It is hard to recall any action by the EU crazier than the "great Euro-bulb blunder": the decision by its 27 heads of government to ban the sale of our familiar incandescent light bulbs from 2009. As the EU's 490 million citizens will discover to their horror, the "low energy" compact fluorescent bulbs these politicians want to make compulsory, in their self-regarding desire to "save the planet", have immense drawbacks.
There is a whole new industry waiting for the ambitious and daring. Didn't Joseph Kennedy make some of his fortune bootlegging liquor across the Canadian border? Imagine a "readeasy" where a discrete knock and a few whispered words gain you entrance to a comfortable room lit by forbidden incandescent lights. There you settle into a leather upholstered easy chair to read, a packet of Dunhills to hand on the sidetable. Ahhh. It will be worth money, mark my words.
But that isn't the craziest thing. From the same article:
Read the whole thing. If it is as represented it is utterly digusting. England may be a lost cause.
Of all the stories I have covered about what is now called the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, few have been more remarkable than the disaster that has just befallen David Dobbin, a 43-year-old Cheshire farmer, who derived his entire livelihood from a large dairy herd. His 567 cows, including pedigree Ayrshires and Holsteins, had won prizes, and were worth upwards of £500,0000.
In 2005 Cheshire trading standards officials, acting for Defra (one hopes Cheshire's taxpayers do not mind officials whose salaries they pay acting for a government department) began a long series of visits, to inspect the documentation required for Mr Dobbin's cattle under EC rules. The more they attempted to check the animals' eight-digit ear tags against their EC "cattle passports", the more they claimed to have found "irregularities", although they failed to explain how many or what these were.
Last November, on Defra's instructions, the officials seized all Mr Dobbin's passports, making it illegal for him to move animals off his farm and all but wiping out his income. Last month, serving him with a "notice to identify", they removed his herd to another farm, stating that, under EC regulation 494/98, it was their intention to destroy all 567 animals.