The Maily Telegraph loves to kick the EU: if it isn’t another fairy story about budget air travel being banned by Bruno Waterfield, or Christopher Booker telling his readers that Europol’s HQ was once used by the Gestapo (difficult, as it was only opened last year), it’s a scare story about “Brussels” about to make part of our deeply cherished way of life illegal.
And so it proved last Thursday, when Transport Editor David Millward proclaimed “EU backs down over threat to classic cars”. It has? “The Commission had drawn up plans for a ‘roadworthiness test’ directive which would have required all components on a car to conform with those on the vehicle when it was first registered” he goes on, but sadly this is total bullshit.
We know this because of a previous round of equally bogus reports that were published back in September, leading to the EU’s office in the UK issuing a rebuttal: “Reports in the press that the European Commission has proposed to make modifications to cars illegal, or to ban classic cars unless they are unchanged since manufacture are entirely wrong”. And, as the man said, there’s more.
“The Commission’s proposals would not, if agreed by the Member States and the European Parliament, make any difference to the current situation regarding MOT testing in the UK except to make most classic cars more than 30 years old exempt from testing if they are not used day-to-day on the roads”. It was about raising the roadworthiness test standard, but the UK’s is already high enough.
There was an effort to get that information more widely circulated: “The Commission is writing separately to all the newspapers concerned, none of which checked the facts with us before publication” [my emphasis]. But, as Millward’s piece confirms, the Tel was deaf to that one. So there has been another mention of this in the Holiday season bumper Euromyths special.
Not, of course, that you will read any of that in the Telegraph, which once again underscores why this publication long ago ceased to be fit to be called a paper of record, and gives an insight as to why Tony Gallagher is tipped to succeed the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre as the next editor of the Daily Mail. The only pity is that many of the Tel’s readers believe this drivel.
And that, folks, signals the start of the Christmas break for Zelo Street. Blogging will not resume until Thursday 27 December at the earliest, and is likely to be light to moderate until after the New Year. My thanks to everyone who has looked in, commented on and publicised the blog – have a peaceful and relaxing festive season and remember: don’t take this business too seriously.