Where were you in the war against kilos?

One problem of EU enlargement is that we haven't got racist names for the new countries

Share
Related Topics

What mental disorder must someone be suffering from if they honestly worry about EU enlargement? These people who appear on television and in newspapers getting in a state about it should be studied as medical peculiarities, like The Elephant Man. Specialists could watch them night and day, making announcements such as: "Between 2.18am and 4.35am, the subject slept fitfully, occasionally spluttering: "I don't trust the Latvians", and "Economic block with Poland, it's unnatural".

What mental disorder must someone be suffering from if they honestly worry about EU enlargement? These people who appear on television and in newspapers getting in a state about it should be studied as medical peculiarities, like The Elephant Man. Specialists could watch them night and day, making announcements such as: "Between 2.18am and 4.35am, the subject slept fitfully, occasionally spluttering: "I don't trust the Latvians", and "Economic block with Poland, it's unnatural".

Maybe they're uneasy about being joined with any country which we've never ruled. Perhaps they'd have tried to add a clause that we can treat these extra members as ex-colonies. So we find a hot bit of Lithuania where we could build a couple of hotels, with tigers' heads on the walls, for ex-brigadiers to sip tea while little native Lithuanians in purple tunics run in and out, watering plants and fanning their masters. Bill Cash might have added: "Or how about we cause a massacre in Bratislava that they can demand an apology for?"

More puzzling are these market stall people who pledge to go on hunger strike if they have to mark their cucumbers in kilos, as if this puts them on a par with anyone who fought at Normandy. Perhaps they think the whole war was fought to stop the Nazi menace imposing EU regulations. It's a long while since I've seen any war comics, but that's probably how they go now: "The Boche are plotting to capture our bananas and iron out the bends so the Fuhrer can reclassify them as peelable euro-fruit. But they haven't reckoned on Tommy Tibbles and his fearless Cockney pals."

And Tommy has a plan: "If we can just break into Gestapo headquarters, we can bend all their straight sausages, forcing them to re-categorise them from 'pork cuts' to 'miscellaneous meat produce'. This will take thousands of clerical hours, blocking up their barmy bureaucracy, and while they're distracted we can occupy Berlin and release our bananas."

Just then, the wily Kraut guards spot them: "Achtung English ounce-swine". But they haven't the energy to lift their metric measured Mauser pistols. So - "cop that Fritz".

"Yeeeagh".

Then Tommy explained to his gallant heroes why the squareheads had proved so slow.

"Last night, Beezer, Ginger and me slipped into their store cupboard and removed all their corn-flakes from the box marked 'cereal', and put them in a box marked 'corn-related items'. Under EU rules, this puts them in the same category as bread, which is rationed to 50 grams a day while the war is on, so the Reichstag runts had no energy, and we more than matched the pint-sized metric master-race pound for pound. Haa haa haaaaa."

Most of the debates about enlargement and new constitutions come down to this sort of thing, as some people feel sharing a constitution with Romanians somehow takes a bit of our soul, perhaps because imperial measurements are hereditary. So that if you took a British baby away at birth and brought it up in Brussels, by the time it was six it would feel compelled to open every litre carton of milk in the house and pour them into bottles that held just under half as much.

And presumably, in Stone Age Britain, we would capture a mammoth and carve it into chunks of a pound. Sometimes a fillet, for reasons of convenience, might weigh more than that, but as the person who'd captured it handed it over he'd say: "That's a little bit over there, is that alright darling".

There is another difficulty EU enlargement must be causing, which is that we haven't got any racist names for people from the new countries. Wops, dagos, nothing like that's any good for Slovakians and Estonians. Maybe Ron Atkinson should be allowed to commentate on games as long as all the players are from these countries, because there's no commonly agreed term of abuse to chuck at them.

One irony is that the EU is a bureaucratic institution that spawns alarming levels of corruption and wastes vast sums of money and resources. Which is why, in most European countries, the opposition to it has been led by trade unions and groups generally opposed to corruption and wasting money and resources. But in Britain, whenever you hear people like Michael Howard screaming about protecting our nationhood, as if he's leading the French Resistance, it makes me want to hand over our constitution to Jacques Delors just to get up their nose.

The other irony is that, amid all the yelling about handing our power to Brussels, it's become clear that having handed half our power to an American, the other half is in the hands of Rupert Murdoch. He seems to be so much in control that, when Blair announces the referendum date in Parliament, he'll say: "Mr Speaker, with regard to the party opposite: 'It's No-vember! That's right folks, that's when us Brits get the chance to say yes or no. And today's balloting beauty is Brigitte, and we're pretty sure our readers will vote that, with a referen-bum like that, she's in no need of enlargement.'"

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

 

Ed Miliband's conference speech must show Labour has a head as well as a heart

Patrick Diamond
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments