Thursday, October 12, 2006

Why I Like The European Union

I've already explained why I like the Euro, and now I've been given the perfect opportunity to wax lyrical upon my love for the European Union.

If your vote in the next election will go to the candidate who is most abusive towards the assorted frogs, wops, krauts and dagoes in Brussels, prepare for some pure pornography - a blogger has finally tracked down the EU directive on the curvature of bananas.

Of course, all it requires is that any fruit meets the minimum standard of being "free from malformation or abnormal curvature of the fingers", which is somewhat less stringent than the requirements of the average supermarket, but from tiny seeds do great oaks of tabloid nonsense grow.

This doesn't stop Tim Worstall and Mr. Eugenides waving the flag for Blighty in the face of foreign Euro-silliness.

"You know that people like me go on about bendy bananas and EU regulations all the time and we're then derided for making stuff up..." Tim laments.

Well, if the standard required for Europhobic vindication is the existence of related legislation, I'll be interested to see which blogger is going to plough through the last twenty years of Eurolaw to back up the following entirely fictitious stories...

"Brussels to ban barmaids showing too much cleavage" - The Sun, August 2005

"EU forbids bent cucumbers" - The Sun, March 1998

"Eggs cannot be called eggs, says Brussels" - Daily Mail, August 2000

"Firemen's poles to be banned -must 'walk down stairs'" - Daily Mail, June 2002

"Gadus and chips, please - fish must be called by Latin names, rules EU" - Daily Mail, September 2001

"Circus performers to be forced to wear hard hats" - The Times, July 2003

"Kilts to be rebranded as women's wear" - Daily Record, November 2003

"Life sentences to be banned" - Daily Express, October 2004

"Pets to be pressure cooked - dead pets can only be buried after pressure cooking them at 130 degrees for half an hour" - Sunday Telegraph, March 2000

"UK to be replaced by Euro regions" - Daily Mail, April 1999

"EU to ban rocking horses" - The Sun, November 2003

"Yoghurt to be banned" - The Daily Telegraph, 2003

All of which may explain why Euro-sceptics get a bad name, deserved or not.

So why do I like the European Union? One simple reason.

Every one of these stories will have caused vein-popping nationalistic apoplexy countrywide - I couldn't annoy that many flag-wavers if I went door-to-door showing them pictures of Jacques Chirac humping a cardboard cut-out of the Queen while wiping his arse on a photo of Winston Churchill.

So come on, Eurocrats, no more of this fictitious legislation - let's ban Land of Hope and Glory, Beatrix Potter and soggy toast.

Criminalise the Union Jack, black pudding and the highland fling. Let the European Parliament institute compulsory programmes of French, outlaw the pound, then ban cars and force us all to ride about on mopeds.

Let's rewrite the history books to say that the French single-handedly repulsed the Nazi blitzkreig, the Germans won the 1966 world cup and the Spanish invented banking.

There's a serious risk that I would laugh myself to death.

P.S. And congratulations to Orhan Pamuk on winning the Nobel Prize for literature - Snow and My Name is Red are both dense, difficult books, but are well worth persevering with.

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