Friday, February 09, 2007

Put the kettle on

Oh, no, don't bother. I can't have a cup of Earl Grey anymore...

For almost 200 years, it has been the preferred drink of British polite society. But now the distinct taste of Earl Grey tea is under threat from meddling Brussels bureaucrats. Producers of the citrus fruit bergamot, which gives the blend its unique flavour, say they cannot afford to obey health and safety rules which will become law this year.

Under the regulations, bergamot oil, which is mainly produced for perfume, is classified as potentially dangerous and must be tested and resisted with the European Chemicals Agency. But owners of the small family-run farms in southern Italy, where the fruit is almost exclusively produced, say they will be ruined by the extra £35,000 cost, so will grow something else instead.

That would be the fantastic REACh Directive, which is supposed to ensure that us poor 'EU citizens' don't get killed by them nasty chemicals companies? The same directive which stopped someone in the West Midlands using pepper as a pesticide because it hadn't been tested to make sure it was safe for humans?

BIRMINGHAM MEP Mike Nattrass is determined to prove there are no flies on him by rallying against a "barmy" EU directive outlawing pepper from insect traps.

And the UKIP MEP is determined to show that the issue is not one to be sneezed at claiming that jobs could be lost if the pepper problem is not addressed.

Milled pepper is used in traps to prevent insects from clinging to a smooth surface, so that they fall into a catchment area.

The process is non-toxic to humans but small companies wanting to use pepper in several industrial products will now have to fork out £89,000 to get the age old powder passed by EU safety inspectors.

The Aston businesss-man said: "The EU should have kept their traps shut about this because it amounts to an assault on pepper for no reason."

"Small companies in Birmingham and throughout the country will suffer and it is just barmy.

"When humans eat pepper it is ok but when its used in insect traps it has to be pass safety regulations costing an arm and a leg which plays into the hands of multi-nationals who can pay for tests on their chemicals."

Of course, it actually has nothing to do with protecting people from dangerous chemicals, and everything to do with ensuring that large pharm. companies have less and less competition from small businesses and therefore keep supporting the EU.

It's also the typical law of unintended consequences: the minor metals used to make plasma screen TVs for example, will be far more costly to produce, and thus the cost of your nice TV goes up.

Should we be suprised, therefore, that the Boy Blunder ordered his MEPs to change their stance and vote for it?

David Cameron pressurised his party's representatives in the European Parliament to vote in favour of sweeping new environmental regulations, despite the MEPs' concerns about the impact on British business and jobs.

Several Tory MEPs were worried about the effects of an incoming law to crack down on dangerous chemicals. Their concern about the legislation, known as REACH, was that it could put too onerous a burden on companies, forcing them to move to countries such as India.

Yet in a vote on October 10, Tory MEPs backed a crucial part of REACH, which obliges companies to replace dangerous chemicals with safer ones where they exist. It is understood the change of position came after members of Mr Cameron's staff discussed REACH with the MEPs at the party conference.

I guess not. After all, one of the organisations lobbying massively for a hard core piece of legislation was the WWF, who, of course, organised Cameron's trip to that bloody iceberg...


Prodicus said...

Re. DC...
Oh, did he, now? Another picture-pin in the coffin-lid of my former voting pattern.
Crosser and crosser...

Trixy said...

He certainly did. Can you imagine how cross Tories like Martin Callaghan who had been working for ages on the legislation (although he could have taken the UKIP route and said, 'harmful EU legislation, FUCK OFF')on having a phone call from CC Hind Quarters telling them that the policy had changed and it was all about hugging icebergs...

UKIP@HOME said...

Nuneaton Bede result Lab hold

Lab 658
BNP 546
Con 301
LibDem 119
Eng Dem 75
Save NHS 43
(it takes 10 people to nominate the candidate!)

However this was not the worst UKIP result ever. That honour goes to the UKIP candidate in the Edinburgh Murrayfield by-election held on 10th November 2005 with just 4 votes. This is believed to me the worst election result for any established political party ever.

Trixy said...

Yes, I've seen this. I've seen it as you have posted it twenty million times on the same blogs. It's boring, fuck off. Please, if you are gong to comment, try, try say something vaguely interesting and intelligent.

Why, for example, don't you tell us what you find so revolting about democracy, or why free trade is so repulsive to you?

Arthur Clewley said...

It's nit just polite society that depends on that momment of calm you know, even I drink it. Is this for real of another straight banana story? If if is you've got to stop it my dear. If earl grey vanishes I'm bound to end up resorting to the black market, buying a quarter in squalid nightclub toilets. still, if you can get heroine on the NHS...

Trixy said...

It's for real, my dear.
The quotations are not from me, but from the article in the Express written by Nick Fagge. (the Express website makes the UKIP website look good...)

I'm stocking up whilst I still can since it's the only tea I drink (black, with lemon naturally).

If you like I can send you the REACh legislation so you can see for yourself how awful it is.

I personally wanted to improve the document by including an amendment at plenary changing the location of the Chemicals centre from Italy to the moon. Alas, I was not allowed to do so. Think of all the trouble which could have been saved if instead of focusing on registering chemicals and plants they instead had to focus on trying to build something on the moon.

marcuse said...

The Marcuse household was inclined to believe this story about Earl Grey and rushed out immediately to the local supermarket to stock up. We now have several crates of the stuff clogging up the pantry but the strange thing is that there is still plenty of Earl Grey tea for sale in shops and supermarkets across the land. Puzzling that.