A Dutch customs officer called Martijn gleefully confiscated a ham sandwich from the driver of a lorry from the UK at the Hook of Holland ferry port, allegedly because it violated new trade regulations.
Since New Year’s Day, anyone leaving the UK is forbidden from bringing meat or dairy products into the EU because they may contain pathogens causing animal diseases.
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But in that one petty, heavy-handed act, you saw the entire Brussels bile mountain, that Everest of umbrage. Nobody likes being dumped, do they?
The bewildered lorry driver politely asked if he may be allowed to keep his bread after the customs officer had removed his offending ham.
“Everything will be confiscated!” laughed Martijn. “Welcome to the Brexit, sir!” No matter that the UK adheres to the same food safety standards as the EU. No matter that hauliers describe movement from non-EU countries such as Switzerland and Norway into the EU as “a piece of cake.”
And no matter that in the winter of 1945, when the Dutch people were starving under Nazi occupation in what they call their Hongerwinter — hunger winter — RAF Lancasters bravely flew low to drop food parcels in broad, deadly, flak-filled daylight.
Martijn the Dutch jobsworth didn’t look as though he had ever heard of Operation Manna and he didn’t look as though he was too concerned about swine flu. He looked like he was having a good time.
And there will be many more Martijns out there.
I can already imagine the scenes at Spanish holiday destinations as UK passport holders are ritually humiliated at immigration control, herded to one side as if they had just jumped off the back of a leaky dinghy for the crime of holding a non-EU passport.
And already British exporters trying to trade with the EU are being suffocated in post-Brexit customs checks. We got our fish back but now tonnes of seafood are rotting on the docks at Dover because of customs bottlenecks at the EU borders.
“Teething problems,” sniff Government ministers, but it is far more serious than that. Our fishing industry is being strangled by EU red tape. Scottish exporters are threatening to dump tonnes of rotten shellfish at the gates of Westminster as early as next week.
Remainers will rejoice to see the rotting seafood, they will whoop with joy at every confiscated ham sandwich, at every lorry that grinds to a halt because of EU bureaucracy.
LIBERATE THE EU
But the fact is we are out and we are not going back in our lifetime. Some goodwill and common sense would make everyone’s life a lot easier. Sadly, there is no goodwill within the EU towards Brexit and there is no desire to see Brexit succeed. Exactly the opposite.
There is only one way to restore goodwill with our European neighbours.
The British must liberate the EU from coronavirus.
Because we escaped the dead hand of EU bureaucracy, we are currently on target to vaccinate our own people long before the EU, where the roll out of Covid-19 jabs is an apocalyptic cock-up — so slow it is practically comatose.
After the UK has vaccinated the British people, it will be time for a second Operation Manna, a huge humanitarian effort to save the desperate people of Europe.
I can see it now — a mighty convoy of lorries bringing millions of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccinations to the grateful people of Europe.
Welcome to the Brexit, sir!
RIH MY VALENTINE
RIHANNA has 89.2million followers on Instagram and a romantic new lingerie line to promote. So whatever else gets cancelled in 2021, Rihanna has single-handedly guaranteed that it will not be Valentine’s Day.
SHAME ON CHINA’S BRIT QC
AS the world is preoccupied with the struggle against the greatest health emergency for 100 years, China is seizing the chance to snuff out democracy in Hong Kong.
Last summer, the Hong Kong government, a craven puppet of Beijing, imposed a draconian new security law prohibiting anything the one-party Communist state of China considers subversive – such as calls for democracy.
In the first week of 2021 alone, 53 pro-democracy Hong Kong politicians and activists were rounded up in a vicious purge.
“It is clear that the national security law is being used to eliminate dissent and opposing political views,” said a joint statement from the foreign ministers of the US, UK, Australia and Canada.
Now a leading British barrister has been brought in to help enforce the brutal new regime.
David Perry QC has been appointed to act for the Hong Kong government in its prosecution of nine pro-democracy activists for taking part in an illegal assembly in an anti-government protest in 2019.
In the dock are some of the bravest leading lights of Hong Kong’s democracy movement, including Jimmy Lai, a publisher famous for his criticism of the Chinese state, and Martin Lee, known as Hong Kong’s “father of democracy”.
Many are stunned that a senior figure in the British legal profession has been hired to prosecute senior figures in Hong Kong’s democracy movement.
“We all need to ask when the law stops being an instrument of justice and becomes the tool of tyrants,” said Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Conservative China Research Group.
The unease at Perry’s involvement goes across the political spectrum.
Lord Falconer, a Labour peer, says: “He is prosecuting some of the most well-known democracy campaigners.”
The trial is scheduled to begin on February 16. It is bad enough seeing the old goons in Beijing crushing anything resembling democracy in Hong Kong.
It is nauseating to watch a British lawyer doing Beijing’s dirty work.
WRONG ON ROLES
WRITER Russell T Davies says that straight actors should not portray gay characters.
Yet the greatest gay story ever seen on the big screen is Brokeback Mountain, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger – both straight, both unforgettable in Ang Lee’s masterpiece.
Gyllenhaal and Ledger attended the 2006 Academy Awards with their girlfriends. Their sexual orientation didn’t harm that incredible film – Brokeback Mountain was nominated for eight Oscars and won three.
Meanwhile, Doris Day and Rock Hudson convincingly flirted their way through three films though Rock was secretly gay.
Do woke folk like Russell object to gay actors playing straight roles?
NOTHING CAN SAVE TRUMP
DONALD TRUMP richly deserves the impeachment charges that bring down the curtain on his shabby reign.
Loser’s consent is the only thing that makes democracy work.
Loser’s consent – admitting you lost a free and fair election, no matter how much you loathe your opponent – is the only thing that enables a peaceful transfer of power, the only thing that separates our democracies from tinpot dictatorships, the only thing between peace and anarchy.
Donald Trump had no time for loser’s consent.
Instead he kept repeating that the American presidential election was rigged without providing any evidence.
“If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country any more,” he told his supporters at a “Save America” rally, a quote that appears in the impeachment charge sheet accusing him of “incitement and insurrection”.
The riot that followed his “Save America” rally cost five lives.
As Washington fills with troops to keep the peace and Trump desperately backtracks with his mealy-mouthed clichés calling for “calm tempers”, does he ever ponder the deadly forces he has unleashed?
There is still talk that Trump might be running in 2024.
What – from the police?
KATIE IS A WONDERFUL MUM
“IT kills me,” says Katie Price of her decision to put severely disabled son Harvey, 18, into care.
But Katie has been a wonderful mother to her son. Every child should be that loved. And every parent should be that loving.
I CAN’T believe that we are still bickering about face masks. I can’t believe morons are still walking into supermarkets without one.
Almost 100,000 have died in the UK (population 66million).
Just over 4,000 have died in Japan (population 126million).
Nobody ever whines about wearing a face mask in Japan.
BETWEEN December 27 and New Year’s Eve, only 352 people were vaccinated in France but 861 had their car torched.
A Frenchman is more likely to have his car set on fire than be given a coronavirus jab.
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