Now let me get this straight. The federal government refused to hand over a fistful of dollars (yours and mine) to the Shepparton Preserving Company so the canner could build, I don't know, some new sheds? A mechanised fruit picker? A bin for peach and apricot pits? A new office for the managing director?
Despite this obvious, sensible and prudent move, the Victorian government's premier, Dr Denis Napthine*, stepped into the dispute and handed over $22 million (yours and mine, but only if you live in Victoria) to the 'embattled' canner for product 'development', embattled meaning no-one is buying its tins of fruit any more.
Now to the point. I went to the supermarket. Rows and rows of cans with convenient ring-pull tops.
Then the SPC cans of fruit. No ring-pull tops. You have to rattle around in your kitchen drawer and find a manual can opener (I also have an electric one dating to the 1960s in my collection of kitchen oddities) and physically open your can of SPC pears or fruit salad, for which you paid $3.80 to $4.20. You could have paid as little as $1.49, but you are patriotic, and you are happy to throw $2 or more at SPC, like a street beggar, every time you buy a can of fruit.
SPC is owned by Coca-Cola.
Dr Napthine has donated $22 million of Victorian taxpayers' money to a worldwide corporation to introduce the same technology it had already been using in its cans since the 1960s.
Denis Napthine, you are a prize chump.
* The "Dr" title refers to the premier's original career as a veterinary surgeon, a qualification that means he knows only too well how to flog a dead horse.