Anyone for a pound of Bananas? Perhaps he should have sold a can of worms. In Sunderland a man sold a pound of bananas rather than ½ a kilo and this has caused a storm of protest and is being made into a test case. He is in breach of the EU metrication directives 80/181 and 89/617 although not contrary to the Act of Parliament 1985 Weights and measures Act which still permits goods to be sold in pounds and ounces. The fight is on.
This is not an action stemming from a complaint by a customer, but by undercover agents whose sole purpose was just to buy enabling them to make the allegation. The officers cite their ploy and action as ‘customer protection’.
People have a choice. They do not have to patronise Mr Thoburn’s stall. His goods were labelled, priced and sold in pounds and ounces. It is not a question of an item being sold and found under weight. Local people are obviously happy to buy goods from Mr Thoburn’s stall otherwise he would not be in business. One presumes that as no deception has taken place except for the person buying the bananas, and no complaint has been made, his ‘crime’ is less serious than if he had stolen a can of sardines.
The sale of bananas costing 34pence could result in a fine of £2000.
The officers in the case say that they had no choice is inaccurate. An officer has the discretion not to proceed and should have applied the test of proportionality. That is, has any wrong been done and if so, is it serious enough to justify a prosecution.
Two MEP’s Jeffrey Titford and Nigel Farage face disciplinary proceedings from the European Parliament for contributing to Mr Thoburn’s defence fund from the travel allowances given to MEPS. The two have been told by the Brussels parliament that any excess must be kept for their own personal use [?]. Unless they reimburse thousands of pounds (or should that be stated in EUROS!) they have paid into the defence fund they face legal action.
Firstly how did the European Parliament find such information (yet not the Flax fraud monies, to state one example) and who are they to say such came from the travelling expenses. Surely the EU is not trying to force what can and cannot be done, in our ‘democracy’ by MEP’s! I wonder. A Radio 4 newsreader at 6am said that Sunderland Council was bringing the action in accordance with the EU directive ‘to force’ the use of metric measures. Yet in the next bulletin an hour later ‘to require’ was the phraseology. Perhaps the term used in the first instance was unwittingly the truth spoken in error. Anyone for Freudian slips –two for a ‘shilling’.
Since this debacle has been brought to our attention, it not only appears that the appropriate authorities have money to waste in excess of common sense, but that there are approximately 40,000 shop keepers and traders who sell using imperial measures that 90% of customers prefer.
Europe forces us to have VAT. We did not want that. Now we are ever forced into a manipulating quagmire of Mad Hatterish rules and nonsense that no right-minded person in this nation wants either.
Taxpayers money will have bought the bananas many times over by the time the court case has been completed.
You can kill a fox and they will justify it. You can have an abortion and no one turns a hair, but try and sell bananas by the pound and you will be hung ‘peeled’ and quartered - so is the state of the world’s mindset.
It appears that the nuts will be deciding the case of the bananas.