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....