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Harmony restored

Following the recent diplomatic spat between Italy and Germany, the EU Commission has moved to ensure that there is no repetition of such unfortunate incidents with a ‘Draft Directive on Cross-Border Insults’.

The new directive sets out a regulatory framework which will, in future, require all citizens of all EU countries to follow appropriate guidelines before publicly uttering any sort of cross-border insult.

The guidelines provide:

  1. Any insult which includes reference to national stereotypes can only be directed against a person or persons who is/are permanently domiciled in or citizens of the country to which the said stereotype is applicable. Insults may not be directed at persons who are merely resident in such countries.

  2. Insults which include reference to multiple stereoptypes such as ‘Arrogant beachtowel-hogging Schnitzel-brained Kraut metalbasher’ and ‘Pizza-munching dago wop greaseball monkey’ shall first obtain a written approval to utter the insult from the appropriate licensing body in the jurisdiction in which the insulter is a citizen or permanently domiciled.

  3. For the purposes of enforcement of these provisions, each member state of the Union shall establish an appropriate licensing body.

  4. In the case of a person wishing to utter a cross-border insult for reproduction in any print or electronic medium they must first provide a draft copy of the proposed insult to the proprietors of the said medium not less than three days before publication of the insult is due. This is to ensure that fair representations can be made by the person or organisation against whom the insult is directed.

  5. In the case of general insults or non-national stereotype abuse, the words used by the insulter must be words or terms that are recognised as being of an abusive or insulting nature in at least one or more Union member state. The use of Americanised insults such as ‘dickwad’, ‘dog-breath’, ‘asshat’ and ‘freakazoid’ are strictly forbidden as being inconsistent with European cultural values.

  6. Once a cross-border insult has been uttered (in accordance with these provisions) the person or organisaton against whom the insult was directed shall have a right of reply. In order to permit such right to be exercised the insulter shall allow a period of at least seven days before uttering any further insults.

French EU Commissioner Bertrand Maginot expressed his satisfaction with the new rules:

“We cannot simply allow insults to be traded in this uncontrolled cowboy fashion. If they are not subject to proper democratic control they could disrupt the harmony of European institutions.”

Critics of the new rules say they do not go far enough as insults that remain within national borders are still totally unregulated. However, a Commission sub-committee is expected to convene early next year to examine methods of regulating domestic insults as well.

13 comments to Harmony restored

  • Now there’s a bureaucracy that will grow by exponential leaps and bounds within nano-seconds of deployment !!

  • Andrew Rettek

    Is this satire? I can’t tell.

  • Shtetl G

    What I like about this entry and what is also really pathetic and sad about the EU is that it took me all the way to Asshat to realize this was parody (though with the EU it is really impossibe to be 100% sure). Buck up my cross atlantic friends at least you still have your guns as a last resort against tyrany…Oh wait…never mind. Either way keep up the good fight.

    P.S. Based on the reaction of the German government officials it isn’t really a stereotype to say German’s have no sense of humor. Is it?

  • BR

    This has to be a joke

  • Terminal Angst

    Good one! You really had me going there, until I got to the mention of “Bernard Maginot”. ROTFL!

  • Bill

    The prohibition against Americanized insults constitutes illegal protectionism. The (insert pan-euro stereotype insult here) will be hearing ftom the WTO about this!

  • In the interests of peace, insults in the British Isles will be banned outright and the phrase, “you can’t welch on a bet” will be banned.

    Watch out for the Euro Laughter police. One of Jasper Carrott’s finer creations. Anyone for sweet and sour labrador.

    There was this interesting story about him and Bev Bevan of ELO…(cont. p. 94)

  • It took me all the way to the bit where it said “David Carr (London)” to realise that it was, more than likely, a stinging parody.

  • Kodiak

    Excellent David !!!

    ***bitter remark though***
    next time extend the use of your satirical sense to even hotter & funnier topics: “Mr Axisofthegood’s baroque quest for the WMDs”, “Mr Clinton, a pathological liar VS Mr Bush, a lying pathology”…

  • David, I see you put your legal training to good use… 🙂

  • As a point of law, will it still be permitted to ridicule your neighboring countrymen with brutally silly jokes? As long as they’re suitably EUnionized of course?

    As an example, could one still ask how many Frenchmen it takes to eat a jackrabbit coney? The answer of course: It takes two. One to eat the jackrabbit coney and one to watch for cars.

  • Andjam

    Will Hans Blix be sent in to verify the destruction of banned jokes?

  • Kodiak


    No, he probably won’t.

    Still he might be sent to investigate UK forrests to look for collateral damage lying on the ground & draw up a full report intended for Anthony Bliar.