Friends don't let friends stay in something as stupid as the EU - Credit, public domain

If you were – say because you hate the institution – to sit down and try to work out a way to kill off the European Union then what would the scheme you come up with look like? The most obvious one is simply to demand, insist upon and enforce a rigid obedience to each and every, to the last whit and iota, of the laws that the EU itself has passed. It wouldn’t be long before every populace was ready for that final assault upon Brussels, would it?

An example of which:

Fishmongers at the picturesque Vieux-Port area of Marseille are up in arms after inspectors fined them hundreds of euros for breaching EU rules by not displaying the Latin name of the fish on their stalls.

The European rules on displaying the scientific, Latin name of fish are aimed at providing consumers with better information about what they eat and have been in place since 2013, but appear to be rarely enforced.

There is a little wonder here. For how much cross border retail fish buying is there? What Single Market – or any other – objective is achieved by insisting that all buy fish using the names in a language absolutely none of us speak at present? And why does this apply only to fish, not to vegetables or meats?

Well, because, obviously, but because what?

The reaction here though is interesting:

All three complied with the rules stating where the fish was caught and if it was from a fish farm or caught wild. For the fishmongers in Marseille, there may be a happy end to their fishy tale.

The mayor of city, Jean-Claude Gaudin, had lunch with President Emmanuel Macron on Friday and told him about the fines.

He said that Mr Macron burst out laughing and promised the fines would not have to be paid and “guaranteed to me that the fishmongers of the Vieux-Port would not be obliged to start writing the names in Latin,” according to Le Parisien.

So that’s France as a place not governed by the rule of law then. Instead by the caprice of the current votestealer. This isn’t how to run a nation, not one with any semblance of freedom nor civil liberty. For what happens to breakers of equally stupid laws if they are out of favour with the votestealer?

Pokey for you m’lad, eh?

So, why are we in union with a place not governed by the law?

Of course, other arguments are possible. Sure, but doesn’t life work a little better with a certain ignoring of the more stupid laws? And sure, it does – which is the reason not to have stupid laws. So what are we doing in union with people who will pass these sorts of stupid laws?

And as to what we do about it all. It’s a pretty normal observation that there are parts of Europe where the law and its majesty are taken a little more seriously than some others. What we do is insist upon strict obedience to all of these laws in the places which traditionally take the less majestic view. Imagine Italy, or even France, being forced to obey in all spheres of life the precise details of every dictat from Brussels.

They’d be marching on Brussels within the week, wouldn’t they? Which is indeed one way to kill that EU. Just adamantly insist that everyone follows all the extant rules imposed by the EU.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, one of the problems for U.K. with the EU was we tend to go along with the rules, while most of Europe just happily ignore the ones they don’t like, such different attitudes make long term closer union impossible

    • As used to be said of the workings of the EU (probably needs extending to reflect the ’27’):

      The Germans make the rules.
      The British obey the rules.
      The French ignore the rules.
      And the Spanish, Italians and Greeks don’t even know there are meant to be rules.

  2. “Well, because, obviously, but because what?”

    There is an answer to that: language… Specifically the fact that the same fish can have several names in the same language, or several fishes the same name. The english terms “cod” and “whiting” are particularly notorious in that respect.

    And of course, for Tim locally, “bacalhau” which is *supposed to be made from atlantic cod, quite often isn’t. Could just as easy be haddock or whiting ( merlangius sp. in this case, not any of the other 6 fishes that are called “whiting” in english.) .
    Because those fish sellers would *never think of passing off cheaper fish as the real deal, bless their little hearts..

    So yeah, between talking quota to prevent a total collapse of fish population, and knowing what gets on your plate, it makes sense to use the *one* identifier for a beasty everyone has agreed on. Even if it is in a “dead” language.

    • it makes sense to use the *one* identifier for a beasty everyone has agreed on.
      Everyone? Really? All those people who haven’t got the foggiest idea what the scientific name of any piscine species is, never mind the one they want to buy to make the evening meal?

      Of course they didn’t agree.

      • Ah… so because you didn’t bother to learn, at least *about* , the lynnean naming system, which is used internationally and universally as the only way to scientifically and uniquely identify any and every critter that’s ever walked the earth, the whole system that’s been in place for over 4 *centuries* isn’t valid?

        Good going… [/sarc]

  3. Try in advertantly crossing the rissole divide in Yorkshire and asking for a fishcake. What do you get? A cake made of fish, or a cake made with fish? And do you want it in a bun, bap, cake, roll, barm, muffin?