Mr. Hutton fulfills his butt end of the compass function again

The collapse of a belief system paralyses and terrifies in equal measure. Certainties are exploded. A reliable compass for action suddenly becomes inoperable. Everything you once thought solid vaporises.

Owen Paterson, secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs, is living through such a nightmare and is utterly lost. All his once confident beliefs are being shredded. As the horsemeat saga unfolds, it becomes more obvious by the day that those Thatcherite verities – that the market is unalloyed magic, that business must always be unshackled from \”wealth-destroying\” regulation, that the state must be shrunk, that the EU is a needless collectivist project from which Britain must urgently declare independence – are wrong.

Sigh.

He\’s entirely missed, as is usual with Willy, that the food inspection system is in fact an EU competence:

What Mr Paterson recognised from the start, unlike any other politician in Britain, was that the root of the problem lay in what had followed when, a decade ago, the EU took over all “competence” to make food law from national governments. It promptly introduced a new set of rules across Europe, to replace the old dependence on regular inspection and testing of foodstuffs with a radical new system. The EU’s version of what is known as HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is based on a trail of paper, whereby any food product, as it passes along the chain from one firm to another, must be acccompanied by a piece of paper certifying its nature and contents.

This system, set up under EU regulation 178/2002, was to be administered by a new European Food Safety Authority, represented in each country by “independent” national food safety agencies, such as that created in Britain in 2002.

This is a failure of the EU system.

As to this:

Paterson, beneath the ideological bluster, is as innocent about business as Bambi. Even the most callow observer could predict that with the wholesale slaughter of horses across the continent as recession hit the racing industry – horsemeat production jumped by 52% in 2012 – some was bound to enter the pan-European network of abattoirs, just-in-time buying, industrial refrigeration units, food brokers and giant supermarkets that deliver British and European consumers their food.

Err, the number of racehorses in Europe is around and about 170,000. The number of horses in Europe is around and about 5 million.

A rise in the number of racehorses being slaughtered in abattoirs wouldn\’t feeds the school burger market. The banning of the pony and trap on Romanian roads might have something to do with it though…..

15 thoughts on “Mr. Hutton fulfills his butt end of the compass function again”

  1. Am I the only correspondent who isn’t really that bothered if I’ve inadvertently eaten a horse? What’s actually wrong with horse meat as a foodstuff?

  2. Go one better Ian. Am I the only correspondent who pays to specifically eat horsemeat? The cheval display at the supermarch

  3. Tim’s correct. Something’s seriously amiss with wordpress.

    The post was:
    Go one better Ian. Am I the only correspondent who pays to specifically eat horsemeat? The cheval display at the supermarché is always tempting. Be seriously pissed to find some crooked UK abattoir had been substituting beef.

    before the gremlins got at it.

  4. WordPress seems to be not telling my browser to refresh itself, so you’re getting the page back before your comment posted, which makes you think it hasn’t posted. A refresh brings it up.

  5. In other words the existence of a vast system of bureaucratic regulation of food, and the failure of said system to catch cheats is therefore proof that the ‘free market’ does not work. Not only that but the failure of a vast system of entirely European regulation somehow invalidates a British Tory’s desire to leave the EU.

    Are these people actually that stupid, or is it an active decision to lie?

  6. I imagine if you were able to, you’d find Willy would have been enthusiastically in favour of this EU powergrab.

    Now that it’s all gone tits up, Willy would rather see this as the fault of the Evil Tories and the Evil Free Market.

  7. In case anyone thinks I troll, can I just say that I agree with this post.

    There are in fact other instances where it was voluntary testing by companies (presumably to protect their customers and good name) that discovered food contamination, not EC required testing or inspection.

    Eg artificial dye called Para red in chilli powder.

  8. Rob, no – it’s far more amusing. I expect that at some point we will discover that this has been going on for several years and that the sainted Labour idiots didnt detect it at all. At which point Willy will fall silent.

  9. So Much for Subtlety

    Actually what Willy doesn’t get is that the horse meat is a function, not a bug.

    The little treasonable stoats who supported the EU did so specifically because they did not like the way that the British did things. The French were so much more civilised and so joining the EU would allow them to bring their ways to the UK. The aim, to put it kindly, was to realise the dream of a place where the French are the chefs, the Italians are the lovers, the British are the police, the Germans are the mechanics and the Swiss make everything run on time.

    Which means the Romanians provide the meat.

    And no, I don’t mind eating horse. As long as it is labeled as such and I am not paying for sirloin.

  10. The aim, to put it kindly, was to realise the dream of a place where the French are the chefs, the Italians are the lovers, the British are the police, the Germans are the mechanics and the Swiss make everything run on time.

    Give me a German policeman over a British one any day of the week.

  11. Utter nonsense – The collapse of the USSR, huge failures of bureaucracy across every area it has touched, the basic bankruptcy of Socialism as an ideological creed – not one iota of it has registered with Hutton in more than two decades so why should Paterson (who has been proved right) be ‘living through a nightmare’?- Hutton plows on regardless of his beliefs having been conclusively proven wrong on nearly every score.

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