Has the Daily Mail’s legendarily foul mouthed editor gone on an extended holiday? Is Dacre finally losing his touch? Have the paper’s owners gone on an economy drive and stopped spending on proper investigative journalism? So many questions spring (no pun intended) to mind as the paper has dedicated its front page to a supposed shock horror revelation that cheap bottled water is, er, cheap.
Course I'm not f***ing retiring, c***
“Tap Water Sold In Supermarkets” thunders the headline, backed by the sub-heading “Straight from the mains to the shelves at Asda and Tesco”, which is not actually true, as the water in question is filtered and then bottled, with some in addition being carbonated. The charge is that the product is “marked up 2500 per cent”, but this too is, in typical Mail style, also not true.
And here I plead some involvement with the product: I have been known, on occasion, to buy the sparkling version of the Asda “Smart Price” range. It’s very useful as an additive to fruit juices and on occasion stronger beverages. And at a miserly 17p for two litres, it’s far better value than trying to filter and carbonate the product myself, and a heck of a lot more convenient.
The more I look at this supposed scoop, the more I wonder what the point of the article is. To get something off the supermarket shelf for that price, that has been bottled and therefore conveniently packaged for you, it’s blindingly obvious that it hasn’t come from a spring somewhere in a quiet corner of the Massif Central and been trucked halfway across Europe.
It’s clean, it’s filtered, it’s nice and fizzy, and it can be conveniently kept chilled in the fridge. This is not news. The only mildly eyebrow-raising nugget in the whole piece is that the clowns at Tesco – and anyone having experienced the barrel scraping “customer service” they provide won’t be surprised to hear it – tried to fob off Dacre’s finest with a diet of dissembling before owning up.
Asda, on the other hand, said, yeah, it’s just filtered and then bottled, so do you want it or what? The kind people at Asda also took time to point out to the Mail that buying their bottled water was cheaper than buying a filter and doing it yourself – plus you get a free container thrown in. This lesson in home economics also underlines that the “2500 per cent mark-up” claim is complete crap.
In fact, the only item here that has been the subject of an obscene mark-up is the “story” itself. It’s the kind of mock shock that would usually be the preserve of the empire of Richard “Dirty” Desmond, where spending next to nothing on front page leads is de rigueur. Those who spend money on the Daily Mail should expect a higher grade of whopper for their outlay.
Perhaps it really is time for the Vagina Monologue to leave the stage.