The nightmare ends - roll on a new batttle

Reality has hit home with a great big wallop.

SO, reality has hit home with a great big wallop. It was inevitable, but some misguided souls hoped against hope that the dream would continue for a while longer.

Those of us with a more down-to-earth attitude knew that the end could not come quickly enough for what was really a nightmare from the first whistle (despite one narrow victory).

The non-football fans among you never cared and those who follow the beautiful game were soon beyond caring as the England team mis-kicked and stumbled towards an ignoble exit from the World Cup.

The optimists say it is history now, let’s look forward to the next tournament in Brazil in 2014. It could be different then. I can hardly wait to find out.

There are other battles to be won. For the English, it seems we have been at odds with the European Community since the moment we joined it.

Do you remember the outcry over whether bananas should be straight?

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The latest bit of foolery from Brussels is an attempt to stop shoppers from buying some foods in the traditional way by number.

Under draft legislation, which could come into force as early as next year, sales based on products by quantity would be replaced by a system based on weight.

This would mean a ban on eggs being sold by the dozen, bread rolls in packs of six or fish fingers changing hands in packets of 12.

If they go ahead, the changes would cost the food and retail industries millions of pounds as items would have to be weighed individually to make sure they were labelled accurately.

An amendment to new food labelling regulations that would have allowed states to nominate products that could be sold by number rather than weight has just been rejected by MEPs.

Our Coalition government, which seems to be getting some things right, is trying to block the proposal, saying it goes against common sense. I’m not sure that common sense ever had much to do with the Common Market.

Talking about our government, it is certainly getting on with the job of reducing our national debt. New proposals to cut spending are gushing out like a Brazilian centre-forward’s shots on goal.

One that caught my eye the other day was the announcement that three-quarters of the government’s websites will be closed, saving �100 million.

About 600 of the 820 websites would be scrapped. It begs the question, if they are so quickly deemed unnecessary now, how many were ever really essential? Not many I suspect.

Officials were reluctant to name the sites under threat but one tipped for the chop is which is run by the marketing department of the Potato Council. I can’t say it is one of my favourites.

But it must be for one man who founded a crisps company a few years back. He has offered cash to keep the website open. This could be the start of a virtual spud war.