I have stood to address you on many occasions, dear people.
But never before has my address been so important, so crucial and so devastating.
Never before would your disregard of my message, dear people, have such devastating effects on the lives of all, both here and across the globe.
And never before have I spoken so loudly, so strongly and so persuasively about a subject that is more than close to my heart.
And that subject, dear people, is the demonisation of allergens in modern culture. I speak firstly of NUTS. The PEANUT, to be specific. Not even a nut. A legume, I tell you. A legume! Do we ostracise beans and peas? I tell you, we do not.
The peanut. Adored by many. Dreaded by proportionately few.
I concede that a few unfortunate souls might be plunged into anaphylaxis at the mere scent of peanuts, but, I ask you, is that really any reason to refuse to serve the salted and honey smoked varieties of this delicious item while I travel on business airlines?
As a result of this, and many other rulings, the poor peanut is ostracised, penalised and prevented from fulfilling its potential as the greatest ever protein source, filling the bellies of first world and third world families alike!
Do peanut eaters refuse to go to supermarkets? No! And peanuts proliferate on the shelves of such. Do they refuse to go into public houses? No! And how many times are peanuts found on bars, or empty packets found on just-vacated tables?
And I ask this, not because these poor allergic souls are wrongly treated, but because others are not.
Would my coeliac auntie get the same treatment? Could she demand every shop refuse to sell gluten free products?
Would Wimbledon’s traditions be forced to change because dairy and strawberry allergies meant tennis spectators were regularly suing the organisers.
What about those allergic to cucumber? Must we ban each and every one of Britain’s Summer time parties – with their cucumber sandwiches and Pimms cocktails?
And wool allergies? Should sufferers be banned from going anywhere on cold days when heavy, itchy jumpers may be worn by others. Perhaps a fibre could work its way loose. And then, disaster!
We would even have to take into account the needs of those sensitive to mould or cigarette smoke or those disliking the scents of plug-in air fresheners? They would have to be banned from perfume counters, all department stores, town centres, and the homes of anyone who wasn’t first vetted and cleared for the peddling of poisons.
Would a culture, and should a culture, legislate to protect the few, while at the same time destroying the perfect ordinary rights of the many to enjoy their personal pleasures in unlegislated peace?
I believe not. I believe this situation to be ridiculous and untenable. I believe it is about time that allergics and sensitives across the globe stopped whining and took responsibility for themselves. Isn’t labelling enough? Even packets of salted peanuts frequently carry the label “May contain NUTS”. The world has gone mad. Mad, Mad, Mad.
And so I conclude this little talk to you all: my employees and friends. Please help in my fight against the demonisation of the humble peanut. It starts here, but who knows where it might end. Don’t let the nanny state get a protective stranglehold on your freedoms.
Joseph K Buttright (President of Amalgamated Nuts, Snacks and Air Fresheners LTD)