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  • Writer's pictureSteve Fairclough

Health & Safety

I am, it will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, less than patient with the ideas of Political Correctness, and its shining star “Health and Safety”.

As far as I’m concerned if you have a peanut allergy, and you require a warning on a packet of peanuts saying ‘This product may contain nuts’, you should to my mind be left to your own devices and let Darwinism take its irrevocable course.

Same goes for the warning on a Swedish chain saw, ‘ Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands’ or the splendid ‘Warning: Not intended for use as a dental drill’ found on the side of packaging for a DIY household drill.

No, as far as I’m concerned, the world is quite better off without these idiots, but, having just returned from a splendid 10 day break in Mojacar, Spain, I found myself musing heavily, on the restrictions many of us now face, on behalf of the cretinous few.

The reasons for my musings is here in the picture below.

What you are looking at is one of the nicest, tastiest, most natural foods this beautiful planet has ever spawned. One of the simplest pleasures we can have.

At this particular beachside restaurant, my daughter Rebecca (also the photographer in this instance..) asked for a plate of fresh Sardines.

What happened next has been the focus of this blog.

You see, at the front of this particular restaurant, (indeed you have to walk past it to get in), is an old upturned boat. It has been upturned and filled with sand, into which a charcoal pit has been fashioned, over which, the attendant waiter or chef, will place your fresh Sardines, until, 10 minutes later, they are brought back to you, barbecued to perfection and with a crisp shell of sea salt, served only with some bread and alleoli. Accompanied by a little cold white wine, and very reasonably priced at 6 Euros, this my friends is a little piece of Heaven.

But could we have it here? Apart from my necessary personal caveat of never eating sea food unless I can see the sea, I fear it would be impossible.

Even now I can hear some Health and Safety executive pointing out the various and myriad faults and hazards, and in our blind acceptance we could probably see the sense in them but, has any small child deliberately tried to climb aboard the burning sand pit boat? Has anyone ever contracted life threatening diseases from the old chef, who handles sea-food with the dexterity of a pianist, and yet only stoops to wash the scales off his hands in a bucket of sea water by the boat?. Has anyone checked the weight of these fish, to make sure they comply to EEC regulations?, has anyone published a warning within the menu’s pages about the dangers of sodium from the fresh sea-salt, or stamped the Sardines with a warning; “May contain bones?”

Of course they bloody haven’t.

The Spanish presume people have more sense.

And that’s one of the reasons they taste so very good.

They’re untainted by the faint, but un-ignorable taste of Politically Correct bullshit.

Now, please be so good as to pass the Sancerre……….

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