Skip to comments.Euretards versus the Welsh
Posted on 03/01/2002 9:14:56 AM PST by scouse
By SUE LEEMAN, Associated Press
LONDON (March 1, 2002 11:22 a.m. EST) - When is a leek a deviant delicacy? Never, according to the Welsh, who like to eat - and even wear - the variegated veggie so much that it has become their national symbol.
So there was outrage Friday - Wales' national day, named for its patron St. David - when the European Commission published a directive that in the future all leeks sold in stores must look the same.
Regulation No. 2396/2001 stipulates that grocers may not sell younger leeks with a diameter of less than eight millimeters and older ones that measure less than 10 millimeters.
There must be no soil between the leaves, which must be neatly cut, the directive stipulates. And the white part must form at least one-quarter of the total length.
Outrage at real or imagined European Union directives - on bananas, sausages and cheese, among others - has become a hallowed British tradition, and politicians rose to the occasion on behalf of the leek.
"It leaves me speechless. This whole Brussels thing is like something out of Gilbert and Sullivan," said John Knotts of the euro-skeptic U.K. Independence Party.
Lawmaker Nigel Evans, a former Swansea grocer who is spokesman on Welsh affairs for the main opposition Conservative Party, said he was "aghast."
"The final insult is that they are being brought in on St. David's Day, if it had been April 1 I think I could have properly understood it," he said in the House of Commons. "I always thought that the growing of leeks was God's work but thankfully now the EU has come to its aid with some useful advice on the growing and selling of leeks."
His protestations failed to impress Labor lawmaker Chris Ruane.
"Is not it a shame that with all the opportunities facing Wales now .... the only thing that the honorable gentleman can rant about today is the sheathing, swelling and length of his leek?" Ruane said.
A spokesman for the European Commission in Wales said retailers and industry had requested a ruling on leeks.
But in an interview with the South Wales Evening Post, Mark Reynolds, a grocer from Neath Market, professed himself baffled.
"People have been happily buying fruit and vegetables for centuries, so I don't see the need for this at all," he said.
Legend has it that in the 6th century, St. David encouraged the Welsh to wear leeks in their caps to distinguish themselves in battle with the Saxons. After conquering this foe, they wore leeks every March 1, the anniversary of their victory.
Today, the youngest new recruits in Welsh regiments traditionally eat a large raw leek, cheered on by fellow soldiers.
The hilarious climax was a verbal brawl between Hacker and a French bureaucrat from Brussels.
Hacker: "And you have a man in one room paying farmers to grow one commodity, and another man in the same room paying farmers to destroy the same commodity."
Bureaucrat: "But you are wrong! The two men are not even on the same floor."
Ya gotta love it...guess ALL governments waste the peoples $$$ on stupid, insipid, ridiculous sh*t...BTW, who leeked this story?
Eurocrats masturbating while hatching regulation eggs like dum ducks ready to be shot or eaten by rats.
But "Brussels" sprouts are now British...
I am the very model of a model Euro-Bureuacrat
I've regulation vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I rule the kings on England, and I quote the rules tyrannical
These blokes'd never've stood f'rit!