James Lowman

In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth. And the Earth was without form, or opportunities to acquire green-tinged chicken fillets on the Sabbath.

So God said let there be convenience, and yea, KeyStore and Scotmid sprang from the wildnerness (near the M74 at Cambuslang). Now verily, I can’t quite remember on which day the Association of Convenience Stores was created, but it can’t have been much later. Someone had to look after the little guys, right? You know, tiny family-run independents like One Stop and Booker.

What I do know is, once Eve made the cardinal sin of expressing a liking for Cox in the Garden of Eden, God reckoned Man could pretty much get by on five loaves and two fishes - hence the ranging decisions in the freezer cabinet of any given Londis after about 7pm on a Sunday.

I have also been able to prove beyond doubt - dipping into my deep knowledge of divinity (gleaned at Essex University) - that one thing God does NOT like is supermarkets. Or they’d be mentioned in the Bible, right?

And lo, when that heretic George Osborne claimed that in a society in which nearly one in 20 people attend church it should be OK for everyone else to do a supermarket shop whenever it suits, well, the ACS has to make a stand. We may be all about convenience, but that’s taking it too far.

We ask not out of mercy - everything we do is in the interest of the consumer. For example, we don’t think purchasing grey market cigarettes and re-imported Lithuanian vodka should be completely impossible on a Sunday night. And that’s an area where the supermarkets really can’t compete anyway.