Skip to content

What’s really wrong with the EU

Among the Brussels regulations was rule EN1176, which defines safety requirements for children’s playground equipment. It sets out how much space there has to be between swings and how high they have to be off the ground, and limits the number of swings per bay to two.

Local councillors mulling the park revamp realised that they would not have the space for both swings and the new pirate attraction if they wanted to abide by standards that could help protect them from injury claims.

Under the rules, introduced in 1999, any repair or refurbishment of the park would mean the swings would have to be demolished because there is not enough room.

Sure, don’t want the kiddies to be damaged by swings that are not far enough apart.

#But there’s a human type who thinks that such – the gap between the swings – is properly the business of the continental government of 500 million people. That life should be regulated in such detail that all such decisions should be subject to exactly such regulation – even law.

There are others who think that government is what is done to fill in the gaps. Only things that cannot rub along nicely without the tender ministrating, centralised, hand need government applied to them.

It’s not what the gap is between those swings which is the point here. It’s who, where, decides what it is? And upon all the other myriad such trivia in life?

The problem with the European Union is that those who think the centralised bureaucracy should write all these rules are in charge of it.

Entirely possible to have a different system. A general idea that those who own something are responsible for it. If an accident happens then have a little confab about whether it was idiot users or the design of the thing at fault. As those cases mount up over time we get a body of law on what’s a good design, what’s a bad one. Good spreads.

Roughly the difference between Roman and Common law.

The EU is run by those who think that Roman Law should determine all of life. That’s what’s wrong with the EU.

18 thoughts on “What’s really wrong with the EU”

  1. I’ve always thought that the real benefit of swings was teaching young children that the world isn’t safe and that it’s a very bad idea to walk in front of an approaching object that has no way of stopping other than smacking in to them.

    The real problem with EN1176 and the like is that is that people can make an injury claim if the rules aren’t followed. In a sane world it would simply be a case of “use at your own risk.”

  2. Christopher Booker (pbuh) discovered to his horror that the real problem lay in the EU rules’ implementation. Other countries might just play lip service or ignore them altogether. British civil servants took the most stringent interpretation and made often illogical regulations many times worse.
    Ministers of course being generally too stupid to understand that this was going on.

  3. You could make a very nice light entertainment documentary about this. Perhaps get Jimmy Carr to front it. Perhaps Tim Weaherspoon would fund it. TV production cannot be that hard can it?

  4. Couldn’t agree more. I, too, live in that wondrous entity of elite ignorant authoritarianism that is the EU.

    Brussels is the prize for failed but aging politicians who need to be put out to pasture and allowed to feather their nests.

  5. Some of my best friends

    EN1176 isn’t a law, it’s a standard. I see nothing wrong with having a standard to tell playground operators what’s expected of them.

    Are you suggesting that the UK should abolish all standards and let the courts sort out what’s acceptably safe, case by case?

  6. Some of my best friends

    There’s a website often referenced here called ‘Funding the future’ (used to be Tax Research U.K.) – it’s run by a semi – retired ‘accountant’ from the Fens who is the closest embodiment of pure evil extant in cyberspace.

    He also has a penchant for straw men. You should feel right at home.

  7. I can always recall just after the Referendum the James O’Brien esques on my social media who has voted Remain were awash asking ‘name a single EU law you’d repeal’

    When I listed (as a starter for ten)
    – CAP
    – CFP
    – REACH
    – GDPR
    – MIFID
    – AIFMD

    And that’s with literally two seconds thought, adding the rider that I could easily get to thirty with one hour on ‘Europa Lex’ (I will say the EU website is actually very good!) their response was ‘these don’t impact me’ with the implication that they don’t eat any food, have no personal data, do not use any Chemicals and have no personal investments.

    Most Remainers have very little idea how the EU works – which is how the Eurocrats like it but as you say Tim – it is really a fundamental difference in basic philosophy.

  8. VP – that’s a more kindly aproach than mine would have been which would have been to ask whether a law or a standard was required in order to concatenate ‘Dumm’ and ‘Kopf’.

  9. @ Some of my best friends

    You’ll be looking forward with glee to the EU standard on “Only breathing once every 30 minutes to avoid human respiratory activity contributing to climate change”.

    It won’t be a law but a standard that you’ll be expected to comply with and Plod will be along to assist you with it.

    Oh, and you are a twat. Normally I ignore the trolls but this is “Fuck off twat Friday”.

  10. Some of my best friends
    February 23, 2024 at 9:22 am

    Are you suggesting that the UK should abolish all standards and let the courts sort out what’s acceptably safe, case by case?

    Absolutely! That’s the essence of a Common Law society and why there are Courts. ‘Standards’ spontaneously emerge with experience and get adopted by those who don’t want to get sued under contract and tort laws.

    How do you think ‘standards’ come about in the first place except by practical experience – clairvoyant politicians and bureaucrats?

    It also means further and new experiences may result in tighter voluntary standards which doesn’t happen with imposed standards. “We’ve met the standard so we don’t have to do more, because nobody can sue us.”

  11. “EN1176 isn’t a law, it’s a standard.”

    And what happens to people who ignore the standard? Oh-dear-never-mind-it’s-only-a-standard-after-all?

  12. Some of my best friends

    And what happens to people who ignore the standard?

    Sensible question.

    Nothing happens.

    If there’s an accident in the playground, and if they get sued over it, and if the court judges that the accident was related to their having ignored the standard, then they lose.

  13. What a load of nonsense. We have left the EU and consequently any blame for inappropriate rules must now fall exclusively on our own government.

    And the principle “that those who own something are responsible for it. If an accident happens then have a little confab about whether it was idiot users or the design of the thing at fault. As those cases mount up over time we get a body of law on what’s a good design, what’s a bad one.” is a very bad one. It was fine in the Middle Ages when technology advanced very slowly, allowing the law to adapt very slowly, but one of the important principles of a good society is that when you are contemplating doing something you can tell whether or not it is lawful. Just like division of labour in pin making, those who make a particular thing are not necessarily the best to analyse the safety of it. That is why we have standards like EN1176 – which, of course, is not an EU standard, but a joint British and EU standard as it was drawn up while we were still a member.

    However, legally, EN1176 is not a law. If you want to build your playground in violation of it, you are free to do so and the “If an accident happens then have a little confab” is exactly what will happen. So it’s rather stupid to complain that something that already is the way you want it.

    And to turn to the specific standard, what’s wrong with it? And why should the specification for playgrounds differ between Rome and London, London and Brighton, Brighton and Hove, or some tiny village?

  14. @ Charles

    Just for you, I’ve enacted standard TWB001 which is “Fuck off twat Sunday”. Please ensure you abide by this standard since you seem to be fond of having all your actions dictated to you.

  15. Common Law hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory recently. Methinks that Tim confuses Roman Law with Napoleonic Code Law. Not a good omen, but not quite worthy of being included in the list of Worstall Fallacies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *