If you hear/read somewhere that the EU is contemplating a ban on barbecues, please don’t believe it. The Commission is not planning a ban on barbecues, we’re not going to propose bringing them within carbon emissions trading, and we’re not suggesting Member States instigate a barbecue tax. If an individual member state wanted to, that would be a national issue, but the EU doesn’t have that power.
The Commission is also not banning using the term watts for lightbulbs. Lightbulbs are already supposed to carry the lighting performance of the bulb, which is measures in lumens. This makes it easier to compare different types of bulbs, as of course the wattage only refers to the power needed to make the light shine, and doesn’t help comparison across the range of bulbs that now exist. From 2010 the lumens value will be displayed more prominently than the wattage value, but the watts will continue to be compulsory. This is to allow people to compare bulbs on the basis of performance, and is a measure that was approved by all the governments, and consumer organisations.
Interesting article by Will Hutton in the Observer at the weekend. The expenses issue has kicked all other political issues into the long grass, but I wonder how much of a campaign we’d have seen even if that issue hadn’t been around.