ʽʽHi, I’m Benjamin Nunn – critic, gourmand and author of Ben Viveur. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.

You might have read me in an in-flight magazine, or a beer publication, but here on my own blog I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others so anything goes.

I deal with real food and drink in the real world, aiming to create recipes that taste awesome, but which can be created by mere mortals without the need for tons of specialist equipment and a doctorate in food science. Likewise, I tend to review relaxed establishments that you might visit on a whim without having to sell your first-born, rather than hugely expensive restaurants and style bars in the middle of nowhere with a velvet rope barrier, a stringent dress code and a six-month waiting list!

There's plenty of robust opinion, commentary on the world of food and drink, and lots of swearing, so look away now if you're easily offended.

Otherwise, tuck your bib in, fill your glass and turbo-charge your tastebuds. We're going for a ride... Ben Appetit!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Banging on about Europe

So, we have a date. June 23.

No doubt there will be a cacophony of jabber right up until the EU Membership referendum, and indeed for some time afterwards.

But then maybe, just maybe, all the frothing Euro-obsessionistas will finally shut the fuck up.

I certainly hope so. The obsession has been an eradicable feature of British politics since the early 90s -  for the entirety of my adult life - and I don't mind admitting that it absolutely bores me to tears.

Lies, loons and liras

 'Those Brussels bureaucrats are at it again! They'll be trying to ban our sausages next!'

Now I'm more politically engaged than most, occasionally even what you'd call an activist, and I suppose I'm slightly on the Eurosceptic side of the fence, simply because my natural Libertarian tendencies make me question the necessity of additional layers of authority, whether in Strasbourg or Streatham.

Drinking pints - not banned by the EU
But equally, I'm very much in favour of open borders and letting people move around freely without having to spend hours faffing around with visa applications. Which might well be considered enough of a pro-EU stance to cancel out the above.

More importantly though, I really don't fucking care about it. It may be because I can see both sides of the argument, but Europe is such a low-priority issue for me, that I don't even know if I can be bothered to turn up and vote on June 23.

And that's why the decades-long debate has left me colder than day-old Siberian porridge. For so long now we've had to put up with escalating scaremongering from both sides about immigration, workers rights and sovereignty, not to mention all the stuff about food and drink that turned out to be an absolute smorgasbord of bollocks?

'We won't be able to drink pints of beer any more, it'll all be half litres, you mark my words!'

The made-up nonsense isn't even always effective on a theoretical level. At one point there was talk of Cadbury's not being allowed to call their product 'chocolate' because it didn't contain enough cocoa. Predictably, the fish snaffled up the bait and 'everyone' was up in arms. Personally, it sounds like a good idea. Cadbury's is shittingly inferior to most continental chocolate and it would've been nice for trading standards to recognise that!

'Have you heard? They're going to ban prawn cocktail crisps! And Fray Bentos pies probably!'

What I do care about is how Europhobia/philia has negatively impacted the rest of politics, particularly the fortunes of the Conservative Party, threatening to tear it apart on more than one occasion.

I'll vote for his son for Mayor of London, given the grotesquely unpalatable alternative, but I've still not really forgiven Sir James Goldsmith for his Referendum Party stunt at the 1997 election. All his money could buy during his final weeks was an even bigger Labour majority.

Not banned by the EU either!
We're finally getting your precious referendum now, James - under a Conservative administration, you self-defeating dead fuckwit.

We missed out on Ken Clarke as party leader - and possibly even as Prime Minister - because blinkered people in the party couldn't see past his pro-European views and preferred to spend a generation in the political wilderness.

And then there were the defections to UKIP from Carswell and Reckless. Selfish, limelight-seekers, looking to be the next Nigel Farage, as if coming across as a toadfaced cunt was anything to aspire too. Just think, if Farage had stayed in the Tories 25 years ago, he could be a crotchety backbencher that nobody takes seriously by now!

And while he seldom misses an opportunity to be photographed having a pint, the choices of beer he is seen drinking are usually quite appalling. Do Greene King think people will drink more of their 'IPA' through association with this self-serving hypocrite?

'They actually shot a banana farmer dead because his bananas weren't straight enough. No, really, we're all going to Brussels in a handcard!'

If I was negotiating with the rest of Europe for reforms I'd have asked for the restoration of the French monarchy, the right to spend stupidly high denomination lira banknotes in Italy, and guarantees over the tanginess of sauerkraut.

Anyway, I'm only too aware of the hypocrisy of expressing my dislike of people banging on about the EU Referendum by writing an article about the EU Referendum, so I'll shut up now and never bring up the topic again. Probably.

1 comment:

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