Bit of an over-reaction there from the normally rational rodent.
First, there’s no ban on tans. Just asking employers to provide adequate protection in harmful environments. Raincoats for policemen on patrol, wetsuits for divers, sunscreen for people out there under all that harmful radiation. Several million billion tons of thermonuclear explosion doesn’t happen without harmful side-effects, you know. DM may not have woken up the dangers yet, but a lot of people have.
Second, the legislation started out to protect people working in hazardous artifiical environments. The BBC says “The Optical Radiation Directive is principally designed to limit workers’ exposure to lasers, X-rays, welding torches or ultra-violet lamps.” Anyone have a problem with that?
The legislation was drafted by the European Commission, and changed at the request of CERTAIN NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS. It was not the EU trying to mess with people, it was a few individual countries.
Thirdly, the European Parliament rejected the legislation. “It is no business of the EU to tell workers that they can’t be bare-chested or wear shorts,” British Liberal MEP Liz Lynne said during a debate in Strasbourg on Tuesday.
She wasn’t talking about ‘them’. She was stating that she, as a Member of the European Parliament, didn’t want to be interfering with people’s lives in this way. And then she voted against the proposal along with a majority of MEPs. Europe is not trying to dictate what people can do, even when some governments ask them to.
Now it’s up to the EU council to accept the will of the elected representatives of Europe’s peoples. Or they can refuse to accept this decision and force a compromise. But the council is appointed by national governments, not by the EU. Once again we’re back to individual countries causing problems and everyone blaming Europe.
This reminds me of the time when, in response to public requests, legislation was drafted to limit the noise emitted by lawnmowers. Some people wanted to enjoy their Sundays in peace and quiet, some wanted to mow their lawns, and the compromise was to insist that all new lawnmowers were reasonably quiet.
Britain, in response to complaints from a manufacturer of noisy lawnmowers in a marginal constituency, vetoed this proposal and the resulting fudge was a suggestion that it should be illegal to mow your lawn on a Sunday.
This proposal, the fault of the UK government, was blown-up as an example of EU meddling by the British media. And DM was obviously taken in. Meanwhile, the EU parliament vetoed it.
Finally, I’ve lived in Australia and NZ, two countries where the harm done by the sun is taken seriously. They didn’t solve the problem by excessive legislation, they solved it by public education. But if people insist on clinging to the absurd idea that the sun never shines in the UK then how do you avoid costly sun-related issues in future?
Oh, and I’ve seen construction workers - especially when state-funded - wearing sunhats etc provided by their employers in the USA. I bet they get waterproof jackets when it rains too, like policemen.