Apologies for the light blogging recently - travel and Mrs B's demands for DIY around the house (despite the Bishop's, ahem, 'differently-abled' DIYing talents... :) have cut into the Bishop's blogging time.
The good news, however, is that the Bishop is able to catch up with things now...
First story: many of you may have noticed this recent gem on the (usually reliably Europhile) BBC website about wonky bananas and overly-bent cucumbers...
Hang on a second! Weren't these things supposed to be myths peddled by evil Eurosceptics?!
Well, no, apparently not. Indeed, it appears that our friends in Brussels have had time to determine the precise required geometry of particular fruits and legumes. For example,
"the difference between the smallest and largest aubergines in the same package must not exceed 20mm for elongated aubergines [and] 25mm for globus aubergines"
What the fuck?! Why do such regulations exist? Are shoppers really so stupid that they would allow themselves to be ripped off by supermarkets on things like this? What happened to caveat emptor?
The reality, as the Bishop has seen at the Diocesan Council, is that the more bureaucrats there are, the more that stupid laws will be created - when people are judged by what they do, and punished for doing nothing (even if it is the most sensible thing to do), who can blame them for doing it?
Nor is the claim in the above link that legislation on bananas was sought by the industry is no excuse. Given that companies are not normally big fans of extra legislation (because it means higher costs), the question that needs to be asked is why would they actually want more legislation. The answer, of course, is to squeeze out potential new entrants or increase costs for smaller competitors.... Again, another cost of too many civil servants is that it increases the number of people in positions of power that can be 'captured' by vested interests.
So, when Europhiles claim that 'there are actually very few civil servants in Brussels', I suggest you send them this post, and ask them to justify the waste of time, food (that gets thrown away) and resources (e.g. the significant pay of the Eurocrats involved, not to mention the costs of enforcing these stupid rules to taxpayers and consumers).
The answer is to follow the usual rule of thumb with regard to the EU, i.e. to tell them to go forth and preferably not multiply :)
What makes this even worse, as the Al-Beeb article makes clear, is that the stupid tossers in Brussels want to respond to the current 'Global Food Crisis' (a result of monstrous stupidities such as the Common Agricultural Policy) by adding even more bureaucracy to the mess:
'The Commission says misshapen fruit should be sold "with some sort of label for use in cooking"'
Well, that sounds like a sound basis for legislating! Perhaps we should ask the people who wrote the Dangerous Dogs Act to help in drafting it?
Suggestions in the comments about the definition of 'label' for the legislation would be most welcome... The Bishop will then forward them to Brussels, in a spirit of 'solidarity' with our 'fellow European