slip the apron strings.
And a withering attack on the self-serving fugitive from justice Roman Polanski.
Only for me to then find her turning her ire towards Cadbury.
For marking India’s Independence Day by introducing the Unity Bar onto the market.
The Unity Bar boasts different colours of chocolate from dark to blended through milk to white.
Sounds delicious, apart from the milk, but that’s just a personal preference.
Cadbury’s sell is ‘because sweet things happen when we unite.’
Ms Ellen’s gripe is that this is ‘misplaced liberalism’ and thrills at the parody tweet on Martin Luther King’s speech:
‘I have a dream that my children will be judged not by the colour of their chocolate but by the content of their creamy filling.’
I hazard Dr King whose appeal was down to his ability to connect with everyone and simplify everything would have welcomed the choccy bar initiative.
I certainly found that in my brushes with ‘him’ in Washington DC, Memphis and Mississippi Easy DC and The Promised Land. See www.washington.org, www.civilrightsmuseum.org, www.localmemphis.com and www.mcrm.mdah.ms.gov.
Back to Ms Ellen though and the Unity Bar which she calls ‘confectionary activism.’
As if that’s wrong.
Back in the Boer War the pacifist Joseph Cadbury had a stand-off with Queen Victoria.
She had wanted to send out a bar of his chocolate to the troops but he didn’t want to be seen to endorse the fighting.
A compromise was found where he stated his war objections as part of the gesture.
Cadbury was a titan of his times, the chocolate, initially hot chocolate, a means to get the poor off alcohol.
While Bourneville Village was built for his employers with schools, health facilities, playing fields and pension arrangements all part of the package.
It was a Quaker thing and modern-day businesses could take heed.
I’m reminded here too of my walking guide in Barbados who railed against white liberalism.
A blackboard was a blackboard to her while she was cool with Admiral Nelson’s statue in Bridgetown. ‘It’s all part of our history.’
She had as much need of white people talking for her as the Indians munching their Unity bar do.
And just like their founder Joseph, I reckon Cadbury are ‘aware of the segregation problems in parts of India or oppression in Kashmir.’