Susan Morrison: They’ve declared war on Marmite . . so spread the word

Boris Johnson is not the type to tuck into Marmite on toast for breakfast

Boris Johnson is not the type to tuck into Marmite on toast for breakfast

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Aha! So the veil has been pulled aside and the true nature of the beast revealed. The entire Brexit brouhaha was nothing to do with borders, or money or how many laws the EU has about cabbages, it was a war on Marmite. I should have known.

There are those people who know that Marmite is the food of the gods, and those who say they don’t like it. They do not dislike Marmite. They cannot handle Marmite.

It’s not like chocolate, you know, that flighty flibbertigibbet party girl of the food world. You watch, the minute a Creme Egg hoves into view, everyone in the room starts drooling. Flash the Marmite and only the strong survive. The weak stampede for the exits, screaming in fear of the sticky brown stuff on toast.

I have long suspected there were people plotting against the greatest partner for toast and butter since, well, sliced bread, I suppose. It’s like Astaire and Rodgers, Lennon and McCartney, Trump and Groping, a partnership that will endure forever.

Those of us who wholeheartedly embrace the yeasty wonder are only too aware that those lily-livered Marmite haters regard us with fear and suspicion.

Eating Marmite is a superpower only granted to the fortunate. Think of us as the X-Men of the breakfast table.

The signs were there all along. I blame myself for missing them. Now I see it, though. One look at the round podgy face of Boris Johnson, Winnie the Pooh’s stunt double, should have told me that this was a man who wouldn’t even be able to prise off the great yellow lid, especially when someone has been a tad careless with the post-spread hygiene and smeared excess on the neck of the jar, then sealed it with a strong and satisfied twist of the wrist. God knows, it takes a Schwarzenegger in full Terminator mode to wrench jar and lid apart when that happens.

Johnson is a man grown shiny and rotund on jams and jellies. Yes, Boris, there is honey still for tea, because you can’t handle the hard stuff, laddie.

And as for his ghastly sidekick, Gove, a man who permanently resembled a startled owl in the path of an oncoming articulated lorry, why, one whiff of the powerful bouquet emanating from Humanities Greatest Achievement (Spreadable Condiment Category) and he’d flutter floorwards like a Victorian spinster catching sight of a footman’s bare thigh.

Where is he, these days, I wonder? Has he been dispatched undercover to ensure that Marmite supplies are permanently cleared from the shelves? There are notable gaps in the Tescos round these parts. They say it’s panic buying. I think it’s Gove, slithering about like a low-rent Bond villain sidekick, loading up trolleys with Marmite at regional supermarkets everywhere.

They must be stopped. Jings, what’s next? An attack on the next best thing on toast, Gentlemen’s Relish?

Society will crumble when they cut the good stuff with Oxo cubes

These are desperate times. There are only three jars in my cupboard, my travelling jar, the big breakfast jar and the cute baby jar. My collection does not include that abomination, the squeezy version.

Tradition dictates that the glass jar is mandatory. Who does not thrill to the challenge of digging out the last of the brown stuff from the bottom of a black jar with a weirdly round shape? No knife in history has ever been created to cope with that curve. Marmite lovers everywhere know that there is always a tiny bit left you can never reach. It’s like the mysterious vanishing angels’ share of whisky, only ours is more of a Devil’s Bit Of the Bargain.

However, I will admit to helping myself to the little heart-shaped packs you get at hotel breakfast buffets and keeping them in my handbag. You never know when a Marmite emergency may arise, and now it looks as though it has.

In years to come, I may find myself on street corners in dodgy parts of the city selling my precious single portion packs like a wartime spiv with a nice line in stockings.

People may be spotted undercover of darkness engaging in clandestine deals as they are forced to go on the Marmite black market.

Unscrupulous dealers may “cut” the product, diluting it with brown sauce, Bovril, or worse, watered-down Oxo cubes.

This is a plot, I tell you, to get us to eat Vegemite, that Australian upstart. No. I don’t care if it is made by our Commonwealth cousins, it’s still not welcome in this house.

The jar’s the wrong shape for a start.

A sticky situation

I have no idea what Ms Sturgeon’s stance is on Marmite. I shall endeavour to find out. In the meantime, we who love Marmite must stick together. Well, to be honest, if you get some on your hands, that’s pretty much what’s going to happen.