Hidden in a dense and dry EU Common Agricultural Policy amendment, set to become law with effect from July 2012, is an almost-unbelievable diktat regarding the straightness of sausages. The document starts inoffensively:
"Making the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) more equivalent will be vital for environmental as well as economic reasons, Dublin professor Chip O’Larter told the EP's agricultural committee. The Commission proposes to reform the CAP in order to introduce more sustainable practices by giving farmers and meat-product-producers financial incentives to change the way they operate. Professor O’Larter, of Trinity College in Dublin, said in a report he presented to the committee on 19 March that doing so was urgently needed."
Most importantly, the next paragraph follows, several pages later:
"With regard to sausages of all varieties there shall be no variance in alignment within each unit of more than 5 degrees between ends. To this end natural sausage casings will be added to the Prohibited Foodstuffs code, and synthetic casings should be substituted in all cases. Research led by Dr Otto Dogg at Heidelberg University has demonstrated that they have proved to act in a more predictable manner, therefore reducing the number of mis-shaped wurst and sausages. Only manufacturers working under Protected Geographical Status markers will be exempt from this legislation."
So prepare to say goodbye to the wonderful, funny-shaped banger that we know and love, and say Bonjour to strictly regimented, straight sausages instead.
I'll be writing to my MEP about this scandal, please leave your own comments below for me to include in my letter. You can read the entire report here: European-Article-1968-1-07-2012
I wrote to my seven MEPs thus: "Dear Andrew Duff, Robert Sturdy, Geoffrey Van Orden, Stuart Agnew, Richard Howitt, David Campbell Bannerman and Vicky Ford,
David Campbell Bannerman MEP replied, "Thank you for our email, you should be receiving a response from me shortly."
Andrew Duff MEP replied, "Banning bendy sausages is an outrageous imposition on the dignity of the British sausage-making industry and I will fight this proposal to the very end.
Whether the sausages bend downward towards the pan, or sideways, will also be a factor in my final decision."
A political advisor to Stuart Agnew MEP replied, "Thank you for your email dated 1st April 2012, addressed to Stuart Agnew MEP. I am replying on his behalf.
And thank you to Kilian Bourke, a Lib Dem county councillor in Cambs, who took the trouble to use Twitter to pose the question. It's what you'd expect from the Euro-sceptic Lib-Dems, well done mate, let's shit-can the EU!
A massive thank you to all the public figures who I have caused to waste time on a blatantly spurious April Fool's joke, I'll give you all the benefit of the doubt to claim that you knew All Along.....and to those who couldn't be arsed to do anything, I hope you get voted out as soon as possible. Long live democracy!