Tis the season to be jolly... the EU silly season to be exact.

With Parliamentary elections a mere four months away, the majority of Commissioners readying to hang up their self-importance (can Reding's hair survive a third term?), and lobbyists finding increasingly eclectic justifications for their billing hours (team-building sudoku, anyone?), now is the time to release the action plan, public awareness campaign or legislative initiative that just wasn't good enough for the first, second, third or even fourth work programme.

First up, the Commission's effort to completely trivialise serious issues through gimmicky use of everyone's favourite form of exploitative entertainment: the EU Circus Campaign.

"The EU has ... launched a campaign to raise awareness of social rights. During 2009, cities across Europe will be staging circus-themed events about social rights. The campaign is inspired by “social circus”, an educational movement that uses circus arts as a teaching tool to help troubled youths. For example, the theatre company involved in the event in Lisbon works with school dropouts."

Yes, because high school drop outs never become actors...

BM isn't sure what it was about circuses which inspired this campaign. Was it the social exclusion of clowns? The extreme poverty experienced by carnies (you know, smell of cabbage, small hands)? The wage gap imposed upon bearded and tattooed ladies? We can only speculate...

Second, the Commission's Action Plan on Sharks. Now, we're not sure about you, but BM hasn't spent a huge amount of time ruminating on how the EU can take action on sharks. Belgian bankers...yes. Sharks...not so much.

However, once set on this train of thought it didn't seem like such a bad idea.... laser-headed sharks protecting our seas from Somalian pirates and the ever-present fear that Robert Maxwell will emerge from the water... a crack team of commando-sharks, capable of knawing on the most hardy of sea-bound dictator... But no.

Joe Borg unveils his evil "action" plan at a press briefing, Thursday.

Apparently: "human beings are now a far bigger threat to sharks than sharks ever were to us." Clearly Joe hasn't seen Jaws. So instead: "the European Commission has decided to help protect these vulnerable predators."

Vulnerable predators? Vulnerable predators? Ah, the EU Commission. Developing sustainable oxymorons since at least 2003.

So in the name of all that is pointless, in this year of kicking heels and waiting for the next roster of gormless self-serving fools to arrive, BM invites you, dear reader, to submit your entries for most creatively irrelevant initiative 2009. Better yet, invent one. Seems they'll fund anything....


  1. Anonymous // 4:06 PM  

    The wage gap imposed upon bearded and tattooed ladies?

    Only too true. From QI this week (forgive the strange format, it's from the subtitles):

    22:13:28.07 There was one rather sweet story of a bearded lady who fell in love with a contortionist in... This sounds like an old joke.
    22:13:35.88 It does sound like it. But it wasn't. He wouldn't marry her because he couldn't really face the idea every morning of staring at
    22:13:42.28 a bearded woman, but also, if she shaved, they couldn't get married cos they wouldn't have enough income, because hers came from
    22:13:48.76 the fact that she was a very successful bearded lady and... So he shaved the bear and married that? No. Someone else suggested
    22:13:54.27 that she shave and cover herself in tattoos and she became the first tattooed lady and they married and lived very
    22:14:00.92 happily ever after. Rather touching. But if he was a contortionist, they could've had sex and he could've been in a different room.
    22:14:09.03 Indeed, the nature of exactly that. Samuel Gumpertz was considered the king of the freak show people at Coney Island.
    22:14:15.56 He had a 1911 show that included Ursa the Bear Girl, Bonita... Was she just a naked lady? No, no. The bare girl
    22:14:21.52 is misleading. B-E-A-R. A lot of people paid their money and went, "Oh, this is rubbish." "She looks like a bear.
    22:14:28.47 If anything, I'm turned off. There was Bonita - I don't know why this is funny, the Irish Fat Midget.
    22:14:38.65 You don't know why that's funny? Yeah, I was going to say that. Lionel the Dog-Faced Boy and Sharif Affendal, the Human Salamander.
    22:14:49.04 Salamanders can go in fire, can't they? That's the legend. So he would stand in the fire? Presumably that's what happened.
    22:14:56.08 How long can a salamander go in fire? Till it's cooked. Well, there you have it, anyway. She was in fact a drunken bear
    22:15:07.00 with a shaven head. Now, what was Count Victor Lustig's dastardly scheme for Guy de Maupassant's favourite restaurant in Paris?

  2. Anonymous // 5:42 PM  

    New Europe has also written about this matter http://www.neurope.eu/articles/92611.php