The Disagreeable World of Wallace Arnold: Britain down the toilet

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The Independent Online
SO. EVEN. The Danes. Have turned. The words simply. Will not. Come out.

Oh, my God.

Deep breath, Wallace, deep breath. I am, to borrow an expression from our footballing fraternity, 'choked up'.

I fear it is up to those of us who love our country - no sin, surely, even in this day and age? - to fight, fight, and fight again to uphold those values we as a nation most cherish. Warm beer. Boarding Schools. Shove-ha'penny. Low wages for the underpaid. Kellogg's Corn Flakes. The common cold. The Short Sharp Shock. The Royal Family. Morris Dancers. Higher penalties for those who cannot cope. Crosse & Blackwell. Black Rod. Bowyer's Great British Bangers. The Cold Shower. National Car Parks. Bernard Matthew's Turkey Roast. The Musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Sanatogen. Now Wash Your Hands. And it is up to all of us to warn the doubters of what Maastricht really means. To this end, I plan an occasional series, 'The Disagreeable Europe of Wallace Arnold', to warn of the terrors set to befall us with the Maastricht treaty.

Clause XVII (para 9): This is the famous 'Forcible Circumcision' clause to bring Britain into line with European Health and Safety laws. Every British male over the age of 18 must be circumcised by a foreign doctor with a blunt instrument - or stand to lose his car licence. The discarded foreskins will then be delivered straight to one of the European sausage factories attached to all the major European teaching hospitals, for what the Maastricht legislators euphemistically term 'product recycling'.

Clause XXIII (para 32): In the 'Readjustment of Linguistic Anomalies' section, more than 1,000 of our most splendid British words and phrases will be banned by the Brussels Bureaucrat. I will be dealing with quite a few of these over the coming weeks, but none will be more painful to readers of the Quality Press than the compulsory use of the word 'toilet', and the consequent banning of marvellous old English words such as 'loo', 'latrine', 'gents', 'lavatory' or - my personal favourite - 'the little boy's room'. Can one imagine a man of the distinction of, say, Sir Peregrine Worsthorne being forced to say 'Could you tell me the way to the toilet?' or 'I'm just off to the toilet'? The very idea makes one shudder, yet that is the prospect with which we are faced.

The Domestic Animal Chapter: This widely overlooked chapter outlaws a) cats, b) dogs and c) goldfish throughout the community. Henceforth, the only animals permitted in British households will be the gecko, the adder, the earwig, and a variety of poisonous insects, with the single exception of the dog, but only if it has been officially diagnosed as being in the final grip of rabies. This will mean that HM the Queen will no longer be seen with that delightful array of corgis. Instead, at the end of each of her leads will be a deathwatch beetle: hardly the same thing at all.

Subsection VI: The infamous Subsection VI introduced by Italy in the late 1980s, demands that domestic servants and all employees in the hotel and catering trades must swear their allegiance to the Pope. Further to this, all washing machines used on British commercial premises must be filled with at least one serving of incense for each rinse, in addition to the regular detergent. Employers of over 12 persons must make provision for High Mass to be conducted on the premises every third Wednesday in the month, with Benediction on alternate Fridays. These strictures will also apply to the entire British Rail operation. A qualified Priest will occupy the Buffet Car on all long-distance journeys, available for blessings and light Confessions. Soft drinks and snacks must henceforth be purchased prior to the start of each journey from the designated station kiosks.

Is this what we want? Is this what we really want? Let me promise you this. I shall be sounding my AMA (Arnold Maastricht Alert) week after week: Westminster, you have been warned]

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