Having been out on or around the tiles last night you could be forgiven for thinking that floating burger before your very eyes this Sunday morning is an hallucination. But no; it appears that the post-Covid demands for white buns and disappointing patties are as strong as ever; much stronger than the willpower of those who buy them. Burger King’s UK division is set to float on the London Stock Exchange for about £600 million. And, yes, that was just the UK division.
To explain to 'young people' (* those whose lives are partly defined by the number of burgers they claim to have eaten in the last week), 'old people' (* those whose lives are partly defined by the claim that they haven't had a fast food burger for ___________ fill in the time in months and years) just can't believe that Burger King in the UK can be worth a whole tenth of the global budget to vaccinate 300 million children in the world’s poorest countries against diseases including measles, polio and cholera.
"Vaccinate a child and save a life, sir?"
"No thanks, but I will 'go large' on that, and have a Coke and some onion rings."
Burger King operates about 530 sites in the UK, some 400 of which are owned by franchisees and is climbing aboard the fast food post-Covid revolution that has made us all hungry for normality, as long as it doesn't taste that good. Talking of which, there was news today (Sunday 10 October) that McDonalds, who glow as bright and orange as their arches, are introducing a vegan version of their Big Mac, the tastily named 'McPlant'. Apparently the business spent three years testing and tasting more than 100 vegan 'cheeses' in an attempt not to compromise the tastiness that people with absolutely no taste have come to expect from their yummy menu. They are putting the new McPlant right out there; with ingredients including pea protein powder, refined coconut oil and apple extract, with that all important beetroot colouring to round it off. I don't know about you, but the NTI newsroom's lips are smacking at the very thought of necking one of those for just £3.49 (and you can buy that with a side of McNuggets, right?).
It is only a rumour that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) served such patties to the 136 member countries who finally agreed on Friday night on a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15 per cent. It has taken years to get there, but the OECD say this breakthrough will overhaul corporate taxation for the digital age. Reading between the lines is a much-bruised Mark Zuckerberg, whose Facebook suffered a global outage of six hours last Monday. It was a challenging week for the baby-faced Zuckerberg who fell to No 5 in the list of the richest people in the Galaxy, losing $6 billion from his personal fortune (which would, incidentally, foot the bill to innoculate 300 million of the world's children against diseases that otherwise might kill them).
He also had to read the testimony of Frances Haugen who had a chair within Facebook’s civic integrity department (for such a thing there allegedly is). Frances spoke compellingly about Facebook’s lies and deceptions, its harm to teenagers and devastating impact on democracy and had the temerity to back up her words with hard evidence – in eight complaints to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and documents handed to five attorney generals. If you missed it, she is giving evidence to the UK Parliament later this month and the BBC will surely cover it, with Ms Kuenssberg trying to hide the pea protein powder stain on her huge Ted Baker lapel with a brooch.
Back to the OECD and the tax breakthrough aiming a pointed stick firmly in the direction of companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, the deal on minimum tax levels should create around $150 billion in new revenues annually. This would go a long way towards vaccinating the world against Covid, which would be nice.
But is it as nice as a McPlant burger? Be honest, you're going to try one.