My thanks to a loyal reader who pointed me in the direction of this letter published by This Is Grimsby, about the EU banning weedkillers because weeds have as much right to life as any other plant:
"I was in a garden centre the other day, trying in vain to buy an effective and persistent weed killer for the weeds on my driveway.Doubtless this is a wind up by the writer, or a major misinterpretation of EU rules by the garden centre. However, seemingly some councils have followed an EU directive about certain weedkillers being forbidden until the weed grows to the size of a "small man".
All those on sale were branded but it was quite difficult to ascertain exactly what the constituents were.
I enquired at the sales desk for one that I have used for many years, only to be told that due to a recent directive from the European Commission, weed killers that actually do the job are no longer permitted since these curtail the vegetational rights of the weeds.
It would appear that weeds, or wild flowers, have the rights to grow where they wish, flower, seed and bear fruit, this is in order to maintain their rights to a full family life! The garden centre staff member kept a straight face and assured me that this was indeed the latest idiocy from Brussels.
I feel that this must be a send-up for our silly politicians, as Europe must surely consider them daft enough to fall for this, hook, line and sinker. I think they probably have, because effective weed killers seem to be no longer available.
I personally think that if they were any good there would be no need to advertise them, as they would sell themselves by customer recommendation.
This would seem to be yet another reason for us to quit the European Union.
GE Judd, Clyfton Crescent, Immingham."
As per Gavin Maclure:
"The EU HAS banned a particular herbicide which would stop the weeds by the side of the pavements in Ipswich growing to the size of small trees, which was until circa 2008 sprayed at the beginning of spring to kill the weeds before they grew out of control.The EU is the biggest weed growing on the planet, it is about time someone cut it down!
Because of the pernicious EU directive, Ipswich Borough Council along with all other local authorities in the UK (other countries just ignore the Directive) now can only spray weed killer on to the ugly green things once the weeds are about the size of a small man, which is during the summer months. A different herbicide is used once the weeds are grown, which isn’t banned by our unelected leaders in Brussels.
So this explains why some readers have seen the council’s man driving along the pavements in their weed killing buggy and others still have to hack their way past their front-gate to get to their home. Eventually, Ipswich Borough Council will get round to spraying all the weeds in the town on public pavements and paths."
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