Mail claims “backlash” saved UK’s dozen eggs


4:29 pm - June 30th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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The Daily Mail’s “Foreign Service” triumphantly claimed today: Eggs by the dozen will NOT be banned, say Brussels after backlash by Britain

Shoppers will not be barred from buying eggs by the dozen, politicians at the European Parliament said yesterday after fears Brussels was trying to ban the practice. Reports suggested that the EU was planning to rule that eggs must be sold solely by weight.

That “report” was by a certain newspaper that completely misrepresented what EU legislation actually said.

It failed to understand current legislation and how the standards intended to reduce bureaucracy by setting agreed standards.

The Daily Mail’s u-turn came after the European Parliament issued a press release stating the obvious:

MEPs are neither trying to ban the sale of eggs by the dozen nor the sale or marketing of Nutella. MEP Renate Sommer, who is steering legislation on food labelling through the European Parliament, said, “There will be no changes to selling foods by number. Selling eggs by the dozen, for example, will not be banned.”

Reports that claim the new rules will not allow both the weight and the quantity to be displayed are also wrong. The new food labelling regulation does not affect existing EU rules on the size of eggs: There are four official sizes of eggs: very large (73g and over), large (63g to 73g), medium (53g to 63g), and small (under 53g) – this will not change.

If only the Daily Mail and Tory bloggers bothered to do some basic research before frothing at the mouth.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Sometimes, The Mail’s bare-faced gall is almost admirable.

The Daily Mail: proudly saving Middle England from non-existent threats of its own fevered imagingings since 1896.

Martin,

Be fair. There was a few years in the 1930s when the Mail was promoting facism instead…

Pity about all this really though. I was looking forward to the standardisation of chickens to produce regular sized eggs. With appologies to the Daily Mail for breaking their next story early…

Hurrah – the threat to the British Sausage is averted.

There’s a lovely synchronicity of these approaches:

Eurosceptic loons:

1. Claim that something appalling is about to happen – “Brussells wants to ban the pint/miles/worcester sauce!”
2. ‘Brussells’ denies the claims
3. Expound on your efforts in getting aforesaid horrors cancelled
4. Trebles all round.

Europhile politicians

1. Report comes out that something appalling is going to happen
2. Deny report as being entirely fictional
3. Admit that discussions to that effect are going on, but will never actually happen.
4. Admit that it will happen, but that it is far too late to do anything about it.
5. Trebles all round.

And the really good thing is that everyone knows this is what both sides do, and just sit back and enjoy the game.

Except the Mail angle is not new – it was used on his blog in the Maily Telegraph last Monday by arch Europhobe Dan, Dan the Oratory Man. It can’t have been any more recent, as I quoted it in this post:

http://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2010/06/lies-damn-lies-and-eu-directives.html

@3 Tim J

Sausage? I thought EU rules required that the Great British Sausage had to be called a High Fat Offal Tube? (Thank you, Yes Minister).

It was also on the BBC website. It isn’t a significant story on it’s own, but the sheer number of these nonsense stories is a problem- especially when they end up on the TV news. We can explain until we’re blue in the face that these “PC-gone-mad, elf’n’safety, etc” stories are lies and ignorance, but there’s ten new ones cropping up before we’ve finished a sentence. That must be the idea- saturate the public with lots of little lies to give them a false idea of the what the world is like, a false idea that strengthens right-wing politics.

Mike,

Of course, there has to be a reason why people believe these stories. If there wasn’t they’d have the same status as UFO sightings and other conspiracy theories.

Would this be because there are stupid rules and regulations that are perceived to get in the way of people’s lives, and these are often blamed on Brussels (often unfairly)? These sow the seed and the journalists push the agenda; its effectively a journalistic meme in the same way as ‘Tory cuts’.

Sunny, the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (representing less than one tenth of one per cent of all UK taxpayers, and still no accounts submitted) may have been first with that particular pile of steaming, er, stuff, because Hannan refers to it in his blog.

That’s the same Taxpayers’ Alliance that wants less folks on the public payroll, while having no problem with one of its own using the revolving door to become a SpAD on 60K a year plus:

http://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2010/06/new-revolving-door.html

@Watchmen: I’d say people believe it because they are little lies that get into the mainstream.

“Surely they’d have checked this story. These are the people whose job it is to deliver news, and this news aligns neatly with the news they’ve printed before, which I don’t know was also bullshit. Especially if it gets onto the BBC.”

And also because they are lies that feature a lot of truth and a little bit of lie that changes the context completely- like a couple of months ago there was that story about a woman who got fined £1000 for selling a hamster to an underage customer and then went to the Mail. It was true that she got fined, it was true that she sold a hamster to an underage customer- but that was only one of a whole catalogue of neglectful behaviour, including leaving a dog in such a state that it had to be put down.

There’s also methods like they the one they pulled on Hugo Chavez a couple of months back where he’s supposed to have said that the earthquake in Haiti was due to a US weapon. He didn’t say it, some nutcase Venezuelan blogger did, but no one questioned it really because it was reported as “Hugo Chavez claims such and such” while a video of him talking in foreign played behind. For all we knew we were watching him say it.

I’m sure the papers have a multitude of ways to get people to believe nonsense. That’s what they do.

Mike,

Indeed. But the truth needs to be there in the first place. And you have to admit Europe does not have a good record in producing sensible, not interfereing decisions.

Missed that whole Chavez thing. Pity really though – can imagine him saying it, even if he didn’t.

12. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

That must be the idea- saturate the public with lots of little lies to give them a false idea of the what the world is like, a false idea that strengthens right-wing politics.

They’ve built a very successful hegemony of ‘white victimhood’ on that basis.

Oddly enough of course it was the work of ‘tory hero’ Milton Friedman in the realm of quality control that basically proves all such stories can be safely ignored.

