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We all know that politicians have a very short attention span – they surf the froth and bubble of media comment. There is little incentive for them to acquire a detailed grasp of anything. But while our politicians compete to emit the hottest hot air, two groups of people are busy behind the scenes filling out the legislative detail – European Union bureaucrats and the lobbyists who fawn upon them. Their machinations sometimes turn out to be positively dangerous – we all know what happened when the German car industry successfully lobbied the EU in favour of diesel engines. Sometimes, however, there is a funny side to it all.

Cue the heroes who have given us EU Directive 2016/1179, which places limitations upon the sale of rat poison. This is actually not quite so funny if you live in the country, or near a railway or waterway. Rats and mice can make your house uninhabitable, and you need to get rid of them without delay. If you have had this problem before you will know that rodents’ immune systems are almost as adaptable as those of the flu virus. They soon develop resistance to the rat bait you buy in the shops which they then guzzle up quite happily. So EU Directive 2016/1179, which means that from March 2018 members of the public can only buy small quantities of half-strength poison, could not be better news for our rodent friends.

The two groups that benefit from this (I don’t mean the rats and mice) are the Eurocrats and the trade monopolists. By imposing yet another unnecessary piece of “harmonization” across the EU the Eurocrats can enlarge their work empire, increase their budget and enhance their careers and top-hat pensions. For the trade, the regulations create high-margin sales opportunities in nice, cushy consultancy work. To get hold of the real stuff you need a CRRU approved LANTRA certificate. You must take an exam in rat poison (£50 + VAT to you mate). No doubt there will be certificates for those decide who is qualified to award the certificates. Of course those who certify the certificating bodies would have to be carefully vetted to disqualify those with the wrong attitudes to LGBT+ rats. The average farmer or householder will just give up and pay the “experts” – or try a Little Nipper.

Now you know about EU Directive 2016/1179 you might spare a thought for EU Directives numbers 2016/1 to 1178. The general public are too busy sorting their own problems to realize that their freedom and their democratic rights are disappearing in a torrent of nit-picking rules and regulations written in Eurospeak of deliberate obscurity. They trust the politicians and civil servants to act in their interests. This trust is misplaced. They are too preoccupied with their careers and their indexed-linked pensions to bother.

The one political leader who seems to understand the costs and drawbacks of regulation is of course Donald Trump. Contrary to what the mainstream media would have you believe, on certain key issues the Donald seems to be doing rather well. His actions to slash red tape and stupid bureaucratic restrictions on individual freedom may turn out to be even more successful than his tax cuts – they will boost the US economy and improve living standards. Pity – with better leadership we could do the same.


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