Should the EU really be regulating the re-use of jam jars?
by Godfrey Bloom
It should not be the role of the authorities to legislate on such minutiae as the re-use and re-sale of jam jars because of fears of chemicals leaching out of the containers – insists MEP
Just last week I debated with a rather charming German academic and an ex British Labour Party MEP on the pros and cons of the United Kingdom's European Union membership. I listened patiently as the pro case was made: 'our main export market', 'three million jobs' and 'peace in Europe' etc. All the superficial nonsense that the Europhiles continually put forward with absolutely no reference to the facts whatsoever.
The re-sale of jam jars did not come into the debate and if it had, I am quite sure it would have been waived away as an admittedly idiosyncratic aberration with an indulgent chuckle. That is if it were not met with the hostility which greets EU legislation on bananas. This is met with a simple statement of denial – 'it doesn't exist, it is a Eurosceptic myth'. Of course, it does exist and simple to find for anyone with a computer who wants to. But it is jam jars, which are at the heart of everything which is rotten about the EU.
I have sat through debates on the standardisation of bottle sizes, tractor seats, windscreen wipers and tax. You name it; the bureaucrats of Brussels want to control it. This would indeed be laughable if it were not so sad. How can it possibly be the role of the authorities to legislate on such minutiae as the re-use and re-sale of jam jars because of fears of chemicals leaching out of the containers?
It is a cause of acute embarrassment to me to be introduced at parties as an MEP. People stare at me as if to say - is this one of the overpaid morons who comes out with all this rubbish? Well yes, guilt by association. I was a member, but I only manned the gate, I did not do any of the bad stuff. No one believes you. "I'm UKIP," I whimper. No good, they are already putting down their vodka martinis with a twist – I am an olive man myself - and throwing a noose over the nearest beam. 'Hang 'em all,' they mutter. And who could blame them?
I could dignify the jam jar argument by involving myself in the obvious advantages of re-cycling them, but I shall not. To do so would be to misunderstand the whole contra argument. This is about the philosophy of government. What do people want? How do they wish to be governed, taxed, and educated? What hope do they hold for their children and grandchildren? As a libertarian I do not want the government making all these fatuous decisions for me. I want defence of the realm, maintenance of the Queen's peace and perhaps a highway infrastructure that works at least most of the time.
I am happy with caveat emptor. I will assume if I buy a pot of homemade jam, the jar will have been recycled. Indeed, I hope it has. The same as my milk bottle, or indeed beer bottle. How did we ever, as a nation of free born Englishmen and women get ourselves into this terrible mess? Do the blue rinse ladies at the Women's Institute or village hall committee make no connection between the Conservative Party and the UK's membership of the EU?
The Conservatives took us in, keep us in, signed Maastricht and lied about a referendum. Things cannot improve; we will be taxed and regulated to death until the electorate associate their behaviour at the ballot box with the way they are governed. A blue rinser, two years ago told me she voted for "Dave" Cameron because he had "a nice face". I muttered: "Which one do you prefer?" Does she make jam? Does she sell it in the church hall? Who knows. We now live in Fool Britannia. It is all too bloody real.
Godfrey Bloom is the UKIP MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, in the United Kingdom
Godfrey, you have to be joking. Please tell us you are not being serious. Please. Please. Please. Ah. But you are talking about the EU. So you are obviously not joking. You are being deadly serious. This is scary stuff. It means the great and good of Europe are concerning themselves about the hugely important subject of the resale of jam jars. Obviously, if they don't sort this out the people of Europe will be in serious peril. Could you let us know just how much time these idiots spend on this subject? I mean, being as important as it must be, they must spend five minutes discussing the matter. The sooner we get away from this bunch of total nincompoops the better. They obviously don't have a working brain cell between the whole lot of them.
Pete Hodg - Up Holland, UK
Dear Sir, I think you might want to retract your reference to the WI as blue rinsers. Caroline Brooks, age 33, friend of jam makers - perplexed at jam jar rules but more irrate about your careless stereotyping about WI members.
Caroline Brooks - Secretary of the Shoreditch Sisters WI
This jam jar issue is unbelievable. It's like saying to Starbucks you cannot re-use coffee cups, or a restaurant must dispose of plates if they have been used by a previous customer. When are we going to distance ourselves from the dustbin of Brussels?
John Payne - Exmouth UK
The jam jar issue is unbelievable. Yes it is, because as with most stupid EU stories, it's not true. EU regulations apply to businesses, not to people making homemade jam to sell at church fairs, as the anti-EU journalists and politicians who make this stuff up know perfectly well.
Joe Hennon - Brussels
I live in Slovenia, it's in the EU. The jam is still too smooth and runny can you fix that. When are we to see harmonisation on doughnut ratios? Standardisation wearies the comfortable, but improves conditions in places where stuff is naff. The below-average can only gain.
National poet of Slovenia in a language people understand
Joe Hennon is wrong when he claims that these regulations are "not true." He claims that the "EU regulations apply to businesses, not to people making homemade jam to sell at church fairs", but in fact I have read the full regulations issued buy the European Parliament, EC Regulations 1935/2004 (consisting of 20 pages, 28 articles and three annexes) and and 2023/2006 (only four pages).
They state explicitly that these rules must be observed by everyone - not only in business and not only when selling things for money i.e. at a church fete, but even when giving things away. Nobody is exempt. You can consult the full regulations online.
So it's not a "stupid EU story" - it is a fact.
Julia Gasper - Oxford, UK
Get a grip people. The EU isn't wasting time with these matters no matter how much UKIP or any other rose-tinted glasses nationalist politician wants to make you believe.
Mark - EP