After successfully launching a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime by adding warnings to takeaway chicken boxes, the government has expanded the scheme to include all Reggae Reggae Sauce packaging.
Critics have accused the campaign of drawing on offensive tropes, with Labour MP David Lammy tweeting: ‘What’s next? #KnifeFree watermelons?’ However, Home Secretary Priti Patel defended the campaign, claiming that political opponents were merely playing politics with knife crime.
“It’s important to remember that I am brown, so I cannot possibly be racist, nor can anything I endorse,” she said.
“We are simply trying to raise awareness by working with popular brands, starting Reggae Reggae Sauce, but expanding to a diverse range of products like cocoa butter, weaves and all grime music CDs.
“We are confident that putting a hashtag on some paper packaging will bring an end to the epidemic of knife violence in the United Kingdom, allowing us to free up funds that are currently assigned to community projects and divert them to our no-deal Brexit preparations.”
Many are still sceptical as to how effective the campaign is, suggesting it’s merely a flimsy PR stunt from a government that has no intention of tackling the root causes of the problem.
“It’s pretty clear who they are targeting here, but have you ever seen a black person actually buy Reggae Reggae Sauce?” knife crime activist Barry Glover said.
“Unless they think Richmond yoga mums are coordinating gang violence across the country, they might want to re-think the strategy, but I suppose, unwittingly, they have made a step in the right direction in opening up the conversation.”