Thursday, 23 May 2013

It's Silly, Costly, And Evidence Free - But Let's Make It Law Anyway

I'm sure you will have heard about the EU ban on restaurants providing jugs of olive oil this past weekend. If not, have a butcher's at this.
The Treasury minister and senior Liberal Democrat condemned the new rules banning oil jugs and dipping bowls from restaurant tables. 
However, he said British councils and Whitehall departments are also responsible for "silly rules". 
The new EU ban has been described by Sam Clark, one of Britain's top cooks, as authoritarian and damaging to artisanal food makers. 
Asked about the changes, Mr Alexander told the BBC's Sunday Politics show that ministers and elected MEPs had made the decision even though it is "pretty silly".
Firstly, I think he meant "fucking silly", but to each their vernacular.

Secondly, it's OK the coalition saying it is 'silly' but, if so, one has to wonder why our country didn't vote strongly against such silliness.
Last week Britain abstained, while the Dutch voted against ... 
In a press conference at the EU summit, Mr Cameron declined to explain how Britain had ended up giving the green light to the ban. 
"Our argument was bound up in a whole set of arguments we were having about rules of origin and all the rest of it and I won't go into the tedious complexities," he said.
Is that a way of saying that you've been caught out being a simpering EU puppet, Dave?

Because, you see, it was such an astoundingly stupid law that European public opinion appears to have scuppered it.
A European Union ban on the use of unmarked olive oil jugs on restaurant tables has been dropped following a public outcry across Europe.
Well, yeah. Good. Why was it even a law in the first place?
Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, welcomed the U-turn ... "I'm glad the commission has seen sense and backed down on these arbitrary rules. They would have interfered with businesses, imposed unnecessary costs and taken choice away from consumers. Common sense has prevailed," he said.
Err, hold on. "Arbitrary rules" which "would have interfered with businesses, imposed unnecessary costs and taken choice away from consumers", but which our government failed to oppose despite it being "common sense" to do so?

I know it's a clichéd phrase, but you really couldn't make this shit up.

But get this.
Commission officials have admitted to The Daily Telegraph that they have no evidence of the practice. 
"We don't have any evidence. It is anecdotal and that was enough for the committee," said an official. 
The decision has highlighted the bizarre system of Brussels regulation, known as "comitology", where binding legislation is automatically passed into law despite not having majority support among EU countries.
Is your belief beggared yet?

There is no evidence; it didn't have majority support; it was binding on all EU countries; it was passively approved by the UK government; despite their admitting it was 'silly', not common sense, and that it would harm businesses, add costs and remove choice.

Seriously, how much do you trust the EU and/or your UK governors right now after this evidence? And, err, can we fucking leave yet?

Because, just the other day, the best that our wise Westminster troughers were offering was ...
“We will continue to work with the catering industry to help them adapt to these changes.”
Hey lads. It's silly, not based in common sense, will cost you money, annoy your customers, and we were down the pub when they legislated for it. But we'll help you comply and there is no chance that we will ever tell you to ignore the fucking clowns.

Quite incredible.

Let's just revisit Danny Alexander's comments at the top of the piece.
However, he said British councils and Whitehall departments are also responsible for "silly rules". 
So, the excuse for EU incompetence - to which our government didn't object - is that there is incompetence at every level of state bureaucracy and we should just live with it, eh?

I've got another idea. When we next look at our payslips at the monumental amount of tax these rancid people are taking away from us, we should remind ourselves of this and reject every damn one of them as undeserving of every last penny.

When they talk of our "moral duty" to pay taxes, we should point them in the direction of their lazy arrogance and wilful neglect of the appallingly inept job we are forced to pay them to do, and the utter contempt in which they hold us.

None of them care one jot about the public. The fact that they can't even organise an olive oil jug in a restaurant properly speaks volumes.


Bemused said...

Hear hear Dick, well said.

Smoking Hot said...

"Our argument was bound up in a whole set of arguments we were having about rules of origin and all the rest of it and I won't go into the tedious complexities," ... Cameron

Jeez, how complicated is it to vote 'No' ?

Ivan_Denisovich said...

Well said SH. It really isn't that complicated to reject stupid legislation but it does require a mindset that advocates legislation as a last resort.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Yes. Fills you with confidence about Cameron "renegotiating our terms of membership" doesn't it?

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Yes, it does seem that this was motivated by lobbyists. The olive oil jug ban is just an extreme example of how the TPD was drawn up. No evidence of harm whatsoever from e-cigs, but a de facto ban is proposed; loads of evidence that snus is a major benefit to health, yet the EU snus ban stays. Now I wonder which lobby could be behind that? (clue: it ain't tobacco seeing as they sell snus and are buying up e-cig companies).

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Uh huh, he doesn't appear very driven in objecting to EU rules, eh?

AlexMacfie said...

To be fair to Cameron, he wasn't in the room. The decision was made in a European Council meeting. The participants in these are representatives of national governments, which generally means civil servants in the relevant government departments. The problem is the lack of accountability of the people in the government departments who vote on behalf of the UK. In some countries (e.g. the Netherlands) parliament can actually compel the minister (or representative) to vote a particular way at a European Council meeting. There needs to be proper parliamentary scrutiny of the positions taken by UK repesentatives at Council. This would certainly have made MPs and the public much more aware of the issue at a much earlier stage, and maybe would have affected how our ministerial representative voted.

nisakiman said...

“We will continue to work with the catering industry to help them adapt to these changes.”

Which is newspeak for:

"We will employ an army of enforcers and fine into bankruptcy any establishment that doesn't toe the line."

As already pointed out, the UK abstention doesn't inspire confidence in the government's commitment to a referendum.

I was actually quite surprised when I read this morning that they had done a U-turn on this. There must have been one hell of an uproar from the restaurant trade and the producer countries, since the EU has form for totally ignoring objections. Or perhaps Barroso likes his olive oil dip to be made with real olive oil, rather than the crap that Lysistrata so accurately describes.

Dick_Puddlecote said...


Dick_Puddlecote said...

Now it has been binned, there is uproar from unions about the thousands of olive oil jug inspector job 'losses' this rule could have 'created'. Meanwhile local authorities Europe-wide downgraded their revenue budgets for 2014. ;)

junican41 said...

If he 'wasn't in the room', why did he make a statement?

DP said...

Dear Mr Puddlecote

When this ban goes through, it's not just olive oil that will be in the sights of the bansturbators: gone will be pats of wild butter, portions of jam, clotted cream in small pots and little jugs of milk which form part of the traditional cream tea in British tea shops.

Reductio ad absurdam, how will any cooked or prepared food be presented at table? Will it all have to be in safe, hygienically sealed wrappers
stamped with the manufacturer's name and a whole slew of consumer information, including an advert for

The end game: food with your name on it, by prescription only? Eat it all
up or be penalised, and no seconds, medically approved just for you.


of 6 November 2001

on the Community code relating to medicinal products for human use


(P 5)

Title I


Article 1,

For the purposes of this Directive, the following terms shall bear the following meanings:


2. Medicinal product:

Any substance or combination of substances presented for treating or preventing disease in human beings.

Any substance or combination of substances which may be administered to human beings with a view to making a medical diagnosis or to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions in human beings is likewise considered a medicinal product.

3. Substance:

Any matter irrespective of origin which may be:

ó human, e.g.
human blood and human blood products;

ó animal, e.g.
micro-organisms, whole animals, parts of organs, animal secretions, toxins, extracts, blood products;

ó vegetable, e.g.
micro-organisms, plants, parts of plants, vegetable secretions, extracts;

ó chemical, e.g.
elements, naturally occurring chemical materials and chemical products obtained by chemical change or synthesis.


Rursus said...

According to the german media, the proposed ban on oil jugs and dipping bowls from restaurant tables died.
Because of "severe criticisms" (for the moment).