There is not a lot to like about the EU, but the one thing about the monstrosity that really cheers me up from time to time is the inevitable appearance of an idiotic directive that serves as the perfect UKIP recruiter.
Today I have just read about the latest UKIP vote winner – the EU is about to ban most of the best vacuum cleaners on the market. Yes, for a moment I too thought it must be April the First, but no, it’s absolutely true. As part of its madcap commitment to energy efficiency, a new directive is banning any cleaner with a motor more powerful than 1600Watts from sale from September 1st. At a stroke, many of our favourite cleaners rated by the magazine Which? as Best Buys, and which create beautifully clean homes around the world, will be denied to those living behind the EU wall. Unless you can come up with a neat scheme to smuggle one in, perhaps by shoving a few putters into one and calling it a golf bag, the days of being able to buy the best on the market will no longer be an option for the people of Britain and Europe.
Isn’t this a miserable reversal of fortune? If you look back just twenty years ago, who would have thought then that the day would come so soon when you would be able to buy top of the range goods in Russia that would be banned here? Such is the political dictatorship that the EU has become.
Now maybe you think the directive is a good idea. If you happen to be an avid devotee of saving energy, your heart may have initially quickened a little with excitement at the thought of all those electricity gobbling Hoovers being given their marching orders. However, you don’t need much grey matter to realise swiftly that if the ones we are permitted to buy do not do such a good job, it is inevitable that those who liked the powerful but soon to be extinct versions will now need to go up and down their carpets with the limp replacements more frequently and for longer to get the same pleasing result, thereby consuming just as much power and possibly even more. Being forced to use a less efficient cleaner is clearly a ridiculous recipe for more work and inconvenience for no gain.
That simple fact is obvious to all except perhaps, an EU energy commissioner, because they are not done yet. Three years hence an even tougher limit of just 900Watts will become compulsory requiring, I should think, dirt to be very amenable if it’s going to respond to what will now be no more than a gentle breeze trying to dislodge it. Perhaps the EU will consider ordering household dust to be vacuum compliant? As they lost touch with reality years ago I wouldn’t put it past them. In fact, give these regulation generating maniacs another ten years and the chances are that the only vacuum you’ll be able to buy will be the zero emission ‘Sweep and Suck’ EU special. It’ll be a broom with a long straw attached.
Still, as I said at the start, EU directives are not all bad. I can’t help wondering how many new vacuum cleaners will be bought in the run up to the next election, but I hope it’s plenty. As each one glides quietly, elegantly and uselessly across the floor it will leave a very clear message written behind it in an undisturbed trail of dirt. “If you want things in your life working properly again then isn’t it time you voted UKIP?”