Comment: Two bitter blows for this once great nation


Related Topics
IT WON'T end there, let's not be in any doubt about that. Far from it: they'll go on and on and on and on until they've spit us out of their garlicky mouths and ground this once-great nation into the dust.

Where was I? Ah, yes. Chin up, Wallace. Wipe those tears away. Big blow. And again. Deep breath. All better now. I am writing, of course, about our "friends " (please note the inverted commas - as you may have guessed, I am no stranger to irony!!) in the EUC (European Uneconomic Community - I jest!). In the past, they have sorely tried one's patience with their absurd and priggish rulings and strictures, but this week's twin rulings take the proverbial biscuit.

First of all, let's recap on just a few of the past misdeeds of the paper- pushers of Brussels. As my old chauffeur, Richard Littlejohn, would say: you couldn't make it up!

In 1982, they passed a law forbidding the age-old inclusion of rabbit- dung in the traditional Cornish pasty. A year later, when a Padstow butcher was discovered harbouring a hundred-weight of rabbits' droppings in his back parlour beneath a giant pastry casing, he was summarily fined pounds 100 and forbidden from repeating the offence.

In 1988, two upstanding women, pillars of their local community in the picture-postcard town of Petworth, West Sussex, were fined pounds 250 apiece for chaining a passing black man to their living-room floor and forcing him to perform household tasks. "No one had the common decency to tell us that slavery had been abolished," complained Mrs Deirdre Cunningham, 58, to the sympathetic magistrate. "This whole European thing is getting out of hand."

In 1991, a retired civil servant from Shropshire, who had worked hard all his life to send both his daughters through public school, was admonished by magistrates for taking a bullwhip to a beggar with dirty fingernails, thus contravening a ruling laid down by the European Court of Human Rights. It later emerged that the beggar was a quarter French!

In 1995, a Yorkshire mattress company was fined pounds 500 and given a caution for filling its mattresses not with the recommended poor-quality "Eurolining" (!) but with dead ferrets - even though dead ferrets have been the traditional Yorkshire mattress-filling for over 500 years.

For over 600 years, an ancient statute of the proud people of the Isle of Man has decreed that any child between eight and 15 caught stealing over two apples from any store or tree in or around the capital city of Douglas shall face a public beheading in the main square. These colourful events - no more than two or three a year - afforded the honest townsfolk a touch of pageantry to lend meaning to their otherwise routine lives. But now the executions are to be summarily stopped, by order of the so- called European Court of Human Rights - with disastrous consequences for the honest apple-growers of Douglas.

Five separate incidents, five further examples of the dread Euroboot stamping hard on the fingers of good old British individuality. And last week brought news of two more examples of Eurolunacy. First, the Brussels bureaucrats have withdrawn the basic and inalienable right of every living Briton to carry the head of Her Majesty the Queen on his or her banknotes. Second, they have withdrawn the right of any adult to admonish a child by bringing out the strap and giving them a sound beating.

Walking through the House of Commons last week, I was upset to find my old friend and quaffing partner Mr John Redwood visibly distressed by the currency news, the tears pouring down his narrow cheeks as he sobbed, "Why, Wallace? Why? Why? Why?" Like me, John is a patriot: in the Redwood household, there is a franking machine situated by the main door to ensure that Her Majesty's profile is automatically stamped on all items brought in and out of the building, including bananas, pre-cooked meats, towels, pillow cases, electrical goods, hosiery, footwear, haberdashery and assorted skincare products.

And out on College Green, I heard a repetitive banging noise and chanced upon the shattered figure of Sir Teddy Taylor, knocking his pate against the ancient stone wall. It was the ban on Corporal Punishment that seemed to upset him the most. "The writing's on the wall, Wallace," he informed me. "Next they'll say we're not allowed to take our machetes to troublesome teenagers and that the British bobby is to be forbidden from fibbing in court." Sad days, indeed: and where will they end?

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General


£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

SAP Data Migration Consultant

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a FTSE 100 organisation are u...

Programme Support, Coms, Bristol, £300-350p/d

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Linux Systems Administrator

£33000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly successfu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A still from the BBC's new rap about the outbreak of WW1  

Why give the young such a bad rap?

David Lister
Israeli army soldiers take their positions  

Errors and Omissions: Some news reports don’t quite hit the right target

Guy Keleny
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice