A European Commission official this week slammed a directive on child-safety car seats as "ridiculous".

In a letter to Commission en Direct (BM understands the translation for this is "Indirect Commission"), the institution's internal newspaper (circulation: many tens of thousands), Neil Bennett aired his angry views.

"It is a cold and lonely job being a British official," he began. "The EU is currently about as popular as a plague of head-lice."

He goes on to quote Tory darling Boris Johnson: "This EU directive, 2003/20/EC, arises because a few years ago some lonely and bored European Commission official was persuaded (no doubt by the booster seat industry) that in some circumstances children under 135cm would be safer with booster seats. So a directive was drawn up."

Mr. Bennett went on to suggest that "any slight improvement in child safety in cars will be more than offset by increases in car-fume pollution (leading to respiratory diseases)." This, because a car would need three booster seats to carry three children, a figure any one car is unlikely to have.

It is understood that a plague of head lice are considering legal action for defamation.

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