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

Technical Consultant Configuration, SQL, SQL Server

£55000 - £65000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Technical Cons...

Lead Business Analyst - Banking - London - £585

£525 - £585 per day: Orgtel: Lead Business Analyst - Investment Banking - Lond...

Commercial IT Solicitor - London

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Commercial IT Solicitor - London We h...

Business Analyst / Project Manager - Financial Services

£40000 - £45000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: One of the mos...

Day In a Page

Read Next
People could be forced to pay inheritance tax before they actually die, according to proposals being considered by the Government  

The definition of a ‘high-earner’ has changed, and tax must change with it

Nigel Farage
 

Turkey and Qatar must step up the fight against Isis

Benedict Greening
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home