The politically correct, EUphile left so often like to dismiss stories which seem to cast them in a bad light as Daily Mail, in an attempt to portray their origin as tabloid and therefore unreliable, and to portray people who believe them as gullible.
So I am happy to say that both the following stories come from that bastion of right-on liberal thinking, the Guardian (or, to be more accurate the Observer, but it’s all the Guardian online).
Firstly, doesn’t Christmas come earlier every year? The sure sign of the onset of the festive season is a story of a council renaming Christmas in an attempt to be more ‘inclusive’. And here we have one! Oxford will have a series of events entitled Winter Light Festival, that well known tradition. The people behind it have pointed out that Winter Light lasts two months and Christmas was just part of that (I think Birmingham did the same thing with the now infamous Winterval) and the deputy council leader stated “even if the lights are called something else to me they will be Christmas lights”. I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to place a comma in that sentence.
Muslim and Jewish groups have condemned the move. No doubt, knowing that they are the ones who’ll get the blame for taking offence, when, as so often, it is someone taking offence on their behalves. Or maybe its those newly uppity atheists…
Following that, news that Sainsbury’s has dropped its plans to sell mis-shapen fruit in a Hallowe’en promotion, with names such as Zombie Brain cauliflower and Witch’s Fingers carrots. Under EU law, selling fruit and veg that doesn’t meet requirements is illegal, Sainsbury’s say they planned to risk it as a company, but stopped when they discovered individual employees could be prosecuted.
Apparently discussions are on-going in the EU to relax these ridiculous restrictions as a result of the financial crisis. But why were they there in the first place? No-one who buys a wonky carrot is being misled in any way. Farmers have to throw away produce, consumers don’t have the option to buy unattractive but equally tasty and possibly cheaper food, parents can’t use Hallowe’en themes to try and get their kids eating healthily. Stupid interference in everyday life, why do governments do it?
Now if I objected to the EU merely on grounds of fruit shape regulations I would be crazy. But it is a good example of how regulation affects even the smallest things in life for no benefit, and even a noticeable loss. Whether this regulation eminates from Brussels, White Hall or the local council, it is stupid and mis-guided. But if some EUphile tells you off for believing in straight bananas, at least you know its true.