You’ve got to love the Europeans. They demonstrate that things always can get worse. For instance, think about the epidemic of stupid farmers who use their farm equipment on wet ground. The EU is on the case! No harvesters in the mud, please!
EUROPEAN law which bans farmers from using their combine harvesters on wet soil has been criticised by prominent members of the House of Lords.Former Commons Speaker, Baroness Boothroyd, described the laws as “ludicrous” while former National Farmers’ Union (NFU) president Lord Plumb referred to them as “one of the most stupid ever” during question time in the House of Lords.The regulations, imposed by the European Union, have been waived several times over the past two years because of wet weather at harvest times.
Baroness Boothroyd said: “British farmers are the best judges of whether or not to use heavy machinery on their wet fields.
“When do we expect this ludicrous EU rule or regulation to be abandoned and British farmers use their common sense?”
Tory Lord Plumb added: “This is one of the most stupid laws that ever came out of Brussels. If we are talking about damaging soil, why not consider the problem area in Glastonbury?”
Environment Minister Lord Hunt of Kings Heath said no farmers had been found in breach of the English standard and told peers: “This is about protection of the soil and minimising damage to it.
“We will look to review the system to see if there can be more flexibility in future.”
But crossbencher Lord Elystan-Morgan countered: “The issue is not one of flexibility but of basic sanity. If the land is too wet to support the combine harvester, it is surely too wet to have the corn harvested.” The call came on the same day figures showed that farmers had produced a large harvest this year, in spite of heavy rain late in the summer.
There is something curious about imposing regulations which seem relevant only during wet weather, yet which are routinely waived during wet weather. But that, I suppose, is the wonder of the wisdom of the EU.
Of course, I’m also left with this horrid feeling that Europe is where America is headed, and none too slowly.