Be fair. There was a few years in the 1930s when the Mail was promoting facism instead…

Started waaaaaay earlier than that, particularly with anti semitism, that period just gets attention for obvious reasons.

Not really in this sense. I don’t like the EU for other reasons, but anyway, so much of what we consider to be its “track record” is lies. If I didn’t read this blog I wouldn’t know the dozen eggs thing was a lie. I don’t know what I’ve read and heard from the BBC that has merely been copied from the Mail.

I don’t want to sit here and say “it doesn’t matter that this isn’t true, because based on what I’ve heard in the past it could easily be true” when what I’ve heard in the past came from exactly the same people that are lying to us now.

Post 13 was @11 🙂

That must be the idea- saturate the public with lots of little lies to give them a false idea of the what the world is like, a false idea that strengthens right-wing politics.

Yes, I agree.

But also a bit like

saturate the public with lots of little fears about health, terrorism, drugs and paedophilia, to give them a mistaken apprehension about what the what the world is like, false fears that strengthen left-wing politics and the state in general.

@pagar: Complete rot. You think the Daily Mail spreads fears about health, terrorism, paedophilia and drugs to promote a left-wing agenda? No. They spread fears about health to undermine the NHS, about terrorism because they want the government to stamp down on foreigners, etc, etc. The agenda is authoritarian, but it isn’t left-wing.

On health, actually, there was a good blog that I used to read and I can’t for the life of me remember what it’s called that collected Daily Mail health scare stories and demonstrated how they were mostly just re-printed press releases of drugs companies. You can only have so much advertising so instead they’d print a story about how X has been found to cure cancer! Footnote: In a private study carried out by the company that sells X. Things like that.

Hardly left-wing.

One good one now I come to think of it was about a new “miracle drug” that NHS patients were being unjustly denied. The story came courtesy of the company that sells the drug, which independent study had proved ineffective. If anyone knows the blog I’m talking about I’d love a link.

You think the Daily Mail spreads fears about health, terrorism, paedophilia and drugs to promote a left-wing agenda?

No.

I think the former Labour government did.

“The EU is planning to ban newspapers from printing bollocks about how the EU is planning to ban everything!”
“Shit. Are they going to let us keep printing bollocks about pedos and Muslims?”
“Er, yeah.”
“Phew. I was worried there.”

21. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

On health, actually, there was a good blog that I used to read and I can’t for the life of me remember what it’s called that collected Daily Mail health scare stories and demonstrated how they were mostly just re-printed press releases of drugs companies. You can only have so much advertising so instead they’d print a story about how X has been found to cure cancer! Footnote: In a private study carried out by the company that sells X. Things like that.

10th October, 2006 – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-409587/Let-eat-white-bread–really-IS-healthy.html

20th October, 2006 – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-411506/White-bread-increases-cancer-risk.html

Can we now put VAT on newspapers. They have no function of any importance. They are just bullshit opinions.

The govt needs the money and newspapers are no longer important.

No.

I think the former Labour government did.

Make sure that tinfoil-hat is securely on


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Daily Mail now claims "backlash" saved UK's dozen eggs http://bit.ly/9mcrrp

  2. Martin Coxall

    RT @libcon: Daily Mail now claims "backlash" saved UK's dozen eggs http://bit.ly/9mcrrp

  3. Antonia Mochan

    Daily Mail now claims "backlash" saved UK's dozen eggs http://bit.ly/9mcrrp (via @libcon) grrrrr

  4. iChris 4 ?

    RT @libcon: Daily Mail now claims "backlash" saved UK's dozen eggs http://bit.ly/9mcrrp

  5. greg H

    RT @euonymblog: Daily Mail now claims "backlash" saved UK's dozen eggs http://bit.ly/9mcrrp (via @libcon) grrrrr

  6. Kate

    Ha! Cunts. RT @libcon: Daily Mail now claims "backlash" saved UK's dozen eggs http://bit.ly/9mcrrp

  7. Europe Direct Leeds

    RT @euonymblog Daily Mail now claims "backlash" saved UK's dozen eggs http://bit.ly/9mcrrp (via @libcon) grrrrr

  8. drhappymac

    RT @libcon: Daily Mail now claims "backlash" saved UK's dozen eggs http://bit.ly/9mcrrp <- More likely saved by story being entirely made up

  9. Andrew Burgess

    RT @euonymblog: Daily Mail now claims "backlash" saved UK's dozen eggs http://bit.ly/9mcrrp (via @libcon) grrrrr

  10. sunny hundal

    Daily Mail now claims a "backlash" saved UK's dozen eggs http://bit.ly/9mcrrp (no mea culpa from @iaindale though)

  11. Gareth Winchester

    RT @sunny_hundal: Daily Mail now claims a "backlash" saved UK's dozen eggs http://bit.ly/9mcrrp (no mea culpa from @iaindale though)

  12. amol rajan

    one of the funniest Mail episodes ever RT @sunny_hundal
    Daily Mail now claims a "backlash" saved UK's dozen eggs http://bit.ly/9mcrrp

  13. John West

    RT @sunny_hundal: Daily Mail now claims a "backlash" saved UK's dozen eggs http://bit.ly/9mcrrp (no mea culpa from @iaindale though)

  14. Chris Read

    RT @euonymblog: Daily Mail now claims "backlash" saved UK's dozen eggs http://bit.ly/9mcrrp (via @libcon) grrrrr

  15. John Belford

    RT @libcon: Daily Mail now claims "backlash" saved UK's dozen eggs http://bit.ly/9mcrrp

  16. Rodney Randolph

    Mail claims “backlash” saved UK's dozen eggs | Liberal Conspiracy http://bit.ly/a3AaMB





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