Friday, December 21, 2007

Offering a silent prayer

A bureaucrat's work is never done but at least they can settle down with their families over Christmas, content that one job has been well done and the world is a better place for it.

For nearly two years now, our gifted officials in Brussels have been battling away to hammer out a legal definition for vodka, one of those vital issues that form the very bedrock of our civilisation.

At stake was the burning question of whether you could produce this drink from the traditional materials, such as potatoes and cereals, or make it from other raw materials and still call it vodka. The alternative that was dreamed up, incidentally, was "white spirit".

Anyhow, after labouring mightily for all those many years, with absolutely no expense spared, our Eurocrats have come up with the answer, acclaimed this week by the 27 agriculture ministers of the European Union.

And the answer is … yes!

In other words, after who knows how many man (and woman) hours, hundreds of meetings, zillions of documents in 22 different languages, and a carbon footprint bigger than the QE2, we are back exactly where we started – except that producers are going to have to label their products clearly to indicate when the spirit is made from non-traditional raw materials.

We are so fortunate to have such gifted, dedicated public servants to work on our behalf to address these world-shaping issues. I am sure you will all join me in a silent prayer of thanks that God saw fit to put these people on this Earth, without whom we would surely perish.


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