But, this report from Vindico has given me new respect for young Master Oliver.
From his grilling by the Health select committee yesterday [video] he had this to say (1hr 25m, my own transcript as not available online yet)...Some MP woman: If we got rid of crazy EU regulations against wonky food then we wouldn't lose 20% of what British farmers produce, because it can't be used because supermarkets can't stock it.
Jamie: Here, here [sic]. I've got nothing nice say about the EU at all. I really haven't. I think it saps the life and icing off our farmers.
Same MP Woman: They do produce pretty good wine though [-WTF? the EU is a political organisation you cow!]
Jamie: So does England these days,[*] although the French are buying that up. ....you remember when the cucumber rule came in where if it's over so much of a bend then we can't sell it—how dare they! How dare they! There's a home for that...I'd like to see the bendy ones in their own box at a discounted price, which would be a damn sight better
Same woman MP: But EU commissioners are meeting in a weeks time to look at this again, so what is your message to them?
Jamie: I just have no faith that anything good will come out of it. It'll take ages, it'll be disappointing and it'll be unclear, and there'll be loopholes. I wish it [the EU] never existed. And labelling is a perfect example—Britain cannot decide what its minimum standards for labelling and clarity are, because it has to go through the EU, and the EU has a lot more to worry about than just Great Britain, and frankly I only care about Great Britain. I can take you to a supermarket now and it will say sourced in the UK, and on the back it will say 'From Denmark'; how dare they!...It's a big old subject. Don't get me off on one or I will go on a tangent.
Jamie is, of course, quite right on many of these points—the last one, for instance, is the bizarre system whereby Argentinian beef can be called "British" as long as it is packed here.
The problem with Jamie Oliver is that he cannot see that everything that he says about the EU processes—"It'll take ages, it'll be disappointing and it'll be unclear, and there'll be loopholes"—applies to this stupid government too (indeed, most governments).
Still, in this case, good for Jamie Oliver! You go, girl!
* The best wine that I have had in the last ten years (at least) is British: the Tenterden Estate's Bacchus Reserve (which you can buy online).