What a way to run a continent, eh?

The European parliament’s health committee this week voted down a proposal from the European commission that would have allowed the use of phosphoric acid, phosphates and polyphosphates in kebab meat made of mutton, lamb, veal, beef or poultry.

The full European parliament is now due to vote on the issue when it sits in Strasbourg in two weeks time. If it is rejected by the parliament, that would send the proposal back to the commission, leaving the future of the doner in limbo.

The European parliament’s Socialist and Democrats (S&D) and Greens/European Free Alliance groups have drafted a resolution to veto a proposal to authorise the use of phosphates in “frozen vertical spit meat” because they argue that there is no proven technological need.

No, not the specific proposal, just the very idea.

The governing body for 500 million people concerns itself with minutiae like “frozen vertical spit meat”? This has always been my main underlying argument against the EU. Fine with the idea of “free movement and trade” being decided up at that level. But the details belong well down the governance pecking order. And no, it isn’t necessary to have the same detailed rules for all to have free trade. You can have trade and competition in standards as well. The correct level for the governance of such additives in doner kebabs is the individual purveyor and her customers.

14 comments on “What a way to run a continent, eh?

  1. “The Devil makes work for idle hands” This bloated self aggrandised bunch of politicians has little work of actual value to do, so it makes work for itself to give it the appearance of importance

  2. What Arthur Dent said. They can’t do anything useful like get the Russians out of Crimea or end illegal immigration or prevent terrorist attacks. So they are bullying the law abiding as usual.

    Mind you for a lot of people this is probably a feature not a bug. Some people just like pushing other people around.

    Of course I have a better solution. It involves fewer kebabs through a lot fewer of the sort of people who make them. The unemployed White population can step in to make indigenous copies – a kebab made of roast beef wrapped in a Yorkshire pudding perhaps.

  3. If your CV contains such previous ‘experience’ as Mayor of some small town in the low countries, or treasurer of CND or Labour Party leader then you will want to get involved in the minutiae as that’s about as much as your pitiful intellect (sic) can cope with.

    It’s the Peter Principle in action – useless fuckwits you need to move out of harms way but don’t want to ‘sack’. Problem is they can cause more chaos in the EU than anywhere else!

  4. I know some Greek Cypriots in London have a commercial butchery. I’ve seen “vertical spit meat” being made. Believe me, the last thing you want to worry about is its phosphoric acid, phosphates and polyphosphates content. If it’s any guide, the only thing a Bubble will put inside a pita is shish.

  5. @ bloke in spain

    As with most things, there are ‘grades’ of elephant leg. It might be the Cypriot butcher you know caters for the low end (lots of fat and gristle) and only gets eaten by drunk people.

    That’s not to say any of it is healthy, but then fat and salt are very tasty – hence why people like Donner kebabs.

  6. “The correct level for the governance of such additives in doner kebabs is the individual purveyor and her customers.”

    I agree, but there is an argument that customers of doner kebabs are necessarily too drunk to be capable of giving informed consent.

  7. Were it an institution you were more favourable to you would use it as proof we have solved all the big problems.*

    As for it being entirely between the purveyor and customer, there’s an economic, possibly a legal, term for things that customers aren’t ever realistically going to be in a position to evaluate themselves about a product, isn’t there?

    *: I agree it’s a stupid rule but national governments come up with even more stupid rules that cause me more direct headaches.

  8. All govts are scum Biggie. But you choose to align yourself with one of the scummiest on the contemporary scene. Twice over by supporting both levels of Teutonic hegemony.

    A clear and obvious mistake. Don’t let your ego take you down.

  9. I think there’s definitely standards and rules that work at such levels. Weights and measures, petrol octane, labelling, that sort of thing.

    That said, I don’t think you need supra government to do it. GSM standards are bigger than the EU. We just send a few blokes to work on it.

  10. I recently went into a kebab joint in Paris at about 1am. I was in the company of a Turkish girl and she immediately started speaking Turkish with the guy behind the counter. When we asked for a piece off the elephant’s leg he said “Oh no, that’s awful stuff. Take one of the skewers instead”. I have a feeling that if I’d walked in alone and spoken French, he’d not have been so generous.

    Incidentally, the Greeks make their doner kebabs from pork. The stuff I ate in Mykonos this summer was absolutely magnificent, miles better than lamb.

  11. it should be noted that equal amounts of phosphates in most German sausages, which are not covered by the proposed legislation. somewhat unsurprisingly this has led to complaints of protectionism and discrimination.

  12. “this has led to complaints of protectionism”

    About the EU? What is the world coming to?

  13. That word “Donner” that you keep using. I don’t think it means what you think it means. Look up Donner Party for further info.

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